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SABC in crisis as leadership team quits

South Africa’s national broadcaster SABC has been plunged into crisis following the resignation of its chairman and deputy chairman.

Chairman Ben Ngubane and his deputy, Thami ka Plaatjie handed in their resignations to South African president Jacob Zuma. The move followed a disagreement between the pair and the broadcaster’s board over the latter’s removal of Hlaudi Motsoeneng from his post as chief operating officer last month. The board named head of radio news and current affairs Mike Siluma as Motsoeneng’s replacement. Ngubane and ka Plaatjie then attempted to reinstate Motsoeneng, leading to them being called to account by the board.

Communications minister Dina Pule recently asked the South African parliament to look at the fitness of the SABC board to remain in office. Opposition parties, which have criticised Ngubane and ka Plaatjie for interfering in the daily running of the broadcaster and imposing an autocratic style of leadership, welcomed the resignations.