SABC recommendations adopted despite oppositions objections

Cape Town – The National Assembly on Wednesday adopted the recommendations for the SABC board despite opposition parties' objections that the ANC bulldozed through politically connected candidates.

The main objections were raised against Krish Naidoo, who does work as a legal consultant for the ANC, and Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, who said she would resign as a board member if elected to the ANC national executive committee in December and is believed to be involved in Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's bid to become president of the ANC.

These two are members of the interim SABC board, whose other members Khanyisile Kweyama, Mathatha Tsedu and John Matisonn also made it onto the recommendations list.

The other recommendations are: Michael Markovitz, Nomvuyiso Batyi, Rachel Kalidass, Victor Rambau, Jack Phalane, Dinkanyane Mohuba and Bongumusa Makhathini.

The DA also objected to Mohuba and Makhathini.

During his interview for a position on the board, Mohuba was questioned about his reported ties with former ANC premier of Limpopo Cassel Mathale. He denied any ties. 

Makhathini also serves as chairperson of the Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation. Ngema-Zuma is one of President Jacob Zuma's wives.

Hope for a new era

DA MP Phumzile van Damme said the ad hoc committee that investigated the previous SABC board had heard how former communications minister Faith Muthambi interfered in the SABC board's affairs, and the ANC now had an opportunity to ensure a fresh start for the SABC.

"It seems cadre deployment is yet again to appear at the SABC," she said.

"We hope that the board will prove us wrong."

EFF MP Reneiloe Mashabela asked that the House notes the EFF's objection to Naidoo and Potgieter-Gqubule, and expressed the party's regret that there were only four women out of the twelve recommendations.

She said the recommended board was nonetheless a strong team, as it had more strong individuals than questionable characters.

IFP MP Liezl van der Merwe said one could only hope for a new era at the SABC after former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng and "his partner in crime" Muthambi led an "orchestrated campaign" at the SABC.

She said Potgieter-Gqubule was a key figure in Dlamini-Zuma's campaign and that Naidoo remained an ANC stalwart.

'Where will you get people who are not close to the ANC?'

UDM MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa thanked the interim board for its hard work.

"This new board must not allow itself to be caught up in the factional battles of the ANC," he said.

ACDP MP Steve Swart said it seemed that the ANC was repeating its mistakes of the past.

ANC MP Moses Tseli said that his party viewed the recommendations as "men and women of integrity". 

"Where will you get people who are not close to the ANC? It is the ANC who brought us to where we are," he said.

He accused the DA and EFF of double standards, as they often praised the interim board – which featured Naidoo and Potgieter-Gqubule.

"It is wrong to come here and complain about the same [board] members," said Tseli.

Altogether 194 MPs voted to support the recommendations, while 76 voted against. There were no abstentions.

The recommendations will now be referred to Zuma, who appoints the board.

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