Ramaphosa yet to make appointments to the SABC Board

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Today (April 18) marks a week since National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula informed President Cyril Ramaphosa that the assembly’s resolution on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board candidates remains in place.

This follows an independent legal opinion that Ramaphosa’s letter to the Speaker, seeking legal clarity about the additional three names of candidates, was grossly unlawful.

It comes after the National Assembly recommended the additional names which would allow the President to choose from, in the event that any of the twelve recommended candidates were no longer available.

One of the twelve candidates Frans Kruger has already withdrawn.

On Monday night, Ramaphosa was expected to make an announcement about the appointment of the SABC board, which has now been delayed.

Mapisa-Nqakula send the letter to President Ramaphosa on Tuesday last week, informing him that the resolution passed on 6 December 2022 was lawful. He was also informed that he could choose from the additional three names to appoint a twelve-member board.

The SABC has not only been without a board for six months but the five-year contracts of the current CEO Madoda Mxakwe and the CFO Yolande van Biljon are also expected to come to an end towards the end of June and the beginning of July respectively. This means the two executives have just over two months left in office.

Ramaphosa denies acting inappropriately by not appointing Board: Thandi Smith

Media Monitoring Africa has described as devastating, the presidency’s failure to swiftly announce a new SABC Board. Media Monitoring Africa’s Director William Bird says, “We are devastated, quite honestly. We couldn’t possibly conceive that parliament wouldn’t do its job, to begin with and they would take so long to begin the process. We couldn’t possibly believe that the president could then delay the process further by months and months. It is ridiculous. We had no option but to take the President to the Constitutional Court. The process is still going ahead. We are just hoping the Constitutional Court will treat this with the urgency that it so desperately needs.”