The ANC played hardball when it came to candidates for the SABC board with ANC connections.
Initially, the portfolio committee on communications, who were deliberating on which 12 out of 34 candidates to select for the SABC board on Tuesday morning reached consensus on 6 candidates – Michael Markovitz, Khanyisile Kweyama, Mathatha Tsedu, Nomvuyiso Batyi, Rachel Kalidass, Victor Rambau.
After the committee agreed on these names, the DA and EFF, however, objected to the inclusion of current interim board members Krish Naidoo and Febe Potgieter-Gqubule based on their affiliation to the ANC.
EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said Potgieter-Gqubule “failed dismally to understand the times and epoch SABC is entering”.
“She thinks it is correct being an ANC deployee into the board,” he said.
He mentioned that she indicated that she would resign from the SABC board if she is elected to the ANC’s NEC in December.
“She’s a politician, she’s an outright politician.”
Naidoo’s interview also left Ndlozi unsatisfied. According to Ndlozi he “went to ask for permission, and said the people in Luthuli House said he should come and see how he can help”.
ANC MP Mondli Gungubele said both Naidoo and Potgieter-Gqubule are not only academically qualified, but have also served society in many instances.
He said both of them served on the interim board and there wasn’t any negative heard about them. He also said that Naidoo spoke out while serving on the previous board.
“As the ANC, one of the things that are critical, we envisage in the future a mature democracy where South Africanness will prevail above political affiliation,” said Gungubele
He said Naidoo and Potgieter-Gqubule served “beyond partisanship”.
Thereafter the committee reached consensus on a further two candidates – John Matisonn and Jack Phalane – leaving four candidates to be selected.
Again the DA and EFF raised their objections to Naidoo and Potgieter-Gqubule, with the ANC equally resolute to include them.
“We are not going to change on those names,” said ANC MP Lerumo Kalako. “You are not going to persuade us.”
“It’s not going to happen, they (the DA and EFF) must forget.”
“Febe is an independent woman, why reduce her to a puppet?”
Kalako suggested the committee puts it to a vote.
Nokuzola Tolashe said there is nothing wrong with belonging to the ANC.
“We must appreciate that the ANC came and salvaged the country,” she said.
DA MP Gavin Davis said obviously the ANC wants to put it to a vote, as it is in their interest because they want to use their majority.
“It is very unfortunate.”
“The key problem at the SABC was cadre deployment by ANC,” he said as chairperson Humphrey Maxegwana interrupted him.
Davis said he would like to acknowledge the ANC’s choice and register the DA’s objection.
“We oppose the deployment of political operatives at SABC,” said Davis.
“We accept the ANC wants to impose the will of the majority on us because that is the way the ANC operates.”
Much toing and froing ensued, with the ANC rejecting the DA’s remaining four candidates and the DA rejecting the ANC’s last two candidates, which included Dinkanyane Mohuba, dean of students at the University of Limpopo.
During his interview, he was quizzed on his ties with former ANC premier of Limpopo, Cassel Mothale. He said he has no business interests with Mothale, except that they stay in the same suburb in Polokwane.
He was also asked about allegations that he awarded illegal contracts to members of the ANC Youth League, which he described as “malicious fabrications”.
The ANC’s other candidate is Bongumusa Makhathini.
ANC MP Moses Tseli said “The impression being created that the ANC is imposing a list is wrong. We never imposed.”
Gungubele added that the committee never had to go to a vote the past few months, despite having had to make difficult decisions.
“Whatever hatred people have for the ANC, at least tell the truth of the ANC,” he said.
DA MP Phumzile van Damme said, “facts are facts,” the ANC refused to budge on Naidoo and Potgieter-Gqubule based on their majority and that is imposing.
In the end, the ANC got their way without a vote, with the DA and EFF registering their objections.
The committee will report to the National Assembly, who must assent to the board before President Jacob Zuma appoints them.
The successful candidates, which includes each of the members of the current interim board, are: Michael Markovitz, Khanyisile Kweyama, Mathatha Tsedu, Nomvuyiso Batyi, Rachel Kalidass, Victor Rambau, John Matisonn, Jack Phalane, Krish Naidoo, Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, Dinkanyane Mohuba and Bonbumusa Makhathini.