SAMAs suspiciously silent as CEO Sibisi steps down

1 minute read
19 Aug 2013
1:59 pm

SAMAs suspiciously silent as CEO Sibisi steps down

Continuing its tradition of going through CEOs like there's no tomorrow, recently appointed South African Music Awards (SAMA) big wig Nhlanhla Sibisi has already forsaken his new position amidst the glaring absence of any press about the matter.

Acclaimed musician Ray Phiri, left, sits on a panel with fellow musician Vusi Mahlasela, centre, and MTN SAMA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi at a SAMA 19 press briefing in Newtown. 20 March 2013. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Despite being one of South Africa’s most prestigious award ceremonies, the MTN SAMAs has a troublesome reputation of running through CEOs very quickly. In just the last five years, Jandre Louw, Randall Abrahams, and Nhlanhla Sibisi have all been appointed before soon after abandoning their high-profile positions, with rumours rife that Louw was fired when the 17th annual SAMAs organised under his control ended up a humiliating and chaotic affair.

According to the Daily Sun, Nhlanhla Sibisi who was appointed SAMA CEO in September 2012 – left this position some two months ago, and that those in the know are whispering that he was “pushed out because he did not see eye-to-eye with Randall Abrahams, chairman of the Recording Industry of South Africa”.

The publication was, however, sent on a wild-goose chase in an effort to find out why there was no press about Sibisi stepping down, starting with Sibisi himself, who denied rumours of any ill feelings and said he “chose not to renew his contract because he was over-committed”.

When asked why the public wasn’t kept informed, he referred them to the Recording Industry Association, upon which Abrahams refused to comment and referred them to the associations’ operations director, David du Plessis, who denied rumours that he was “pushed out” and merely reiterated that Sibisi chose not to renew the year-long contract.

“It was mutually agreed between the parties that the contract would not be extended,” said Du Plessis, who also confirmed that the position has not yet been filled.

When asked why there was no official announcement about the current lack of MNT SAMA CEO, he said he “they didn’t think his exit needed a public announcement”.

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