SABC to fight former COO in court

The SABC intends to oppose the Labour Court application brought by its former Chief Operations Officer Chris Maroleng.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the public broadcaster refuted allegations made by Maroleng as unfounded and defamatory.

The response comes after City Press reported Maroleng had submitted papers in the Johannesburg Labour Court challenging his dismissal from the SABC in April 2019.

Maroleng maintains that the SABC did not offer him the chance to appeal what he regards as an unfair disciplinary process that led to his dismissal.

Maroleng demanded that the broadcaster pay him R16 million or give him his job back.

“Unwillingness to assume responsibility”

The SABC called Maroleng’s statements false and misleading and explained how a disciplinary process had found him guilty on various charges.

Maroleng was charged for breaching his fiduciary duties as a director and for acting in a manner which breaches good faith, trust, honesty, loyalty and confidence.

He was also been found guilty by the hearing on two charges of gross negligence.

“Mr Maroleng was subjected to a disciplinary hearing chaired by an independent chairperson.  At all material times during his disciplinary hearing, Mr Maroleng was represented by a legal team of his choice,” the SABC stated.

“He was found guilty of three charges and not guilty on one charge,” the SABC said.

After submissions by both parties were considered, the chairperson recommended summary dismissal in respect of each charge for which Maroleng was found to be guilty.

“Mr Maroleng’s baseless allegation that members of the SABC Board are to blame for his dismissal rather than his own actions, clearly demonstrates his unwillingness to assume responsibility for his own serious misconduct.”

All due process followed

The broadcaster said that although Maroleng had approached the CCMA to challenge his dismissal, he later withdrew his case for arbitration.

The SABC emphasised that it had followed due process from the outset and claimed that Maroleng was treated fairly and afforded all rights available to him according to SABC policies and the law.

It noted the independent chairperson’s findings with regards to Maroleng’s dishonest conduct.

“Gross dishonesty or dishonesty of whatever form is a serious form of misconduct. It renders the continued employment relationship intolerable…There can be no greater act of dishonesty than what Maroleng did.

“Ignoring company policies and procedures by an Executive Director is serious misconduct,” the chairperson stated.

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SABC to fight former COO in court