SABC gets interim board

Mar 19 2013 19:00

The SABC board was officially dissolved by the National Assembly after the majority of the board resigned in the past few days. (Picture: Supplied)

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Cape Town - An interim five-member SABC board was approved by the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Its members are Zandile Tshabalala, Noluthando Gosa, Vusi Mavuso, Ronnie Lubisi and Iraj Abedian.

The names were adopted by Parliament's portfolio committee earlier on Tuesday, following nominations made by ANC whip Gregory Schneeman.

The names, which will be sent to President Jacob Zuma to make the official appointments, were then presented to the full National Assembly for approval.

Tshabala was the ANC's choice for board chairperson.

Earlier in the committee, Schneeman said Tshabalala had extensive experience in banking, strategic development, international business and investments.

Gosa was nominated as deputy chairperson. This would now be her third stint as a board member.

"She would bring with her extensive experience and understanding on the workings of the SABC," Schneeman said.

Mavuso is a former chair of the board of directors of Transparency International (South Africa) and served on the Public Service Commission, where he sat on the ethics committee.

"He's also had significant experience in dealing with issues of ethics, dealing with issues of corruption."

Lubisi is a chartered accountant, expected to bring his financial experience to the board.

The ANC compromised with the opposition and withdrew the name of one of it's nominees, and replaced him with the Congress of the People's choice, economist Iraj Abedian.

"He's an economist and public finance management expert... a board member of the Development Bank of South Africa..." Cope MP Juli Killian told the committee.

Killian conceded her party had not contacted Abedian to ask whether he would in fact accept nomination to serve on the board.

Cope would not support the appointment of the other four interim board members.

Both the Democratic Alliance and the Inkatha Freedom Party have rejected the list on the basis that it was too hastily constituted.

The SABC board was officially dissolved by the National Assembly after the majority of the board resigned in the past few days.

Before the disbanding, one of the last two remaining board members, Suzanne Vos, gave the committee her views on the events leading up to the resignations.

She accused Communications Minister Dina Pule of interfering in the board's operations.

"At the heart of this crisis, if one can call it that, is the view, not only my own, I believe, that ministerial interference in board decision-making and the functioning of the SABC has become extremely problematic," Vos said.

She took aim at former board chairperson Ben Ngubane.

"The singular, unilateral, decision-making of the chairman, Dr Ben Ngubane, has been previously brought to the attention of this committee of Parliament," Vos told MPs.

Addressing the committee earlier, Pule denied she was guilty of political interference, an allegation made by Vos and at least one other board member, Cedric Gina, who also recently resigned.

"If I had interfered, some of the things at the board would not have happened... I wish I had interfered," Pule said.

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