SABC needs it real, cheap and nasty
DON’T get excited now and do something silly, like order up a bunch of fizzy drinks, but we have come up with a plan that may just save the SABC and turn it into something that vaguely resembles a national broadcaster.
Why bother, I hear you ask? Well, it is true that we really don’t care what happens to it, but we’ve grown rather bored with the tiresome headlines about the boardroom farces and drama at Auckland Park and, rather than whine and moan and bitch about it like everybody else, the Mahogany Ridge regulars decided that a positive approach was needed. All in the country’s best interests. Obviously.
First thing, Jacob Zuma must accept the resignations of chairman Ben Ngubane and his deputy, Thami ka Plaatjie. In an apparent bid to force the president to overrule the board, both handed in their notice when the board kicked out acting chief operating officer and ANC toady, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
No such thing must happen. All three must go. They have no interest in broadcasting. They’re politicians and, as such, wish to cause us great harm rather than serve up cracking good movies on Sunday nights.
We now need to deal with the rest of the board. The following non-executive members, we’ve decided, must also pack up and leave. Former Inkatha Freedom Party MP Suzanne Vos. There are fears she may still be politically active and therefore “unclean”. Best then not to take chances.
Cawe Mahlati used to run a TV station in one of the bantustans. An unguided missile prone to shrieking, her disruptive, “big hair, big mouth” style – as she has been described – is perhaps more appropriate in what the current government passes off as a diplomatic corps.
Not much is known about Sembie Danana but, judging by a photo on the SABC website, he appears to be a zombie. He probably roams the countryside feasting on the brains of his victims. Best he stays out there.
Noluthando Gosa was a board member before – but she resigned in December 2005 amid allegations of corruption and involvement in the banning of footage of former deputy president Phumzile Mlambo- Ngcuka getting booed at a rally. Obviously a case of cadre redeployment. Or cadre vu?
Cedric Gina is the president of the National Union of Metalworkers. What does a metalworker know about broadcasting? His being a board member is so very beyond WTF, it’s like WTFF.
And lastly, Lumko Mtimde. Any person whose on-line bio opens with the brazen suggestion that he is “a national media expert” is clearly unfit for the job. The following may stay: Chief financial officer Gugu Duda, who despite her youth, has an impressive track record in the private sector; Claire O’Neil, the sales lady; Desmond Golding, who used to be economic adviser to the former public works minister Geoff Doidge; and, provided she at least tries to stop being so bloody grim about everything, Pippa Green, a former journalist who now teaches at the University of Pretoria.
Next, we must divest the corporation of the notion that it is capable of “quality” or “serious” journalism. This is not what people want from the SABC.
What they want is entertainment. That is why they have monstrous flatscreen jobs slapped up on the walls of their living rooms.
Accordingly, stuff the board with entertainment industry nobs, people who know about putting arses on seats. It’s not rocket science, you know.
We understand there is a bit of a cash crisis, what with the years of mismanagement and wholesale thieving, but good entertainment need not cost the earth.
No-one is asking the corporation to go toe-to-toe with its competitors by throwing money at some Hollywood studio’s crap reworking of Sherlock Holmes or getting into a ridiculous bidding war over screening rights for European football. The SABC lost those battles years ago, anyway.
No, Auckland Park’s future is much closer to home. To give you an idea of what we have in mind, here’s an idea we’re kicking about at the moment: Out & About with Up The Spout: A 26part series in which we visit schools where pupils name and shame the teachers who made them pregnant. The educators are then put in stocks and pelted with vegetables and other objects. To be hosted by the University of the Free State’s Jonathan Jansen, a well-known figure.
It’s real, it’s cheap, it’s nasty. But above all, we’re convinced it’s what the mob out there wants. And by mob, we mean just that. Keep them happy and they may not come after you. Not just yet, anyway.