“Twelve names recommended to serve on SABC Board are enough”

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National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says legal advice from Parliament states that it was enough for the Communications Portfolio Committee to only submit the 12 recommended names of persons to serve on the SABC Board.

Mapisa-Nqakula revealed this at the National Assembly Programme Committee after Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi sought clarity on why President Cyril Ramaphosa is delaying the appointment of the Board.

Mapisa-Nqakula says Ramaphosa has written to her to seek clarity on the additional names that were approved by the Assembly in December last year.

The committee submitted three additional candidates to the House for final approval.

This was to allow Ramaphosa to choose from the pool of the three names in the event that any of the twelve candidates may fall off or are no longer available.

Mapisa Nqakula says, “Actually it turns out that Parliament should not have given itself the discretion to provide the President with an extra pool of names. So as a result of that, that matter is now with the Chairperson of the Committee and the Committee for them to provide the Speaker with guidance. The legal opinion from Ms Adhikarie [Parliament’s chief legal advisor, Zuraya Adhikarie], actually it was enough for the committee to provide the list of 12 and not the extra list from which the President should select the members of the SABC.”

Meanwhile, African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Pemmy Majodina disagreed and defended the decision of submitting additional names, saying it was done before.

Majodina says the delay in appointing the SABC Board has put Parliament under the spotlight as if it has not done its work.

“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 send 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 [National Youth Development Fund] process, and we did that in the CEG process.”

“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,” adds Majodina.

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