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MBABANE – If any of the Swaziland Television Authority staff was thinking of celebrating following the introduction of Vusigama Khumalo as the acting chief executive officer, they should keep the meat and drinks on ice.

This comes as Bongani Austin Dlamini, popularly known as Sgcoko, threw a spanner in the works as he said he hadn’t bid anyone goodbye as yet.
Khumalo, who is also the Senior Communication Engineer at the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT), replaces out of contract Bongani Austin ‘Sgcoko’ Dlamini.

Dlamini’s contract is said to have expired last month.
The appointment was confirmed by the station’s Board Chairperson Nozizwe Mulela.
Asked about the duration of the acting period, Mulela said: “Until the recruitment process has been finalised and in line with the PEU requirements.”

The PEU is an acronym for the Public Enterprise Unit.
She also mentioned that Khumalo has already been introduced to the staff, something which was said to have been done last week.
However, Dlamini when contacted on the latest development, he just laughed and only after a few seconds, he wondered why he was being questioned about it.
In between the giggles, he pointed out that it was like asking him if he had passed on.
Verbatim, Dlamini said: “Nangabe ngise moshali ngiphendvula ngitsini?”
He then lectured that the new CEO should have first been consulted, then the Board before he was approached. “It is only then that I can explain if I have left the station or not. However, at the moment I have no comment because this matter involves me.”
When told that the Board had confirmed Khumalo’s appointment, he stressed that he would comment about the role he has played at the station after leaving it.
At the present moment, Dlamini said to his knowledge, he has not bid farewell to anyone.
Asked to clarify what he meant by saying he had not bid farewell to anyone, he rhetorically said: “Ngigcina lapho (That is all I can say).”
In jest, Dlamini pointed out that he would have hosted a braai for his friends if he was leaving.
Some of the excited staff members who did not want to be identified expressed that they were happy to have Khumalo as their boss.
Besides being qualified, the employees knew the culture of the organisation because he once held the position of chief engineer. Khumalo could not be reached for comment as his phone rang unanswered.
In 2016, around April, Dlamini was suspended after the Board took a decision to conduct an audit into the operations of the station. Also suspended was the station’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Albert Masuku.
Earlier, Members of Parliament (MPs) had called for a probe into the operations of the local television station and went as far as saying they were of the view that the annual subvention should be suspended because it was not serving the nation.
They argued that government must engage the services of a consultancy firm to determine the problems at the national broadcaster.
The MPs minced no words as they made it known that the station was now a joke and demanded the Ministry of ICT to conduct a study to determine the causes of the problems at the station.
Senate also demanded to know as what really happened at the station, which led to vehicles being attached. Another issue that caused debate in both the House of Assembly and Senate was the unending reports that members of replica rolex staff were not receiving their salaries on time.
Following his suspension, Dlamini stated that he would not resign because he was not a criminal.
He was quoted saying, “It would be unwise for me to resign because it would make it look like I have something to hide. In fact, I do not want to comment much on that now, I will get time where I will reveal everything.”
As a result, Dlamini said he would allow the audit to be conducted and that he was prepared to observe the fairness of the exercise so that it was not understood as a ploy to defend himself.
“There is a lot of improvement, I am very proud and I stand lofty and very proud of my job at STVA. Broadcasting is about content and the most important principle is to make that content relevant. With that drive, there is a change that has to take place.”
Dlamini said everyone could attest to the fact that the station was rising, including the business side of it.
“The deficit was getting minimal and manageable, except that the hole is too huge. There is less business that you can make around that hole. So it is just a bailout and STVA can rise up to the expectation of the country but until we attend to those issues, things will not improve.”
He said it wasn’t fair that he was now being treated like a criminal in a situation that was so clearly defined in terms of the financial situation of the station that was known to all and sundry.
Even though he did not want to delve much on his allegation, Dlamini said the stories about the station’s deficit dated back to 1983.

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