Mthembu calls ‘best brains’ to oc­cupy se­nior SOE po­si­tions

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS -

THE ANC wants peo­ple with the “best brains” to oc­cupy se­nior and man­age­rial po­si­tions in the SABC and other state owned en­ti­ties.

This was the view of the ANC pol­icy com­mit­tee on com­mu­ni­ca­tions, headed by Jackson Mthembu, when re­act­ing to ques­tions from jour­nal­ists about pos­si­ble crim­i­nal ac­tions against those ac­cused of de­fraud­ing the public broad­caster of mil­lions of rand.

The ANC com­mit­tee on com­mu­ni­ca­tion’s com­ments came as Par­lia­ment was al­ready un­der­tak­ing mea­sures to re­store in­tegrity in var­i­ous state owned en­ti­ties like the SABC and SAA.

Last week, 11 mem­bers of the SAA board failed to ap­pear be­fore the par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee on fi­nance, ap­par­ently in protest against board chair­per­son Dudu Myeni.

Myeni, ac­cord­ing to in­sid­ers, was al­legedly ac­cused of un­der­min­ing fel­low board mem­bers.

At the SABC, former chief op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer, Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng, was shown the door while former act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive James Aguma was still fac­ing dis­ci­plinary ac­tion.

Other state owned en­ti­ties like Eskom and Denel were im­pli­cated in former public pro­tec­tor, Advocate Thuli Madon­sela’s State of Cap­ture re­port.

Deputy Min­is­ter of Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, Stella Nd­abeni-Abra­hams, who also sits on the com­mit­tee, said they de­cided to await the out­come of the in­ves­ti­ga­tions, con­ducted by the SABC in­terim board, into corruption in the SABC and would sup­port rec­om­men­da­tions for crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions against those im­pli­cated.

“We do not ap­prove any acts of corruption,” Nd­abeni-Abra­hams said.

Mthembu, how­ever, was more bla­tant on the need to act against corruption, say­ing SABC should be­gin a process of hunt­ing for peo­ple with the “best brains” to oc­cupy those po­si­tions to re­place peo­ple like Mot­soe­neng and Aguma.

While he did not men­tion them by name dur­ing his me­dia out­come, Mthembu said: “It is the SABC and other SOEs’ duty to get the best brains, to get best CEOs, CFOs and other se­nior man­agers for the SABC.

“But it should not be for the SABC only, it must ap­ply to other state owned en­ti­ties. The lack of the best brains is our Achilles heels.

“If we can’t get the best brains in the coun­try, we must go to other coun­tries to find them,” Mthembu said.

How­ever, Nd­abeni-Abra­hams and Mthembu con­firmed they si­mul­ta­ne­ously agreed to deal with in­ter­nal dif­fer­ences and fac­tions within their party.

Among their pri­or­i­ties, to im­prove the com­mu­ni­ca­tion of gov­ern­ment mes­sages, was to cen­tralise op­er­a­tions of the Gov­ern­ment Com­mu­ni­ca­tion In­for­ma­tion Ser­vice in the of­fice of the Pres­i­dency.

“They must com­mu­ni­cate in­for­ma­tion directly from gov­ern­ment.

“We are go­ing to mon­i­tor the con­duct and dis­ci­pline of our gov­ern­ment spokesper­sons,” Nd­abeni-Abra­hams warned.

In an­other bid to stop con­tra­dic­tions be­tween gov­ern­ment and ANC of­fi­cials, Nd­abeni-Abra­hams said their party de­ploy­ees would be given po­lit­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion to en­sure they spoke in a sin­gle voice on mat­ters af­fect­ing the ANC. “

We want one mes­sage, but many voices,” she said.

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