Kaunda Selisho
Lifestyle Journalist
2 minute read
12 Apr 2019
1:12 pm

DA takes credit for the new SABC board

Kaunda Selisho

The party believes Ramaphosa succumbed to their pressure as well as that of civil society to appoint a new board.

Phumzile Van Damme | Image: Twitter

Following today’s announcement that President Cyril Ramaphosa had appointed eight new members to the SABC board, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has taken credit for the move by stating that Ramaphosa “succumbed to the pressures of the DA and civil society”.

The new members will serve the remaining term of office – which expires on October 15, 2022 – of the members who resigned from the SABC board last year.

In a statement drafted by DA MP and shadow minister of communications Phumzile Van Damme, it reads: “We hope this will bring stability to the embattled public broadcaster, which has been functioning with an inquorate board for the past few months.”

Despite being happy with the decision, the party has vehemently objected to the inclusion of Professor Sathasivan Cooper.

“The report to the education minister portraying him as ‘manipulative’ and prone to ‘surrounding himself with acolytes’ is still outstanding. There are serious allegations hanging over his head and we implore the rest of the board to not be intimidated by him and remain steadfast in its goals,” said the DA.

The party went on to accuse the ANC of trying to meddle with the independence of the SABC after reports that Ramaphosa met with communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams a day before making his decision.

“Section 13 of the Broadcasting Act is clear that non-executive members of the SABC Board must be appointed by the president on the advice of the National Assembly. The minister should not have been consulted as the board should be completely independent of her,” explained the DA.

“Despite the ANC not considering any candidates proposed by opposition parties, we wish the board well in its task. The SABC is facing serious financial difficulties and it will take skill, grit and tough decisions to turn it around,” concluded the DA.

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