Parliament says that it recognizes the urgent need to appoint a new board for the SABC in the wake of the last remaining member and chairperson, Mbulaheni Maghuve’s resignation, but noted that the portfolio committee for communications has not had an opportunity to meet.
Maghuve was the last remaining non-executive member of the board. He resigned after facing an interrogation by a parliamentary ad hoc committee’s investigation into the fitness of the board to perform its duties. During his appearance, Maghuve maintained that he was not aware of the challenges that faced the broadcaster. Most parties welcomed his resignation while still calling for him to be held accountable for the damage done at the SABC.
The Save Our SABC coalition – a coalition of NGOs, CBOs, Trade Unions, Trade Union Federations, and individuals that is committed to and campaigning for public broadcasting that is in the interests of the public – has called on the Speaker of Parliament to encourage the portfolio committee to meet speedily in order to appoint an interim board.
Spokesperson for SOS, Sekoetlane Phamudi, told News24 on Monday that “the SABC has been really shaped by improper and bad governance and it would be in keeping with that improper bad governance for there not to be an interim board.”
They suggested that the interim board only serve for a period of six months, which would give the portfolio committee ample time for the selection and vetting process to be completed.
Parliament spokesperson, Manelisi Wolela, however, said in a statement that it was unhelpful to speculate on times. He did say though that “Parliament takes seriously the significance and the urgency of setting up an appropriate accounting authority for normal operations of the SABC.”
Parliament is currently in recess for the festive season.