Eight SABC board hopefuls take the hot seat

Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications will start the process of filling eight vacancies on the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s board on Tuesday, when the committee interviews 8 of its 24 shortlisted candidates.

Four board members – Mathatha Tsedu, Krish Naidoo, John Mattison and Khanyisile Kweyama – resigned from the board in December last year.

The resignations came after a brief and rocky stint at the public service broadcaster for the four former board members, where they told MPs that the SABC did not know how it would pay salaries beyond April.

The committee drafted a shortlist of 24 candidates last week, from an initial pool of over 300.

The shortlist includes former SABC CEO Lulama Mokhobo, media veteran and a member of the South African National Editors Forum council, Mary Papayya, and former director general at the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Gift Buthelezi, among others. 

The committee initially wanted to draft a shortlist of candidates last week Tuesday, but this was put on hold after EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi suggested conducting interviews after elections, as conducting them before the polls would result in an ill-considered, rushed job.

Democratic Alliance MP Phumzile van Damme took exception to the suggestion, saying that to leave the SABC board with vacant positions for much longer would leave the organisation weaker and ill-equipped to recover.

Van Damme tweeted the list of candidates to be interviewed on Tuesday.

The shortlist was published on Thursday and the committee elected to hold the interviews this week. A recommendation from Ndlozi that the committee conduct "exit interviews" with board members that resigned was also eventually declined.

The interviews are billed to run from Tuesday and Wednesday, with a ten-and-a-half-hour marathon session of interviews on each day.

The names of the 24 candidate are:

  • Gift Buthelezi
  • Mary Papayya
  • Itani Tseisi
  • Rowan Nicholls
  • Mfanozwele Shozi
  • Nokuzola Ehrens
  • Mmabatho Ramagoshi
  • William Malema Ramoshaba
  • Maria Socikwa
  • Lulama Mokhobo (former CEO)
  • Motshedi Lekalakala
  • Nkosana Mbokana
  • Mathews Mofokeng
  • Mamodupi Mohlala-Molaudzi
  • Jasmina Patel
  • Bernedette Muthien
  • Nakedi Ribane
  • Siphile Buthelezi
  • Sathasivan Cooper
  • David Maimela
  • Lufuno Nevondwe
  • Sembie Danana
  • Chief Livhuwani Matsila
  • Mpiyakhe Mkholo
* This article has been updated to include the list of the eight candidates to be interviewed on Tuesday.
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