The SABC board has formally confirmed that it consulted the Minister of Communications, Mamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, on the appointment of Chris Maroleng as COO at the SABC.
At a meeting of Portfolio Committee on Communications today, the Chairperson of the Board, Bongumusa Makhathini confirmed that he had personally consulted with the Minister, as well as with other board members, on more than one occasion.
This means that the need for “consultation”, as required by the North Gauteng High Court’s interim order has been satisfied and she no longer has a role in the SABC’s executive appointments.
Minister Kubayi-Ngubane must, therefore, step back, and allow the board to do its work.
The interim order handed down by the North Gauteng High Court December last year, stated that:
- The executive members of the SABC Board are to be appointed by the non-executive members of the SABC Board.
- The Minister of Communications will have no right to veto a decision of the Board regarding the permanent or interim appointment of an executive member of the SABC Board.
- The Board will make any permanent or interim appointment of an executive member as envisaged in paragraph 1.1 above only after consultation with the Minister of Communications
It is clear that the Minister’s role in the process has ended as she has been consulted.
Any attempt by her to further involve herself in this appointment would thus constitute undue interference.
The DA will keep a close eye on the developments at the SABC, as it seems that the ANC is once again attempting to deploy political appointees to advance a certain agenda. We will not allow this to happen.
It is also the responsibility of the board to fulfil its duty to inform Parliament if any further interference from the Minister occurs and the Minister should refrain from meddling and allow the SABC board to do their jobs independently.