EFF expresses reservations about Magopeni’s inclusion on SABC Board

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The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says although it welcomes the appointment of the new SABC Board it has reservations about the inclusion of the former Head of News and Current Affairs Phathiswa Magopeni.

President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Magopeni and eleven other candidates to the non-executive 12-member board on Tuesday.

The former National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) CEO Khathutshelo Ramukumba has been appointed as board Chairperson with Nomvuyiso Batyi as his deputy.

The EFF says it wishes the board well in the execution of its duties. The party also wants the public broadcaster to ensure that elections are impartially covered.

In a statement, the EFF says the public broadcaster remains a critical source of information and entertainment for millions of South Africans and a benchmark of independence in public broadcasting.

The EFF says it will keep a watchful eye on Magopeni. “The EFF reiterates its reservations on the appointment of Phathiswa Magopeni, especially as a member of the board after her dismissal as Head of News, following acts which put the SABC into disrepute, and years of leading the SABC under a cloud of intimidation, bias and compromise. We will keep a watchful eye on Magopeni and ensure that she does not trample on the ethics that guide the SABC.”

Meet the new SABC Board:

‘Difficult task’

Meanwhile, the Freedom Front Plus (FF-Plus) says the new Board will have a difficult task of finding solutions to the public broadcaster’s challenges, including financial constraints.

The FF-Plus has also expressed disappointment in the President’s long delay to appoint the board.

The party’s Member of Parliament Wouter Wessels says, “It is unacceptable that the SABC has been left without a board for more than six months after Parliament already approved the list of directors on the 6th of December 2022. Due to a dislike for one of the candidates, the President failed to perform his constitutional duties. This delay was unacceptable. The Freedom Front Plus wishes the news board the best of luck as it will not be an easy task.”

The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) has welcomed the appointment of the SABC Board. Sanef Executive Director Reggy Moalusi says, “We welcome the long overdue appointment of the board. It’s six months later. And we have been saying. We welcome the appointed board. We wish them all the best and we say the SABC is a key national institution.”