Public must help choose SABC interim board members

2017-01-12 16:06
SABC. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

SABC. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg – The EFF has called on the public to help narrow down the field of candidates for the SABC interim board.

"The EFF... calls on members of the public to submit to the EFF names of individuals who are seasoned and available to serve in the SABC interim board," the party said in a statement on Thursday.

Capable individuals should also make themselves available for the task, the statement said.

"If capable men and women do not avail themselves, then we will all be reduced to the inevitable result of being led by mediocre and weak individuals, prone to manipulation by dominant factions of the ruling party," said the EFF.

The SABC has been without a board since its last remaining non-executive member, chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe, resigned in December 2016.

The public broadcaster's board faced a parliamentary inquiry looking into the board's fitness to hold office.

Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai described the board as non-functional and non-existent when the former chairperson tried to halt the inquiry from going ahead.  

Mediocrity, corruption 

Maguvhe has since appeared before the parliamentary committee looking into the matter, but denied having any knowledge of some of the developments at the SABC, including the firing of eight journalists who had questioned editorial policy changes made by former chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Parliament now has the task of appointing an interim board, which many hope will help clean up the image of the public broadcaster.

The EFF said it understood that many of those able to restore the integrity of the SABC were reluctant to sit on the boards of government institutions, blaming undue political interference for the hesitation.

"The ruling party has over the years protected mediocrity, corruption and under-qualified individuals at the expense of quality and integrity," it wrote.

It also blamed the collapse of the board on the alleged insistence by the ANC that under-experienced and weak board members - who it had "manipulated" - be appointed.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary inquiry into the SABC board continues this week. Former chairpersons Ellen Tshabalala and Ben Ngubane are expected to appear.

Read more on:    eff  |  sabc

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