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SABC Board members appointed

President Jacob Zuma has announced the new Board members of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

The President said in a statement on Tuesday he appointed the new Board members in terms of the South African Broadcasting Act (Act no. 4 of 1999), on the recommendation of the National Assembly.

Zuma said board members were appointed with immediate effect to serve the public broadcaster for a period of five years.

The President has designated Bongumusa Makhathini as Chairperson and Febe Potgieter-Gqubule as Deputy Chairperson of the Board.

Other appointed Board members are: Krish Naidoo, Khanyisile Kweyama, John Matisonn, Mathatha Tsedu, Rachel Kalidass, Michael Markovitz, Victor Rambau, Dinkwanyane Mohuba and Jack Phalane

President Zuma  said he wished all members of the Board all the best during their tenure at the public broadcaster.

The appointment comes three weeks after President Zuma missed the deadline.
The SABC interim Board’s term of office came to an end on September 26, 2017 and the embattled entity has been without a board since

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said it noted with grave concern the appointment of Makhathini and Potgieter-Gqubule as both Chairperson and deputy respectively, saying they are close allies to President Zuma and his family.

DA Shadow Minister of Communications Phumzile Van Damme  said despite the appointments finally being made, the DA has some concerns regarding the suitability and impartiality of the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson appointed by the President.

The Chairman, Bongumusa Makhathini, is also the Chairman of a foundation run by one of President Zuma’s wives, Bongi Ngema-Zuma. His proximity to the Zuma family is a concern.

The Deputy Chairperson, Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, has been a close ally and adviser to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, with strong political ties to the ANC. During the interviews, she even admitted that there is a possibility that she would resign from the SABC Board if she is elected to the ANC NEC.

“It is obvious that the President wilfully delayed the appointment the permanent SABC board because he wanted certain individuals on the board to serve his own interests, not those of the South African public. The SABC needs individuals who will carry out the mandate of the SABC, act within the prescripts of the Broadcasting Act and not bow to political pressure,” said Van Damme.

Van Damme said the DA further note that Nomvuyiso Batyi withdrew her application.

“The Portfolio Committee on Communications has agreed to deliberate on the pool of candidates from the last interviews to find a suitable replacement. It is reassuring that here are some very qualified and suitable individuals on the board and we wish them well all during their tenure,” added Van Damme.


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