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Will Ramaphosa accept resignations of 3 SABC board members?

Earlier on Wednesday, Eyewitness News revealed the contents of the resignation letters of Khanyisile Kweyama, Krish Naidoo and John Matisonn.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The presidency won’t be drawn on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board members resignations and whether President Cyril Ramaphosa will accept them.

Earlier on Wednesday, Eyewitness News revealed the contents of the resignation letters of Khanyisile Kweyama, Krish Naidoo and John Matisonn.

They’ve decided to step down while the public broadcaster remains locked in a tussle with newly-appointed Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams over retrenchments of permanent and freelance staff.

The minister wrote a letter to the board over the weekend in which she declared her intention to stop engaging with the board because of its determination to forge ahead with retrenchments.

These resignation letters give insight into the deep disagreements over retrenchments at the public broadcaster.

Naidoo suggests in his resignation letter that the breakdown in the relationship with the minister is because of the board’s inability to understand the difference between accountability and political interference.

Matisonn’s letter makes it clear he disagrees with the board’s direction and its refusal to suspend retrenchments.

While the three resignations have left many confused about the status of the board and the planned retrenchments, Ramaphosa’s office won’t say if the president will accept or reject the resignations.

LISTEN: Back at square one: SABC rocked by board member resignations

STAKEHOLDERS URGED TO WORK TOGETHER

As the tussle between the SABC board and Ndabeni-Abrahams continues, there are calls for both parties to compromise in the interest of the country.

It’s only Ramaphosa that can either accept or reject the three resignations from the SABC board.

What’s clear though is that in the absence of clarity, confusion continues to swirl around the legality of the board and the status of the planned retrenchments.

Civil society organisation Save Our SABC Coalition’s Duduetsang Makuse said: “[We're] Calling on all stakeholders to really come down and consider the interests of the SABC rather than bipartisan interest.”

The SABC is also not saying much as employees and South Africans question whether its silence signals the imminent collapse of the board.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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