Call for SABC board nominations, again

2010-10-22 14:16

Johannesburg - Yet another round of nominations for positions on the SABC board was opened by Parliament's portfolio committee on communications on Friday.

"The portfolio committee on communications is inviting institutions and individuals to nominate suitable candidates to fill the vacancies of non-executive members of the SABC Board," read a statement.

This followed the resignation of board deputy chairperson Felleng Sekha, David Niddrie, Barbara Masekela and Magatho Mello. They were reportedly frustrated with the failure of the government and the committee to intervene to resolve the problems at the SABC.

Advertisements would be placed in weekend newspapers so the public could submit nominations.

Candidates must have knowledge of the following: broadcasting policy and technology; broadcasting regulation; media law; business practice and finance; marketing and journalism; entertainment and education; and social and labour issues.

"The candidates must also be committed to fairness, freedom of expression, openness and accountability."

The committee will compile a shortlist of candidates, conduct interviews and present its findings to the National Assembly for recommendation to the president for final appointment.

Nominations close on November 15 2010.

On May 22 the board announced a breakdown of trust with its chairperson Ben Ngubane, who failed to produce a performance review of the board's first six months in charge.

Committee chairperson Ismail Vadi was unhappy with this saying: "I don't want to set a precedent that if any entity does not want to report, all it has to say is that is does not have the documents."

The board has lurched from crisis to crisis over the years. This has included tussles over who the chief executive officer is, rejection by critics of former president Thabo Mbeki of a list of commentators he had approved, and apparent paralysis over a financial crisis at the broadcaster.

The SABC was reducing its losses, but still risked failing to repay loans secured against a government guarantee of R1bn.