New SABC board Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson are close allies to President Zuma and his family

Issued by Phumzile Van Damme MP – DA Shadow Minister of Communications
17 Oct 2017 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by the DA Shadow Minister of Communications, Phumzile Van Damme MP.

The DA notes with grave concern the appointment of SABC board Chairperson, Bongumusa Makhathini and Deputy Chairperson, Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, who are close allies to President Zuma and his family. This comes after President Zuma has been in possession of the recommended candidates for over a month.

The SABC interim Board’s term of office came to an end on 26 September 2017 and the embattled entity has been without a board since.

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.

We 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.

We will be keeping a hawk’s eye on the board’s work.

It is now up to them to stand up against corruption and political interference.

The DA remains committed to ensuring that the SABC is not re-captured by individuals who don’t have South Africans’ interests at heart.