President Jacob Zuma on Sunday denied reports that he is deliberately delaying the appointment of an SABC board.
“The Presidency is concerned about the rumours and gossip that continue to flourish with regards to the SABC Board appointments,” his spokesman Dr Bongani Ngqulunga said in a statement.
“The rumours… that the appointments have not been made yet because President Jacob Zuma has certain preferences or ‘does not like’ certain candidates or that he has an interest in the appointment of SABC executives are mischievous and are without foundation.”
He added that the president respected the parliamentary process that was undertaken, had no personal preferences and was instead concerned to ensure that the members fitted all requirements, “including citizenship and to have no criminal records…”
In addition, the Presidency wanted to ensure that the candidates indeed possessed the qualifications stated in their CVs among other routine pre-appointment checks, Ngqulunga said.
Furthermore, “past experience taught us that the Presidency should undertake due diligence despite the process followed in the National Assembly,” he added.
On Sunday, the City Press newspaper published an article alleging that Zuma and Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo had been accused of deliberately delaying the appointment of the SABC board.
The article alleged that they were planning to make their own appointments for certain key positions.
The interim board is now defunct after its term expired.
Ngqulunga said that the same process of due diligence was also being applied to the commissioners for the Commission for Gender Equality and board members of the Media Development and Diversity Agency.
He then said that the Presidency was requesting space to finalise the process to ensure a sustainable final outcome. “The Presidency and affected departments and institutions understand the urgency of the matter.”