The ANC seems to have abandoned its partisan approach to appointing board members to the SABC.This week, ANC MPs discarded names of well-known candidates who are associated with the governing party and whom it had proposed in the initial short-listing process. These included former head of SABC news Snuki Zikalala, former president of the ANC Youth League Ronald Lamola, former SAA board member Yakhe Kwinana and Nogolide Nojozi, a former South African envoy in Toronto. Actor Tony Kgoroge was also dropped by the party, despite being one of the first names it initially proposed for shortlisting.An ANC source suggested that Kgoroge’s name was proposed by someone in the department of communication. Parliament’s communications portfolio committee shortlisted 36 candidates this week to fill the 12 nonexecutive director spots on the board. The interviews will begin on Wednesday. Among them are the five members of the interim board – Khanyisile Kweyama, Mathata Tsedu, Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, John Matisonn and Krish Naidoo – whose six-month term comes to an end next month. Others who made the cut include Isidingo actor Jack Devnarain, Independent Communications Authority of SA councillor Nomvuyiso Batyi and two former SABC board members Rachel Kalidass and Desmond Golding.THE SHORT LISTMathatha Tsedu, Krish Naidoo, Khanyisile Kweyama, Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, John Matisonn, Nomvuyiso Batyi, Rachel Kalidass, Thabiso Ramotso, Kharidza Rufus, Michael Markovitz, Willie Currie, Sandile Kama, Deenadaylen Konar, Harriet Meier, Dawn Earp, Michael Bauer, Judge Chris Greenland, Desmond Golding, Manaka Mathumo, Victor Rambau, Tshifhiwa Khoromba, Mcebo Khumalo, Seipati Khumalo, Thidzimba Nethengwe, Cikizwa Dingi, Louise Vale, Yaasir Haffajee, Kwanele Gumbi, Jack Devnarain, Bongumusa Makhathini, Nkosana Mbokane, Michael Sass, Jim Matsho, Jack Phahlane, Dinkwanyane Mohuba and Leanne GovindsamyCity Press has reliably learnt that, unlike in previous processes, this time around the party has no list of preferred names for the board. This was confirmed when an ANC MP, who did not want to be named, said: “If they had given us a list, we would have tossed it out of the window. We are looking for South Africans with impeccable track records. "We are not here to serve the ANC, but we have been elected by the people of this country to serve South Africa.”Inkatha Freedom Party MP Liezl van der Merwe, who was part of the parliamentary process to recruit a board of directors for the SABC in 2013, has also noticed that, this time around, the ANC was “more open”.“The previous times, it was a very hostile environment with a clear indication that the ANC had a list from Luthuli House and was unable to compromise,” she said. “This time, they were more amenable to a negotiated, open process – in my view. It almost seems like they are committed to the process,” added Van der Merwe. She credited the change to the ANC component in the committee. “They are strong people. Nowhere before would they let go of their cadres it speaks to the strength of the committee since October 5 last year.”The ANC in Parliament strengthened its component in the communications committee on the eve of the watershed October 5 parliamentary meeting, in which two SABC board members resigned and the decision to establish an inquiry into the public broadcaster was made. Some of the SABC’s weaknesses and shortcomings have been blamed on the roles played by politicians in appointing SABC executive and nonexecutive directors, and in the general running of the corporation.Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma has authorised the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to probe certain matters in respect of procurement at the SABC. This comes three months after the interim board announced that it had referred some of the SABC business contracts to the SIU for investigation. The presidency said the SIU would investigate the procurement of, or contracting for goods, works or services by or on behalf of the SABC from various companies or service providers, as well as payment made in a manner that was not fair, transparent, competitive and equitable or cost effective.It will also investigate any undisclosed or unauthorised interest that members of the personnel of the SABC may have had with regard to contractors, suppliers or service providers who submitted bids for work or did business with the SABC.The proclamation further authorises the SIU to investigate allegations of serious maladministration in the SABC, as well as improper or unlawful conduct by board members, officials or employees of the SABC.TALK TO USDo you believe the ANC is finally moving away from cadre deployment?SMS us on 35697 using the keyword SABC and tell us what you think. Please include your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50 *City Press’ coverage of the SABC board interviews was done in partnership with SOS coalition, a civil society coalition committed to, and campaigning for, public broadcasting that is in the public interest. Visit the SOS coalition for more.