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Makhathini: SABC board members facing serious decisions

Bongumusa Makhathini says that is priority is to ensure the SABC's integrity is restored and to make sure the broadcaster is independent.

 Newly appointed SABC board chairman Bongumusa Makhathini. Picture: sabc.co.za

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini says once he's met with his members, they'll have to face what he calls the “brutal facts” about what is required from each of them to restore integrity at the national broadcaster.

Makhathini says that he resigned from a foundation run by one of President Jacob Zuma's wives to prevent possible conflict of interest whether perceived or real.

Concerns had been raised about Makhathini's position as chairperson of the Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation and suggestions that it appears that the president appointed his loyalist to the SABC board.

He says that as soon as he was appointed to the SABC board, he handed in his resignation at the foundation.

“The reality of serving in an NGO really has nothing to do with my credibility for serving on the board. But I decided to resign to avoid any possible conflict.”

Concerns have also been raised about his deputy, Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, who is closely linked to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Makhathini says that he'll address this issue once he's met with the board.

“Unfortunately, I haven’t had an engagement with her but certainly anyone who wants to be part of the board has to make some serious decisions around what’s important for the SABC and what sacrifices they’re willing to do.”

He says his priority is to ensure the SABC's integrity is restored and to make sure the broadcaster is independent.