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HCI's Copelyn defends director Yunus Shaik

Concerns have been raised by HCI board members about Shaik’s credibility following accusations.

HCI's John Copelyn breaks down during the AGM. He could not complete reading his statement. Picture: Carmel Loggenberg/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Chief Executive Officer of eTV's holding company, John Copelyn, has come to the defence of executive director, Yunus Shaik.

Concerns have been raised by Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited (HCI) board members about Shaik's credibility following accusations made by the station's former boss Marcel Golding.

Golding resigned after being suspended for buying shares allegedly without board approval.

Accusations about editorial interference made by Golding, has painted Shaik in a doubtful light with fellow board members.

Golding accused Shaik of instructing the free-to-air broadcaster to cover certain stories which will place government in a good light.

But Copelyn said he sees nothing wrong with Shaik alerting Golding to business interests which may be affected by a program.

"I don't find that in anyway offensive."

Golding addressed board members for the last time during their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday following his resignation.

Copelyn broke down during the AGM on Thursday.

eTV NOT FOR SALE

At the same time, HCI said there are no plans to sell off the free-to-air broadcaster.

Golding accused HCI's single biggest shareholder, the South African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (Sactwu), of trying to influence eTV broadcasts, including pro-Zuma government stories.

Hot on the heels of eTV boss Golding's resignation, his wife and eTV Chief Operating Officer, Bronwyn Keene-Young, also handed in her resignation.

Golding was questioned at length by board members about his next move.

The burning question was whether he would be taking HCI to court for unfair dismissal.

A pensive Golding gave little away and simply stated he needed a break.

Golding left soon after addressing board members and gave longtime friend and former business partner, Copelyn, a stern handshake before leaving the building.