The South African Broadcasting Cooperation (SABC) said on
Saturday that it was shocked to hear about an alleged assassination attempt on chief
audit executive Thami Zikode.
According to local media reports, Zikode was followed home
after leaving the SABC in Auckland Park on Friday night. He was unharmed after
being fired at in his driveway.
Gauteng police confirmed to TimesLIVE that one suspect had been arrested.
Reasons for the alleged assassination attempt
Zikode was believed to be working on a forensic
investigation into fraud at the SABC, according to a report on EWN.
He has been leading the audit department for the last 18 months. The public
broadcaster has faced several allegations of corruption over the last few
years. It has struggled financially and there were even fears of a “total blackout”
as a result of good governance issues.
Board chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini said the attempted
assassination was indeed a response to clean up efforts.
In an interview with the SABC, Makhathini said no amount of
intimidation would stop them from bringing order to the broadcaster.
“If you look at what Zikode’s role is about at the SABC and him being attacked, it is clear that there are people fighting back the efforts of trying to clean up this space. But at the end of the day, no amount of intimidation will stop us from doing what is right.”
According to a report in the City Press on Sunday, one of the assailants told Zikode that they were “not there for his car”. Local media cited several sources as saying the SABC boss fired back and foiled the attempt, injuring one of the hitmen.
It is not clear who ordered the hit at this stage, but reports claim the hit was ordered by a “mystery woman”. One arrest has been made so far.