News / South Africa

Gosebo Mathope
3 minute read
16 Nov 2017
2:45 pm

Rachel Kalidass quits the SABC board

Gosebo Mathope

Kalidass writes in her resignation letter that she contacted Gungubele after discovering allegations of corruption and fraud against the CEO candidate at the SABC.

Rachel Kalidass. Facebook.

With just a month in office, chartered accountant Rachel Kalidass, also the director of accountancy firm Kalidass and Associates, has resigned from the SABC board, citing differences with the rest of board members on the choice of candidates for group CEO and COO positions.

Kalidass was previously controversially sacked by the previous board led by Mbulaheni Maguvhe during Faith Muthambi’s tenure as the minister of communications. That board relied on a Memorandum of Incorporation (MoI) to remove her. The high court recently ruled the MoI was at odds with the Broadcasting Act and had no force.

“There is also a conflict of interest, as a significant SABC content service provider, the majority of board members were in favour of having [Alan Mukoki] appointed as the SABC CEO,” Kalidass wrote in the letter in which she reminded President Jacob Zuma during her interviews with parliamentary portfolio committee on communications she vowed to notify the committee as well as Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa of any “concerns” she came across.

She discloses in her resignation letter similar concerns as articulated by former minister Ayanda Dlodlo around the suitability of candidates.

She also revealed the new board interviewed candidates at a recruitment agency on the evening of October 31, 2017. She points out former Land Bank managing director Mukoki, an alleged favourite for the SABC CEO position, had “allegations of fraud and corruption levelled against him during his previous employment, as well as a conflict of interest with a significant SABC content providers”.

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In 2012, the Sunday Times carried a series of reports on how the former managing director “siphoned R2 billion” from the bank.

Mukoki challenged that report and another one carried out by the Mail & Guardian, and contested that the publications incorrectly termed the charges he faced as “fraud”.

News24 reported in 2010 that Mukoki “received R4.5 million after he quit in 2007 amid R2 billion worth of fraud”.

Kalidass wrote that after discovering this information online, she “specifically requested for my dissenting view to be recorded, which was received with great hostility by some of the board members present”.

She said, instead, the board resolved to set up a “cleanup committee” with media experience in anticipation of “bad publicity” following this appointment.

In reaction, Kalidass wrote to ANC MP and communications committee member Mondli Gungubele. She said on November 6 during a meeting of a subcommittee of the board, she had been verbally attacked by some board members for “leaking board information to parliament”.

Former interim chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama is said to have accused her of sharing confidential recruitment processes with MPs.

In the letter, Kalidass stated that had led to an untenable situation between her and the rest of the board member. She also requested the president to release her from the statutory on a three-month notice period, as she felt instances of sidelining and victimisation against her had already begun.