JOHANNESBURG — Embattled SABC chief executive Dali Mpofu on Monday lost the first part of his court battle to have his third suspension in two months declared invalid.
In the Johannesburg High Court, Judge Antonie Gildenhuys dismissed applications to declare unlawful and invalid the SABC board meetings on June 2 and June 11, when Mpofu’s suspension was decided.
Mpofu’s first two suspensions during early May were declared invalid by the Johannesburg High Court, but the board retaliated with a third suspension.
Mpofu was first suspended by the board on May 7, a day after he suspended SABC head of news Snuki Zikalala. The controversial Zikalala was last week reinstated following a hearing by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.
The next part of Mpofu’s legal challenge was postponed to Aug. 5, when the court will consider whether the SABC board has the legal power to suspend or discipline him.
Mpofu put on a brave face outside court, telling a crowd of reporters and supporters, “The fight is going to go on for a long time.”
The pubcaster has become embroiled in the political battle for control of the ruling ANC between followers of President Thabo Mbeki and challenger Jacob Zuma, elected head of the ANC in December.