How the board was chosen

2009-09-18 09:07

Anton Harber

How parliament chose its candidates for the SABC board - and the arm wrestling that went on behind the scenes - tells us a lot about power in this society, and how it is exercised.

Most of the opposition parties refrained from making nominations. “It is for the country to do, not us,” a COPE member said to me. But the ANC had spokesperson Jessie Duarte make some nominations from Luthuli House - and those candidates were dead certs to make the final list. Also there were SACP and Cosatu nominations, though these were done in conjunction with other civil society organisations, like the SOS (Save our SABC) Coalition.

The shortlist of 30 was divided up by agreement: the opposition parties were given 10 spaces, and the ANC filled 20. When it was completed the ANC realised it had left out a strong candidate - Feleng Sekha - and made her number 31. The opposition lost two of its candidates when they dropped out after the list was in.

After the interviews, when it came down to the final list, the opposition apparently suggested the same process: they would put forward four names and the ANC eight - to make up the total board of 12. It was agreed to go this route, and it seemed possible that there could be a board everyone would vote in favour of.

The opposition put their heads together and came up with their list of about five names. But they wanted to see the ANC list first so that they did not use up their names on candidates they favoured who the ANC was going to nominate anyway.

When they saw the list, they realised there were seven candidates on the ANC’s list of 12 that they felt they could support. it seemed possible, they thought, that the parties could reach consensus on the full list. But before they could finalise their four, the ANC came out of caucus on Thursday morning and said they were voting in their list of 12 and ditching their agreement to give four places to other parties, according to members of the opposition.

The IFP asked for only one thing: that their veteran former-MP and former communications spokesperson Suzanne Vos get on the board. The ANC gave them this, and in turn the IFP was the only opposition party to vote for all ANC nominations.

Read the rest of Anton's article here...

  • TD - 2009-09-18 10:31

    What does the word 'political' means, the opposition will want to make us believe that political means ANC. when they as politicians nominate someone is merital, but when ANC forward a name than it is a political deployment. Opposition parties are political groups. Actually anyone in this country is political even judges. So please spares us the hypocracy please thats why we did not vote for you in April.

  • DB - 2009-09-18 10:36

    To vote for all the members of your choice, Zille and co, win elections!! No one will care.

  • TD - 2009-09-18 10:38

    pls tell me what does 'political' means. When political opposition party nominate a person it is merital, but when ANC nominate then it is political. everybody is political in this country including judges. Spare us the hypocracy, thats why we will never vote for you and ANC will rule until the Lord comes back.

  • L_M - 2009-09-18 11:27

    "Political" means that their nomination is based on their membership or connections to a political party. Believe it or not, the VAST majority of business people are not card carrying members of any particular political party, since they don't need political connections to forward their careers. The opposition parties also agreed that 7 of the ANC nominations merited being on the board.

    P.s. Filling posts with 'politically educated' comerades is why so many state functions are batteling, all the political education in the world means nothing when it comes to delivery.

  • RB - 2009-09-18 11:53

    So by the sounds of this article,the oppostion parties are not"political".So what are they doing in parliament???

  • The Astounded Public - 2009-09-18 12:27

    And I thought this was supposed to be a profitable business...
    At this rate there is going to be no institution for protected labour and who knows...
    E-TV may become the propaganda station in the future. What I really can't understand is that they still make us pay TV tax for the rubbish on the air waves to subsidise this who’s who board of monkeys.

  • Hawu? - 2009-09-18 12:57

    @TD, I ask the same question too. Just coz the other parties are now too scared to pitch in for fear of being the minority, does not mean that the ANC will sit back and stop doing what they need to do. An honestly why are people outraged at the ANC's ability to weigh in more than others when it comes to issues like these? They won more seats, have a louder voice which means they are gonna come out first - ALL THE TIME!! Comprehendo? They can wish their majority status away, they were voted in by the majority people of this country, they have the mandate. Stop whining!

  • LoudP - 2009-09-18 13:31

    I read somewhere that "politics" is derived from the Greek/Latin? words: poli (many) and tics (blood-sucking parasites). Therefore "politics" = many blood-sucking parasites. End of discussion.

  • MikeF - 2009-09-18 13:45

    All political parties appoint people of their ilk. When the DA came to power in the Western Cape city & province, they paid off ANC appointees with huge golden handshakes, at tax payers expense. And they appointed DA people into these positions. So why is there no outcry when the DA does it. Why is there no outcry about wasting taxpayers money when the DA does this. Why is there no outcry of nepotism & cronyism when the DA does this. Or do these terms only jump into our vocabulary when the ANC does it???Seems like white is alright, & black is always shady.

  • Billy Hill - 2009-09-18 14:11

    Great article thank you Anton. It's good to see you in the press again and hope you are going to be making a more frequent positive impact on this f'd up society of ours again.

  • Tumi - 2009-09-19 08:05

    The SABC is irrelevant in every way. Who that matters watch SABC TV ? Who cares who is on this board ? The SABC does not affect my life in any meaningful way, as a matter of fact, I can't remember the last time I made use of the SABC's "services".

    If the author point is that the ANC is a bunch of irresponsible children I think we can all nod and move on. The ANC has come and the ANC will go. Like trees in the african savana, they sprang up over night after the fire and in the morning the elephants will come and mow them down.

  • Bassier - 2009-09-30 09:26

    The fact that the ANC is in control does not suprise me. I actually learnt something after reading this article, ANC now controls the air waves

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