South Africa’s Broadcasting has lost its embattled general manager following a series of scandals. Leo Manne has “stepped down” and left the public broadcaster despite what locals say has been a protracted fight to hold onto his job following allegations and investigations concerning a directorship he was said to have held at a newly formed pay-TV broadcaster.
Manne has been at SABC for some time, initially running SABC 1 and subsequently running all of the SABC’s television operations.
However, he was suspended in September last year over allegations that he was listed as a director at Siyaya TV, a new pay-TV operator which was licensed in 2014 by the broadcasting regulator (ICASA) and would be a rival to long-established DStv, On Digital Media/Star Sat and digital terrestrial newcomer Platco Open View.
Manne says he declared his interest in Siyaya Free to Air TV in 2012. South Africa’s company records show that he was a director of Siyaya TV Consortium which shares an address with the Siyaya FTA TV although claims to be a separate operation.
Manne took his grievance to the country’s Conciliation & Arbitration service, but they found against him and in favour of the SABC.