SABC 'takeover' unconstitutional: DA - TechCentral

SABC ‘takeover’ unconstitutional: DA

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The Broadcasting Amendment Bill, which will essentially turn the SABC into a state-controlled broadcaster, is bad news for South African democracy.

So believes Democratic Alliance MP Phumzile van Damme, who said the bill, which was tabled by communications minister Faith Muthambi on Friday, must be viewed as unconstitutional.

The Sunday Times reported that the minister introduced legislation that would give her the final say on who was appointed to the broadcaster’s board.

The bill seeked to remove parliament’s role in the selection of the SABC’s nonexecutive board members.

“The nine nonexecutive members of the board must be appointed by the president on the advice of the minister,” the bill says.

As it stands, parliament’s communications committee interviewed and shortlisted candidates, before presenting the president with a list. And with the new bill, the minister will advics the president on the appointments, with the help of a nomination committee appointed by the ministry.

The bill also reduces the number of non-executive board members from 12 to nine.

Van Damme said the bill would see the last vestige of independence removed from the SABC.

“The DA will use every mechanism available to it to make sure that it does not become law in order to protect the independence of the public broadcaster.

“Any machinations to remove the independence of the SABC must be viewed as not only undemocratic, but also possibly unconstitutional.”

This is not the first time the minister has flexed her muscles within the SABC.

Muthambi has come under fire in parliament this year for a number of decisions taken about the SABC, including the dismissal of board members including Hope Zinde.

In a presentation in parliament in March, following the amendment of the SABC’s memorandum of incorporation, she said: “Myself as the minister, as the sole shareholder representative, I have the authority to appoint the chief executive officer, chief operations officer and the chief financial officer, therefore under the circumstances, I also have the ability to discipline or suspend them.”  — News24

5 Comments

  1. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>The bill also reduces the number of non-executive board members from 12 to nine.

    I would argue that the absolute maximum would be 7 and that 5 would’ve adequately sufficed.

    >>The bill seeked to remove parliament’s role in the selection of the SABC’s nonexecutive board members.

    This would be a good move if it could be guaranteed that the minister would always be someone competent; it’s certainly more of a positive move rather than having that chaotic parliament filled with clowns continuing to have a fruitless role.

  2. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Oh dear InTheCube…

    Now whilst many are responding to a trending topic, involving Zuma, you would choose to reply to one that has lost its edge… how refreshing.

    I have had dealings with the SABC for more than 20years now, 5 of which were as an employee and the others as a content provider;

    …and during that time I’ve experienced all the ups and downs that have seen some production houses go out of business because of the state of affairs with the public broadcaster;

    …and I make my comments around the SABC because it directly impacts on my livelihood, so why would I kid about that…???

    I’ve also responded in a comment made here on TC by a profile named publicbroadcaster that they ought to be glad that I would never be in such leadership position that would control the SABC because the first thing that I would do is reduce the staff complement by a third with a short-term objective of having only 25% of the current staff.

    What effect has involving that fruitless parliament had on improving the situation with the SABC…??? diddly squat;

    …and many people that I know have been ruined each time that organization is having to be bailed-out buy the tax-payer; and fails to pay suppliers in time whilst things are being sorted with lengthy delays.

    So to answer you, No! I’m not kidding at all – and I can comment with authority from the experience I’ve had dealing with the SABC.

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