Committee recommends four new SABC board members

2011-03-01 14:49

Parliament’s communications portfolio committee today recommended four new appointees to the board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Those whose names will now go to the National Assembly for approval are:
» Safcol senior executive Dr Sethe Makhesha;

» Businessman John Danana;

» Advocate and business consultant Cawekazi Mahlati; and

» Media Development and Diversity Agency CEO Lumko Mtimde.

The appointments are replacements for former SABC board deputy chair Felleng Sekha, and members Barbara Masekela, David Niddrie, and Makgatho Mello, who all resigned last year.

In a statement today, the Democratic Alliance said it had concerns about the nomination of Mtimde.

“We must voice our strong concerns over the nomination of ANC and SACP member, Lumko Mtimde, a candidate greatly supported by the ANC Youth League and steamrolled [sic] into this nomination by the ANC despite strong objections over his compromised record on media freedom,” DA communications spokesperson Natasha Michael said in a statement.

In a column on the ANC’s website last year, Mtimde welcomed the ruling party’s mooted media appeals tribunal, saying the country “should welcome the proposal and debate its modality such that the outcome serves the intended objectives”.

Michael said it was “inappropriate” for someone who was in favour of a body that “shuts down and regulates expression and speech” to be appointed to the SABC board.

“The public broadcaster should be mandated to relay all information and news accurately and fairly, without any fear of state censorship.

“On these grounds, the nomination of Mr Mtimde by an ANC majority vote seems counter-productive, especially given the currently hazardous state of the SABC and its reputation,” she said.

However, her party was pleased with the nomination of Makhesha.

“If approved, we hope she will bring a sense of integrity and even-handedness to the board,” she said.

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