The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI)Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â has submittedÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â list of seven nominees for the SABC board, after soliciting suggestions from a range of civil society organisations, according to a release
These included: the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu), the Media Workers' Association of South Africa (MWASA), the South African NGO Coalition (Sangoco). Not all these organisations necessarily support all the nominees.
Over the past few years, the SABC has been lurching from one scandal to another. The blame for these scandals – including blacklisting of commentators, the refusal to release the blacklisting report prepared by a commission of enquiry appointed by the SABC itself, the banning of the documentary on President Thabo Mbeki, the banning of news items which showed Deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka being booed at a rally, the PSL debacle – lies squarely with the SABC's management. However, the SABC Board, the top governance structure of the corporation, is equally culpable. Members of the Board are certainly to blame when, not only is no action taken against an employee who causes the SABC to violate its licence conditions, the Broadcasting Act and the South African Constitution, but the Board says it has full confidence in the perpetrator.
In the latest scandal, the SABC's Internal Audit division has reported gross irregularities and self-enrichment – costing the broadcaster millions of rands – by a particular staff member. The SABC was informed of this in April. To date, no action has been taken and the staffer in still in his position. The Board has to take responsibility for this as well.
We therefore believe that the entire SABC Board needs to be replaced by new people who will ensure that the new Board will be one of integrity and be committed to ensuring transparency and committed to transforming the SABC into a true public broadcaster which is independent of government, political parties, economic and other sectional interests. Further, conflicts of interest – which plague the current Board – are not acceptable.
We believe that the nominees that we are putting forward fulfil these requirements. The nominees are:
Advocate Dumisa Buhle Ntsebeza SC: An advocate of the High Court, Ntsebeza has also served as an Acting Judge, law lecturer and Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Advocate Lebohang Clyde Mandla Seleoane: He is a campus director of the Tshwane University of Technology and runs a labour relations consultancy. Seleoane has broad experience in student, political, community and labour organisations. He also served as Chairperson of the FXI.
Cunningham Thozamile Ngcukana: For the past two years, Ngcukana has worked for Investec Asset Management, investigating investment opportunities with unions. Previously, he was Deputy Director General in the Presidency, responsible for Nepad. Ncgukana is most well known as a trade unionist, having been the General Secretary of Nactu from 1988 to 2004.
Professor Adam Mahomed Habib: an academic, Habib has served as the head of the Centre for Civil Society at the University of Kwazulu-Natal and currently is the head of the Governance Programme at the Human Sciences Research Council. From September, he will take up a position as Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation at the University of Johannesburg. He is also a well-known political commentator.
Makoma Lekalakala : Is an activist with a number of organisations. She is the convenor of the Social Movements Indaba in Johannesburg, campaigner for Umzabalazo we Jubilee, Board member of Ceasefire and of the Khanya Women's Consortium.
Randall Howard: Is the General Secretary of the South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union. He has been a unionist since the 1980s and has also served as a member of the Management Committee and Executive Council of Nedlac, and a member of Cosatu's Central Executive Committee.
Mary Bernadette Papayya: having been engaged in a number of media / journalism roles for the past 19 years, Papaya is currently working as Bureau Chief of the Sowetan. She is also General Secretary of the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) and a board member of the Media Institute of Southern Africa. She has served as senior journalist, bureau chief, editor/news Manager in both print and radio.