The SABC effectively does not have a board, following the resignation of its deputy chair, Leah Thabisile Khumalo, yesterday. President Jacob Zuma yesterday said he accepted Khumalo’s resignation “effective immediately” and wished her well.
The board had not constituted a quorum for it to function even before Khumalo’s resignation.
“The way the board is now, there is absolutely nothing they can do,” a source who spoke to The Citizen anonymously said. “They are just board members by virtue of appointment and haven’t been recalled.”
Meanwhile, the scheduling of the inquiry by parliament’s portfolio committee on communications into the fitness of the SABC board to hold office is still up in the air, due to delays in the legal process.
The inquiry was set for last week by the portfolio committee on communications, but delayed so it could send notices to the remaining three board members: chairperson Obert Maguvhe, Aaron Tshidzumba and Nomvuyo Mhlakaza.
The committee had resolved to institute the inquiry on October 5. Earlier this month, SABC board members Krish Naidoo and Vusi Mavuso announced their resignation in parliament. At the time, Naidoo called the board “amateurish” and “dysfunctional”.
The resignations were on the heels of the public broadcaster’s appointment of former chief operating officer Hlaudi Motseoneng to another position at the SABC, after the Supreme Court of Appeal had ruled that he was hired unlawfully.
The inquiry was set to look into the board’s ability to perform its duties, the financial status of the SABC, and its response to the public protector’s 2014 report, When Governance and Ethics Fail.
The Citizen understands letters of inquiry will be sent to board members by Friday, as the drafts will be completed today. Parliament’s last sitting is on November 25, at which the committee aims to have completed its work, so the matter can be debated in the National Assembly.