The Office of the ANC Chief Whip has issued a statement welcoming the endorsement of candidates for the boards of the South African Broadcasting Cooperation (SABC) and the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) by Parliament on 9 March.
It comes as no surprise that the ANC favours the SABC candidates. Earlier in the week IAfrica reported that the Democratic Alliance MP objected to Lumko Mtimde’s appointment on the basis that he was “a known proponent of the proposed media tribunal”.
Cope expressed the view that the four new SABC board members were handpicked to please ANC leaders, while the Freedom Front Plus accused the ruling party of trying to tighten control over the broadcaster ahead of the May local government elections.
The ANC statement reads:
The National Assembly approved the names of Dr Sethe Patricia Makhesha, John Sembi Danana, Adv Cawekazi Benedicta Mahlathi and Lumko Caesario Mtinde for the vacant positions of SABC board directors. The vacancies occurred as a result of the resignations of former board members, Felleng Sekha (former deputy chairperson), Barbra Masekela, David Niddrie and Mello Makgatho.
The National Assembly also approved the names of Nomonde Pearl Gongxeka and Dr Marcia Socikwa for the board of Icasa.
Parliament’s approval of the new board members for these two institutions is a culmination of a transparent, open and inclusive process aimed at finding capable men and women who will provide the necessary leadership to these important public entities.
The approved candidates for the SABC, in particular, bring with them the required skills, expertise and experience which will boost the broadcaster’s ongoing endeavour to transform itself operationally. The candidates hold the much needed knowledge in various fields, including corporate governance, journalism and communications, broadcasting administration and intellectual property laws.
We have noted the views by some opposition parties with regard to certain candidates. We accept that it is impossible that all candidates will be favoured by everyone. Parties are therefore urged to rise above petty politicking and support the entire board in its mission to build an effective and efficient public broadcaster.
The names of the four SABC board candidates will be sent to President Jacob Zuma by Parliament, in terms of the Broadcasting Act, for consideration and appointment before they take up their positions on the board.
Parliament will also send the two Icasa candidates to the Minister of Communications, in terms of the Icasa Act, for selection of one candidate to fill the vacant position in the Icasa board. The Minister will then recommend the selected candidate back to Parliament for approval before the candidate can commence duties in the board.
The Office of the Chief Whip wishes these SABC and Icasa candidates well and extend its thanks to those who served before them.
PROFILES OF SABC CANDIDATES:
1. John Sembie Danana
Danana has an understanding of strategic management, transformation and business sector. His qualifications include a Bachelor of Journalism and BA Honours in Social Anthropology from the Rhodes University, as well as Masters in Business Administration from Roosevelt University in Chicago. He is a former university lecturer and has served at the executive leadership level in various companies since 1991. The companies include Harmony Gold Mining Group, Foodcorp and First Uranium Corporation. He is currently vice president for business transformation at the First Uranium Corporation and is a member of the Mbambushe Investment Company.
2. Adv Cawekazi Benedicta Mahlathi
Adv Mahlathi’s qualifications include a LLB Degree from the University of Lesotho and a Degree in international law and diplomacy from Diplomatic Academy in Australia. She is the former acting CEO at the BOP Broadcasting Corporation, CEO of the Gauteng Tourism Authority, Manager of Corporate Affairs at M-Net and Member of the Board of M-Net. She also served as a Public Prosecutor for the Zimbabwe Justice Ministry, Associate Corporate Lawyer in the USA, and Legal Advisor in South Africa. She was appointed by former president, Nelson Mandela, to the Censorship Board. She also headed convergence sub-committee on stakeholder forum under former minister Jay Naidoo and was part of the Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcast Migration Committee under the late minister Ivy Matsepe-Cassaburi. Adv. Mahlathi is currently in ICT business.
3. Lumko Caesario Mtinde
Mtinde’s academic qualifications include BSc Degree in Biochemistry and Physiology from UWC, Post-graduate Diploma in Telecommunications Information Technology Policy from UNISA, and has completed a Course in Media Advertising Programme from Colombia University. He is a member of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa, Communications Science Advisory Board at Unisa, serves on the boards of the Eastern Cape Information Techonology Initiative, and the SA Advertising Research Foundation. He is a former member of the Icasa Board and a Councillor for the Independent Broadcasting Authority. He also held position of CEO for National Community Radio Forum, Chief Director for Broadcasting Policy at the Ministry of Communications, vice president for (Southern and Eastern Africa) World Association of Community Radio Broadcasting. He is also a founder member of the National Community Radio Forum, Bush Radio and AMARC Africa. He is currently CEO for the Media Development and Diversity
4. Dr Sethe Patricia Makhesha
Dr. Patricia Makhesha has 16 years’ work experience in various Transformation & Communication fields, which include developing and implementing the Marketing strategies, branding, internal and external communications, Corporate Social Investment, Market Research and Event Management. She holds a doctorate degree from MU Business School, National Diploma in Public Relations Management from Technikon SA; Executive Programs from Harvard, Wits and VCT Business Schools respectively. Prior to her being Senior Executive: Transformation at Komatiland, she was with Global Forest Products as Group Corporate Development Manager (10/2004), before then Manager: Marketing & Communication at ABSA Group (12/2000); Journalist at SABC (02/1996); and Public Relations Practitioner at South African Air Force (0511994). Dr Makhesha is a full member of the Prestigious Women’s Room – Konrad Adenauer Foundation and a member of the Young Women’s Academy. She won the Women in Water Award for 2005, in the category of Policy and Management. She is also the youngest board member of the Rand Water Board and TCTA – Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority. She was also a volunteer Africa Regional Director for United Way Worldwide, an award winner of Women in Water 2005 Policy and Management. She also had her own company named MMMS (Mothibi Multi Media Services) from 2007 which is currently dormant.
PROFILES OF ICASA CANDIDATES:
1. Nomonde Pearl Gongxeka
Gongxeka has a BA in Communications (Unisa), a Diploma in Journalism (Allenby Campus), and is studying towards a Masters Degree in ICT Policy & Regulation. She has completed a number of programmes – including Broadcast Policy & Regulation Framework & Trends (Wits Graduate School of Public & Development Management), and Board Leadership Programme (Gordon Institute of Business Science).
She has previously held positions of Project Manager at Soul City, Programming Manager for SABC1, Senior Consultant for Meropa Communications, Project Manager for LoveLife and Funding and Partnership Executive for the SABC. She also lectured at the National Electronic Media Institute of SA, trained child TV producers and freelanced for various publications, including Sowetan and The Star.
Gongxeka is a member of the MDDA board. She is currently Group Stakeholder Manager for the SABC’s Group Public Affairs.
2. Marcia Socikwa
Socikwa’s academic qualifications include a PHD in Telecommunications (University of Sterling, UK), Bachelor of Arts (Wits), BA Hons (Wits), and a Diploma in Applied Telecommunications (Cape & Wireless College, UK).
She previously held positions of Acting Executive Director of Corporate Affairs at Unisa, Expert Consultant for CSIR, Deputy Head of Department at Unisa, lecturer at Unisa and Wits and researcher for STEP (Wits). She has published and presented many papers, including on developing telecentres in SA and on international relations and communications policy.
She has served as vice-chairperson for Women in ICT, chairperson of the Socio-Economic Human Rights and Secretary for Black Forum.
Socikwa is currently completing her term as Icasa Councillor.