On board with SABC: who's who on the winding list of candidates

Waldo Swiegers

Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications will have its work cut out for it next week Tuesday when it interviews 24 candidates to fill eight vacancies on the board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

However, what might be even more fascinating than their résumés, is the professional history of some of the candidates. Some have had experience working in the SABC, while others have taken government bigwigs to court and won.

On Thursday morning the committee met to draft a list of 24 candidates to interview for the board positions. Here is a rundown on some of the candidates who have been called to take the hot seat next week Tuesday.

Lulama Mokhobo was appointed as the first woman CEO of the SABC in 2012 and resigned from the position in 2014. She resigned as then-Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a report entitled “When Governance and Ethics Fail”, which investigated, among other things, irregular appointments, promotions and salary hikes.

Mary Papayya is a media veteran and a member of the South African National Editors Forum council.

Gift Buthelezi is a former director general at the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services. In 2017 he was embroiled in a legal battle with then-minister Siyabonga Cwele for allegedly spending R4.3m to organise an international conference in the Eastern Cape in 2012. However, Cwele withdrew the lawsuit in 2017.

Itani Tsiesi testified at the SABC parliamentary inquiry in 2016 and is the public service broadcaster’s former SABC group executive for risk and governance. At the 2016 hearings, Tsiesi told MPs that Mbulaheni Maguvhe, Ellen Tshabalala and Ben Ngubane's tenures had paled in comparison to previous chairpersons, calling the said former chairs’ stints at the SABC disastrous. 

Mfanozwele Shozi served on a commission established to investigate allegations of sexual harassment. The commission found that SABC management ignored complaints of harassment and actively covered for alleged perpetrators.

Nokuzola Ehrins served as chairperson the broad-based black economic empowerment ICT Sector Council and CEO SA Women in ICT Forum.

Mmabatho Ramagoshi has experience at the SABC, once serving as a provincial general manager in Gauteng. She has also served as CEO of the South African Heritage Resources Agency, as secretary general of the International Alliance of Women and chair of the National Film and Video Foundation.

William Malema Ramashaba served on the board of directors at the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

Advocate Motshedi Lekalakala has graduated in tax and company law faculties at the University of Witwatersrand and Rand Afrikaans University.

Nkosana Mbokana is a member of the Institute for Information Technology Professionals of SA and a member of the Black Management Forum.

Mamodupi Mohlala-Molaudzi is the first black woman to chair the Gauteng Rental Housing Tribunal. She was also the legal representative of South African Football Association boss Danny Jordaan in the rape accusations against him. She also served as director general in the Department of Communications in 2009 under then-minister Siphiwe Nyanda. She successfully went to the Labour Court to argue that the minister and then-president Jacob Zuma did not have the powers to dismiss her.

Jasmina Patel served in multiple positions at PWC, including as senior manager of internal audit and risk advisory services.

Bernedette Muthien has extensive experience in the field of gender equality and social justice, working in organisations including Western Cape Network on Violence against Women, the Women’s International Network on Gender & Human Security, the Association for Women in Development and the International Peace Research Association. Additionally, she has served as a Deputy Director General in the Presidency and as a CRL Rights Commissioner. She has also served on the Iziko Museum board, among other things.

Advocate Nakedi Ribane completed her LLB degree at the University of South Africa and was admitted to the Pretoria Bar in 2015. Others will know her as an actress in iconic local dramas including Inkaba, Bophelo ke Semphekgo and Molo Fish.

Siphile Buthelezi is managing director and head of corporate and commercial at Buthelezi Vilakazi and practiced at Bowman Gilfillan in banking and finance, construction and engineering and private equity

Dr Sathasivan Cooper is renowned for his track record at the Natal Indian Congress, Black People’s Convention and Black Consciousness.

David Maimela is a researcher at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection, where the executive director is ANC economic policy heavyweight Joel Netshitenzhe.

Lufuno Nevondwe is a law lecturer at the University of Limpopo. In 2017, when the communications committee interviewed candidates for the Media Development and Diveristy Agency, Nevondwe heard during his interview for a position on the board that he had a criminal record. He explained that this arose from a R1500 fine for speeding.

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