COPE welcomes incoming SABC Board, slams delay

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The Congress of the People (COPE) has welcomed the incoming SABC Board but slammed both President Cyril Ramaphosa and Parliament’s Communications Committee for the long delay in appointing the board.

Ramaphosa made the announcement of the appointment, in a statement, a week after National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula informed him that the Assembly resolution on the SABC Board remained in place and was lawful.

This after Ramaphosa had sought legal clarity on the additional three names that were submitted, in addition to the 12 recommended candidates.

COPE spokesperson Dennis Bloem says, “President Cyril Ramaphosa is clearly not serious in doing his job. It took six months to appoint the SABC Board. But it is not only President Ramaphosa that is sleeping on his job. Parliament are equally guilty in not doing their job. The Communications Parliamentary Portfolio Committee failed the country by not keeping the Executive and the President accountable. We want to applaud civil society and all the organisations who have put pressure on President Ramaphosa to appoint the new SABC Board. COPE wants to congratulate the new board and wishes them well.”

Meanwhile, the Director of Media Monitoring Africa, William Bird has expressed relief at the appointment of the  board.

He, however, says the incoming board has a mammoth task ahead of them to stabilise the public broadcaster which has been without a board for over six months.

Ramaphosa has appointed former NYDA Chairperson Khathutshelo Ramukumba as board chairperson with Nomvuyiso Batyi as his deputy.

Bird has expressed relief.

“It’s a huge relief obviously that they have finally been appointed. That said you know I don’t envy the new board. I think it’s going to be a baptism of fire. They gonna have to work around the clock to try and stabilise and look at the finances and make sure that they can comply with all the legal requirements etc. And I think you know we also need to work to make sure that this can’t happen again. So, we have been really concerned about how this matters has been handled by the President.”