Former SABC boss Solly Mokoetle was found in a Durban hospital after being reported missing on Saturday, with his wife saying it was possible that he had suffered a stroke.
Police confirmed on Wednesday that Mokoetle was found at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital and that they were still investigating a missing person enquiry. When an officer visited the hospital, Mokoetle was unable to speak.
Mokoetle’s wife, Zola Ntuli, said she was “relieved” to know that he was alive and that she believed he might have suffered a “minor stroke”.
She told the Daily News on Wednesday that she had been to the Phoenix-based hospital three times over the weekend to look for him, but was told the only two unidentified persons at the hospital were female.
Ntuli said her son alerted her to the fact that Mokoetle was missing on Friday when he wanted to lock up at their luxury home in Mount Edgecombe, KwaZulu-Natal. She phoned her husband’s cellphone but it was in the lounge, where he had been sitting.
She thought he may have gone for a walk in the gated estate, but at 1am he had still not returned. Ntuli said she checked beaches, hospitals and mortuaries on Saturday and then lodged a missing person’s report at the Phoenix police station.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi said that she was “concerned and shocked” at Mokoetle’s disappearance. He was currently employed as the head of the broadcasting digital migration project’s management office.
“Since his disappearance on Friday 17 June the department has been in touch with his family in an effort to assist with attempts to locate him.
“As the ministry of communications we are concerned about his welfare. We call upon anyone who may have seen him recently or know his whereabouts to contact the family or the police,” said Muthambi.
Mokoetle was the SABC’s COO between 2001 and December 2006, until he left, apparently on bad terms with the board. He was appointed CEO in 2009. In 2010, the new SABC board challenged Mokoetle’s appointment as CEO, saying due process wasn’t followed and that his record of corporate governance was poor.
The board also alleged that he had failed to implement a turnaround strategy for the state broadcaster.
Mokoetle resigned from his position in January 2011 with a R3.4 million package.
– African News Agency (ANA)