Board of SABC on the verge of collapse
The SABC board is on the brink of collapse following the resignation of yet another nonexecutive director.
According to a report by the broadcaster, board member Mathatha Tsedu is the latest non-executive director to step down.
Three others have also resigned. It was not immediately clear if the resignations were with immediate effect or if the four would serve for a further three months.
If the resignations are immediate, the board can no longer quorate and cannot take crucial decisions, amid a severe cash crunch at the public broadcaster.
Tsedu could not be reached for comment.
Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said President Cyril Ramaphosa was concerned about developments at the broadcaster.
He had reportedly accepted the resignation and would inform the speaker of parliament.
The relevant portfolio committee would then look at filling the vacancies, Diko told the SABC.
Parliament will have to fasttrack the appointment of replacement members.
Should it fail, the board will have to be dissolved and replaced by an interim team appointed by the president.
Board members Khanyisile Kweyama, John Mattison and Krish Naidoo tendered their resignations to Ramaphosa earlier this week.
The board already has four vacancies following the resignation of Rachel Kalidass, who quit earlier in 2018 after clashing with her colleagues over the appointment of the CEO.
Febe Potgieter-Gqubule resigned to take up a post with the ANC.
Victor Rambau also tendered his resignation earlier in 2018, while Nomvuyiso Batyi, who was nominated by the portfolio committee on communications, withdrew her application.
The board is meant to have 12 members. It needs nine members, including the three executives – CEO, CFO and COO – for a quorum.
Previous boards have collapsed due to political interference.
In a strongly worded letter to the board at the weekend, communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams accused it of not acting in the best interest of the public broadcaster as it pressed on with retrenchments. Like her predecessor, Nomvula Mokonyane, Ndabeni-Abrahams, who was recently appointed to the portfolio, has made it clear that she is opposed to the retrenchments and has suggested that Ramaphosa intervene.
The SABC board, on the other hand, maintains it has little choice but to let go more than 2,000 workers to remain sustainable.
Board members are said to be unhappy with the government’s interference and believe their best efforts to turn around the organisation will fall flat under the present circumstances.
It is also understood that some board members who served on the previous interim board have been irked by a Special Investigating Unit probe into the awarding of a security tender. –