President Jacob Zuma has received six more letters of resignation from members of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board, rendering it “inoperable” according to the DA.
These are: Lumko Mtimde; John Danana; Cedric Gina; Desmond Golding; Adv Cawe Mahlati and Noluthando Gosa.
Last week, the Presidency received a joint resignation letter from the chairperson of the Board Dr Ben Ngubane and his Deputy Mr Thami ka Plaatjie and has also since accepted their resignations.
The President has requested the minister of communications, Dina Pule to liaise with the National Assembly regarding the process to fill the vacancies left by the members who have resigned.
According to the Democratic Alliance, the “mass resignation” of six further SABC board members is tragic news for the public broadcaster that has been brought to its knees by political interference, vested interests, cronyism and corruption at all levels of the corporation.
“This must be heartbreaking for the pockets of excellence that still exist in the SABC and who keep the airwaves humming,” the political party said in a press statement.
According to the DA, the latest resignations render the board “inoperable” as only three directors of the 12 have not resigned – Suzanne Vos, Pippa Green and Claire McNeil.
Prior to the news of the resignations, parliamentary portfolio committee chairperson Sikhumbuzo Kholwane advised members that minister Pule and the SABC board would appear at an emergency meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, 19 March 2013) afternoon.
“He has assured me that this meeting will proceed and that after the presentations the committee will discuss options on the future direction and management of the SABC,” said DA shadow minister of communications, Marian Shinn.
“The legal option is the appointment of an interim board but it’s an open question whether there are many people of political independence and repute, with relevant broadcasting and corporate governance experience who will make themselves available,” she said.
“One thing is clear. The solution cannot be business as usual as has been practised at SABC during the past 15 years.
“Unpopular and probably expensive decisions will have to be made to rid the corporation of its weak executive management, bloated complement of unsuitably skilled staff and those politically connected and less-than-honest board members,” Shinn said.