Media tribunal proponent on SABC short list

Govin Reddy, the Mail & Guardian‘s former chief executive, and Lumko Mtimde, the chief executive of the Media Development and Diversity Agency, are among 14 candidates short-listed by Parliament’s communications committee for vacant posts on the SABC board.

Although the committee presented a united front in tabling its list, the nomination of Mtimde is likely to raise eyebrows as he has been a leading proponent of the ANC’s controversial proposal of a statutory media appeal tribunal.

More than 84 people applied for the posts, despite the bitter infighting that has marked the reign of the current board. The new board members will replace the four who resigned following a breakdown in relations between board members and Ben Ngubane, the board chairperson, and Solly Mokoetle, the suspended chief executive, last year.

Most of the conflict arose after Ngubane’s unilateral appointment of Phil Molefe as the SABC head of news in April.

Deputy chairperson Felleng Sekha, Barbara Masekela, Magatho Mello and David Niddrie handed in their resignations after an escalation of infighting on the board.

Juli Kilian, the communications spokesperson for the Congress of the People (Cope), said the task team that met before making the short list public had been united in its search for the skills needed on the board, particularly auditing, finance and marketing. ”Next we will have to check candidates’ political interests,” said Kilian. ”We don’t want to have ANC cadres being deployed to the board again.”

Academics on the short list are Mahavishnu Padayachee, the head of the school of development studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Sadhasivan Perumal, an associate professor at UKZN’s school of management, and Unisa vice-chancellor David Mosoma.

Also nominated are Peter Druchen, the head of DeafSA, Xoliswa Florence Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw, Eskom’s business support manager, Maureen Makole Manyama-Matome, the chief financial officer of state forestry company Safcol, and former SABC journalist Fawzia Moodley.

The others are business administrator Sethe Makhesha, company director John Sembie Danana, advocate Cawekazi Mahlati, Johannesburg regional government administrator Vusamuzi Mavuso and Kenneth Herold, who has an engineering background.

The committee will begin interviewing the candidates next week and present a choice of four to the National Assembly on February 3.


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Glynnis Underhill
Glynnis Underhill has been in journalism for more years than she cares to remember. She loves a good story as much now as she did when she first started. The only difference is today she hopes she is giving something back to the country.

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