Outa: SABC board nominees not linked to Guptas

Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications finalised the names of 12 people who will serve on the board this week.

A screengrab of former SABC interim board chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama.

JOHANNESBURG – Civil rights group Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) says it hasn’t found any of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board nominees linked to the Guptas or the leaked e-mails at this stage, saying it’s cautiously optimistic about the 12 names that have been put forward.

Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications finalised the names of 12 people who will serve on the board this week.

Parties agreed on eight names while the final four were added to the list after a lengthy debate.

Outa says that it’s encouraged that a number of people from the SABC’s interim board have been retained as nominees.

The group’s Dominique Msibi says they haven’t found anything linking the others to allegations of state capture.

“We have done checks and balances just to make sure that they don’t form part of the Gupta leaks saga and we have not found anything in that regard just yet.”

The new board will oversee the affairs at the public broadcaster once the five member interim board's term ends later this month.

At the same time, the National Assembly has approved the names of 12 people to serve on the board of the SABC.

They will now be sent to President Jacob Zuma who makes the appointments and will select one of them to be chairperson.

Zuma is expected to sign off on the new board members before the end of the interim board’s term in three weeks' time.

Most opposition Members of Parliament objected to the inclusion of two candidates, Krish Naidoo and Febe Potgieter-Gqubule.

The Democratic Alliance accused the African National Congress of deploying cadres to the new SABC board, which the party says has been at the heart of the public broadcaster's problems.

The Economic Freedom Fighters and Inkatha Freedom Party’s Liezl van der Merwe also flagged concerns.

“We cannot allow these individuals to abuse their power and position to advance their respective political agendas through the SABC.”

The ANC's Moses Tseli responded: “Where will you get people who are not close to the ANC because it is the ANC that has brought us to where we are.”

OUTA WELCOMES LIST OF NOMINEES

Outa's Msibi said they welcome the list of nominees.

“Five of the interim board members have been retained and so we’re encouraged that they’re going to continue with whatever it is that they’ve started. We are cautiously optimistic that the rest will fall in and both the six have the next five years.”

The new board will oversee the affairs at the public broadcaster once the five-member interim board's term ends later in September.

Those who made the cut are:
Khanyisile Kweyama
Mathatha Tsedu
Nomvuyiso Batyi
John Matisonn
Michael Markovitz
Rachel Kalidass
Bongumusa Makhathini
Victor Rambau
Dinkwanyane Mohuba
Jack Phalane
Febe Potgieter-Gqubule
Krish Naidoo.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)