DA MP, Dianne Kohler Barnard, says she is shocked that former Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Khumbudzo Ntshavheni was one of those who allegedly raised objections to some of the 12 recommended SABC board candidates.
This follows a media report that Ntshavheni questioned former SABC News Head, Phathiswa Magopeni’s inclusion on the board saying it went against corporate governance prescripts.
This is reportedly reflected in a letter that Communications Committee Chairperson, Boyce Maneli, had written to National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
Maneli’s letter also reportedly forms part of the documents submitted by Ramaphosa in his answering affidavit to the Constitutional Court challenge by Media Monitoring Africa to force the president to appoint the board without delay.
DA slams Ramaphosa and Ntshavheni over the SABC Board debacle:
Kohler Barnard has expressed his disappointment at Ntshavheni, who is now a Minister in the Presidency, following the recent cabinet reshuffle.
“I’m so absolutely shocked. She’s meddled in a decision by the very committee that does oversight over her. People seem to believe – and I think some of the Ministers do too, – (that) they rule the Portfolio Committee. Actually, they answer to the Portfolio Committee. That is our job in parliament. She has absolutely no right to question a unanimous decision taken by our committee. Absolutely not!”
Committee Chairperson Boyce Maneli could not be reached for a response.
Meanwhile, the legal clarity that is sought by President Ramaphosa on the three additional names, continues.
In the previous National Assembly Programme Committee meeting more than a week ago, ANC Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina said the submitting of additional names to the pool of recommended candidates, did not happen for the first time
“I’m not a legal guru, but this is not for the first time, honourable speaker, wherein where there is a number of names that we were to sent to the president. We give a pool, so that should there be any eventuality, we must not re-advertise again because it takes time. So, we did that in the NYDA process, we did that in the CEG process and we did not see anything untoward when we did that and passed that report on the 6th of December. Because we were trying to manage time and to be sensitive to financial implications that would cause parliament and the delays. So, maybe the legal team of parliament would agree with the president that it was not correct for parliament to do that, but we did that for a good purpose.”
During that meeting, the President’s Parliamentary Counsellor Gert Koornhof told the Committee that the president had to apply his mind.
“I can assure the members of this meeting that it’s a matter of urgency to appoint the SABC Board as soon as possible. But the president needs to apply his mind correctly on all issues before he makes that pronouncements.”
A week later, the President wrote another letter to Mapisa-Nqakula on the 9th of March after he received an additional letter from Maneli written on the 3rd of March.
President Ramaphosa refuses to approve the list of SABC Board candidates:
In his letter President Ramaphosa told the speaker that not all his concerns were addressed in both letters.
In his letter to the Speaker he says, “While you have informed that the so-called reserve pool, ought in your words not to be considered at all, these feature in the decision of that National Assembly of 6 December 2022. Notwithstanding your letter, I don’t believe myself constitutionally empowered to ignore the contents of a resolution of the National Assembly. In this respect, I note that the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee is of the same view. Furthermore, he indicates that it was always the intention of the committee that 15 names be submitted for my consideration in appointing the 12 persons to the board that the SABC now desperately needs.”
The president’s letter further says owing the contradictions the matter be referred to the Portfolio Committee.
“…and that I be given a clear, legally accurate record of what precisely the National Assembly has determined with respect to the persons they resolved to advise me to consider for appointment to the SABC board. This confusion has, unfortunately, served to further delay what is an extremely urgent and critical matter. I would appreciate hearing from you within the next few days at the latest.”
Media Monitoring Africa takes Ramaphosa to court over SABC Board: