The Parliament Portfolio Committee on Communications has heeded the request by The SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition to extend the nomination period of SABC board members till after the Parliamentary hearing on 23 November. The new closing date is 4pm on 6 December.
The Parliamentary Committee postponed its 10 November scheduled hearing which was to focus on the SABC’s governance crises and turnaround strategy to 23 November. The meeting will take place under acting chair of the Portfolio Committee on Communications, Sikhumbuzo Eric Kholwane.
SOS requested the nomination postponement on the basis that once the corporate governance breaches at the SABC had been dealt with by the Parliamentary Committee, it would be easier to find people with integrity, expertise and experience to stand for the SABC board.
Four SABC board members have resigned over the past four months and they have yet to provide reasons for their resignation. The board members who have resigned are deputy chairperson Ms Felleng Sekha, Barbara Masekela, David Niddrie and Makgatho Mello It is understood that their resignations were as a result of disagreement with the SABC board chairman, Dr Ben Ngubane’s unilateral appointment of the SABC head of news and his support of the suspended SABC CEO, Solly Mokoetle, amongst other issues which relate to Ngubane bypassing the board on important decisions.
SOS have also called upon the Parliamentary Committee to address gaps in the Broadcasting Act, 1999 that continue to cause crises around the appointment of executive members to the SABC Board. SOS has suggested that a clause should be added stating that accounting lines need to be clarified to ensure that executive management is appointed solely by the Board.