Parliament must urgently meet over SABC leadership vacuum

2016-12-19 22:28

SABC (Waldo Swiegers)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – The Save Our SABC (SOS) coalition says the speaker of parliament needs to call an urgent meeting with the portfolio committee on communications to start working on appointing an interim board at the public broadcaster.

“The SABC has been really shaped by improper and bad governance and it would be in keeping with that improper and bad governance for there not to be an interim board,” said SOS spokesperson Sekoetlane Phamudi.

On Monday the presidency confirmed that chairperson of the SABC board Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe had resigned. He was the only remaining non-executive board member at the public broadcaster.

Former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who Maguvhe had praised for doing a stellar job, refused to comment on the matter.

“I am not going to comment on any matter that concerns the SABC,” Motsoeneng said to News24.

He said he would only break his silence on recent developments, including Maguvhe’s resignation, when he felt the time was right.

“Don’t worry… be patient, you are rushing. Don’t rush,” he said.

Parliament will have the task of putting together an interim board, which it will then propose to the president for approval.

Six months

This board can only function for 6 months and in that period the portfolio committee on communications is expected to start the process of vetting, interviewing and nominating new board members, who will also be sent to the president to be appointed as permanent members.

Phamudi said in this period, when there is no board to make decisions on behalf of the public broadcaster, the memoranda of incorporation (MOI) and the companies act provide direction as to who can make crucial decisions at the SABC.

“The MOI and SABC’s delegation of authority framework allow for decisions to be handed down to the next senior position, which would be the chief executive or acting and it goes further down in terms of the delegation of authority framework,” he explained.

James Aguma is currently the acting Chief Operations Officer. 

Phamudi said the SOS welcomed Maguvhe’s resignation even though they would have preferred it to have happened sooner.

“It comes a good number of months too late, we have been calling for him to resign for some months now. He had completely refused to do so, saying he would only go when the president asks him to,” said Phamudi.

South Africans must focus their attention on making sure the ad hoc committee looking into the SABC board continues to do its work, he continued.

A sentiment Media Monitoring’s William Board agrees with.

Structural changes

The committee must still give their report and work must be done towards implementing its recommendations.

“If we are just saying goodbye to Maguvhe and Hlaudi (Motsoeneng), then we will have a similar problem at a later stage,” said Bird.

Forensic audits, review of contracts and appointments of senior managers must be transparent and scrutinised heavily, he added.

Bird believed the only way to turn the SABC around would be through structural changes.

Even though Bird also questioned the amount of time it took for Maghuve to step down, he said in a bizarre twist, South Africans should be grateful to the professor for refusing to resign earlier.

“Had he not done that, there wouldn’t be an inquiry and the stuff happening at the SABC would have remained hidden,” said Bird.

Read more on:    sabc  |  media

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Enter the examination number or search by province or school (NSC Students) to view results.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.