Is SABC soccer analyst Siphiwe Mkhonza facing the axe?

Alleged absenteeism could cost former Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs defender Siphiwe Mkhonza a job as SABC soccer analyst.

Sunday World has learned that the public broadcaster’s sports department has allegedly notified Mkhonza via e-mail of his pending exit after he was accused of rubbing the management up the wrong way by being absent without leave.

Even though management is happy with Mkhonza’s contribution, it has been established that the SABC’s upper management allegedly decided not to keep him because of his purported lack of professionalism.

Three weeks prior, Mkhonza, a regular contributor to the Monday night Soccer Zone show, was nowhere to be found.

The show producers ran like headless chickens in search of a last-minute replacement.

Substitute called in

Luckily, they got hold of another contributor, Mark Haskins, to plug the gap.

At the SABC headquarters in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, a trustworthy source stated: “Siphiwe will only be responsible for his own termination.

“Almost everyone at the studio warmed up to him because of his personality and witty analysis, but he messed up because of lies. When they called him, he couldn’t be found.

“He would return the calls very late, claiming to have been busy undergoing a medical operation.

“With changes set to be made in March, he has since been notified via e-mail that should he not hear from the sports desk, he must know that his services are no longer needed.

Losing money

A close friend of Mkhonza said: “His absenteeism has cost him a chance to make more money with the Afcon [Africa Cup of Nations] tournament currently underway in Ivory Coast.

“From a personal point of view, this money would have eased the financial burden on his shoulders.”

The SABC Sports panel of analysts is made up of Itumeleng Khune, Bernard Parker, Willard Katsande, Steve Komphela, Manqoba Mngqithi, Esrom Nyandoro, Simphiwe Dludlu, and Thabo Senong, among others.

Mkhonza has been with SABC Sports since 2013, having introduced himself to viewers on Laduma before moving to Soccer Zone.

Mkhonza was not available for a comment. The story will be updated once a comment has been received from him.

When contacted for comment, Mmoni Seapolelo, acting group executive for corporate affairs and marketing at the SABC, stated: “The SABC can confirm Siphiwe Mkhonza is still under contract with the corporation’s sports department, and as a matter of principle, we are not in any position to discuss the employment contracts of our employees and independent contractors in the public space.”

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