Chris Maroleng has been appointed the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) new chief operations officer, effective from February 1, 2018. The announcement comes weeks after the SOS Coalition and Media Monitoring Africa confirmed he was set to take over the position from ousted COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng. At the time, Coalition and Media Monitoring Africa said Maroleng’s appointment was ratified but was subject to final security vetting processes.
Motsoeneng was dismissed from the public broadcaster last year following a disciplinary hearing brought against him for bringing the SABC into disrepute and causing irreparable damage.
Maroleng’s career includes his previous post as an executive for group corporate affairs at the MTN Group, eNCA Africa editor for six years and a researcher at the Institute for Security Studies. He also spent six years as eNCA Africa’s editor. He gained social media fame after being involved in a heated on-air discussion with former AWB secretary general André Visagie on eNCA in 2010, which led to him saying the famous line: “Don’t touch me on my studio.”
He holds BA (Hons) and MA degrees from the University of Cape Town and has received several post-graduate scholarships and awards.
In a statement, the SABC said Maroleng has “demonstrated considerable management and financial acumen and he is familiar with the cutting-edge Fourth Industrial Revolution issues that the SABC needs to embrace going forward.
“He understands South Africa’s legislative and regulatory environment and his knowledge of broadcasting on the continent is invaluable as the SABC develops its coverage of, and in Africa.”
Maroleng said he accepts “the position at the SABC with deep humility, and appreciate the confidence that the Board has shown in me. I look forward to playing a role, as part of an executive team, in transforming the SABC into a world-class public broadcaster that is responsive to the needs of all South Africans.”
Meanwhile, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications welcomed Maroleng’s appointment. “The Committee is confident that the SABC board has selected the most suitable candidate for this position and trusts that the board has exhausted all legal processes in the appointment.
“Looking at Mr Maroleng’s experience, expertise and qualifications, the chairperson has full confidence that he will bring stability and lead the previously-embattled SABC on the growth trajectory that is urgently required,” said committee chair Humprey Maxegana in a statement.