President Jacob Zuma has appointed five members to the interim board of the SABC, with respected journalists among the people named at a crucial time for the financially troubled broadcaster.
Zuma said in a statement on Sunday that he has appointed Khanyisile Kweyama, John Matisonn, Mathatha Tsedu, Febe Potgieter-Gqubule and Krish Naidoo to the interim board.
Kweyama and Tsedu were named as chairman and deputy chairman respectively.
“Millions of South Africans rely on the public broadcaster for news, information and entertainment. We wish Ms Kweyama and her team well as they begin the important task of leading and revitalising one of the most important national resources, the SABC,” said Zuma in the statement
Kweyama, who was appointed as CEO of Business Unity South Africa in 2015, has served on the boards of a number of South African companies, including Anglo American South Africa and Telkom. She has a master’s degree in management from Wits University.
Kweyama replaces Obert Maghuve, who resigned in December 2016 under pressure due to a parliamentary inquiry into governance lapses at the SABC. He was the last remaining member of the old board to fall on his sword.
Tsedu, meanwhile, is a former editor of the Sunday Times and other newspapers and has a long and storied career in South African journalism. He was deputy CEO of SABC News between 2001 and 2002, and so has knowledge of the inner workings of the broadcaster.
Matisonn also has experience at the SABC, where he served as executive editor for elections for its radio division at the time of South Africa’s first all-race elections in 1994. A journalist who started his career at the Rand Daily Mail in the late 1970s, Matisonn was also one of the founding councillors of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (which later merged with the South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to create communications regulator Icasa). In 2016, he published a book called God, Spies and Lies: Finding South Africa’s Future through its Past.
Potgieter-Gqubule, meanwhile, is former deputy chief of staff at the African Union Commission. She also served as an advisor to AU Commission chairwoman and Zuma’s former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Potgieter-Gqubule was deputy chairwoman on the board of the State IT Agency between 2010 and 2013.
Lastly, Naidoo is a former SABC board member who last year testified in parliament about governance lapses at the public broadcaster. He resigned from the board in October 2016, announcing this at the hearings held by a parliamentary committee investigating the crisis at the SABC. — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media