SOS Coalition: Comments on the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications and Digital Technologies’ process to appoint a new SABC BoardSeptember 12, 2022
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The SOS Coalition has objected to the shortlisting of four candidates pertaining to the appointment of 12 Non-Executive SABC Board members. Of the four, two are currently serving as Board members.
The serving Board members are namely Ms Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi and Mr Kgalema Mohuba. SOS is concerned about their lack of integrity and transparency, and wrongdoing in their engagements outside the SABC.
The other two candidates SOS is concerned about are Ms Nomvuyiso Batyi due to a conflict of interest and Ms Thandeka Gqubule-Mbeki for serious allegations that were left unresolved when she resigned from the SABC in 2021.
SOS has further raised concerns about the time frames of the appointments, emphasising that the public must be afforded at least 14 working days within which to make written submissions on shortlisted candidates before the interviews proceed. We were given less than 2 working days.
The SOS Coalition is vigilantly guarding against procedures that can potentially compromise the appointment process and wants to ensure that both the Committee members and the public have enough time to deliberate on the names of suitable candidates.
As an organisation that seeks to strengthen the public broadcaster, we want to ensure that skilled candidates with a broad range of expertise, who understand SABC’s democracy building role in fulfilling its public mandate, are appointed to join the Board.
SABC needs a strong and independent Board that will protect it from political and any other interference and ensure that the public interest is upheld.
The incoming Board must continue the good work that has been commenced by the previous Board and cultivate further organisational stability.
Attached is the SOS submission to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee (PPC) on Communications and Digital Technologies dated 12 September 2022. It provides evidence of our objections and alerts the Committee that we reserve the right to bring urgent legal proceedings to interdict Parliament from recommending patently unsuitable candidates to the President for appointment to the SABC Board.