Sunday World

Interim SABC board on the cards

- By George Matlala

Jostling for positions on the new SABC board ahead of the ANC’S December conference and failure by security agencies to vet candidates have emerged as some of the reasons behind the “regrettabl­e” failure by Parliament to select the public broadcaste­r’s new board in time.

Sunday World has reliably been informed that President Cyril Ramaphosa is now likely to appoint an interim board following delays in the parliament­ary process to name the 12-member board.

The mandate of the current board, led by Bongumusa Makhathini, ends on Saturday.

It has emerged that the State Security Agency (SSA) has not completed the vetting process of the 34 shortliste­d candidates.

The final list of the 12-member board was supposed to be before the National Assembly last week Thursday.

Boyce Maneli, chairperso­n of the portfolio committee on communicat­ion and digital technologi­es, said: “The committee did everything that it ought to do insofar as the recruitmen­t process is concerned. However, it regrets the possibilit­y of not being able to recommend timeously candidates to the National Assembly and the appointing authority (the president) due to lack of vetting, which is out of the committee’s purview,” he said.

Maneli said the committee received legal advice from parliament­ary services to communicat­e with Deputy President David Mabuza (who is the leader of government business), Communicat­ions Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni and Ramaphosa on how the SABC operations should continue while the board is being finalised.

But the DA’S committee member Dianne Kohler Barnard said she felt the process was too late and led to a rushed shortlisti­ng of candidates. “I am told it is not the vetting by the State Security Agency that is delaying the process, but the SAPS process,” she said.

In August last year, Sunday

World reported that the SSA had a big backlog of security clearances. SSA spokespers­on Mava Scott said vetting was an operationa­l matter and was not at liberty to discuss it.

A senior executive at the SABC said there was a lot at stake in the appointmen­t of the SABC board in the run up to the ANC conference. The source, who asked for anonymity, said Ramaphosa would want to ensure that those on the board would not be hostile to him.

Ramaphosa’s spokespers­on Vincent Magwenya said: “The process (of appointing SABC board) has not reached the president’s office yet.”

Police spokespers­on Colonel Athlenda Mathe said: “We are looking into the matter.”

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