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ANC pushes 8 candidates for SABC board despite objections

The ANC has presented its eight candidates, which include journalist Mary Papayya, Advocate Benjamin Lekalakala and anti-apartheid activist and academic Saths Cooper.

Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) has managed to push through eight candidates to serve on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board, despite objections from opposition parties.

Members of the communications committee have on Thursday failed to agree on who should serve on the board.

The committee concluded interviews of 24 candidates to fill eight vacancies on the board last week.

The ANC has presented its eight candidates, which include journalist Mary Papayya, Advocate Benjamin Lekalakala and anti-apartheid activist and academic Saths Cooper.

The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have both threatened to object to the list of candidates put forward by the ANC when the matter is debated in the National Assembly.

The DA and EFF's main objection relates to Cooper, the anti-apartheid activist that the parties have described as arrogant.

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi objected to the inclusion of Cooper and called for the inclusion of at least two more women.

“The board, majority of it as being male, is not proper. There are already four males, adding the three will make it seven against five.”

DA MP Phumzile van Damme agreed to only two names and called for people with an accounting background.

“We need a chartered accountant (CA), we were very clear about that, and there was only one CA appointed.”

Van Damme said while she supported the appointment of Papayya and auditor Jasmina Patel, who are among the eight names chosen by the ANC, the party would fight the selection of Cooper.

“With regards to Professor Saths Cooper, I would like to express my objection in the most serious term. During the interview, he was arrogant, he belittled members of this committee.”

ANC MP Lerumo Kalako came to Cooper’s defence.

“The problem they have is that they can’t manipulate Saths Cooper.”

While the parties have tried to persuade each other, the ANC’s preferred list still stands.

The report will be tabled in the National Assembly for debate and final adoption.

It will then be forwarded to President Cyril Ramaphosa for appointment in terms of the Broadcasting Act.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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