NEWS
01/02/2018 13:04 SAST | Updated 01/02/2018 13:18 SAST

Who Is SABC's Newly Appointed COO, Chris Maroleng?

"Don't touch me on my studio."

http://www.sabc.co.za/sabc/

Chris Maroleng was appointed chief operations officer (COO) of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Tuesday.

The SABC board announced in a statement that Maroleng would start steering the embattled state broadcaster from Thursday.

Maroleng takes over from Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who was fired by the SABC in June 2017, after it was found that he brought the company into disrepute and caused it irreparable damage.

An internal disciplinary committee found that Motsoeneng had lied about his qualifications, had purged the SABC of staff, and promoted people and raised salaries without following the correct procedures.

As Maroleng starts his first day as the new COO, HuffPost thought we could give a quick background to who is.

Positions at many high-profile organisations

1. Maroleng was a researcher at the Institute for Security Studies from 2002 to 2008. He led the team which started eNews Africa in 2009 and has built up the Africa division, which has done excellent work bringing stories of our continent to South Africans, viewers across Africa and further afield.

He continued climbing the ranks when he clinched the position as MTN's executive for group corporate affairs. In 2016, he also became a nonexecutive director for Good Governance Africa.

Does not want to be touched on his studio

2. Maroleng's most memorable moment was when he ordered former secretary-general of the far-right Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB), Andre Visagie, not to touch him on his studio.

Maroleng was the host of "Africa 360" at the time, interviewing Visagie about the murder of AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche alongside political analyst Lebohang Pheko.

Pheko confronted Visagie about the alleged abuse of farm workers in South Africa, and Maroleng had to intervene when Visagie lost his temper.

Maroleng's repeated statement to Visagie, "(Don't) touch me on my studio, (don't) touch me on my studio [sic]," and the AWB member's adamant response, "I'll touch you on your studio" trended on social media and sparked memes galore.

He's a smartypants

3. Maroleng holds BA (Hons) and MA degrees from the University of Cape Town, and did a fellowship in communications and media studies at Duke University, a private, world-renowned institution in North Carolina, U.S.