Zuma must accept SABC resignations – DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says President Zuma should accept the resignations of South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) chairman Ben Ngubane and his deputy Thami ka Plaatjie.

The pair’s resignations are currently under consideration, with reports yesterday suggesting Minister of Communications Dina Pule was hoping to persuade them to reconsider.

But DA Shadow Minister of Communiucations Marian Shinn said the pair should be allowed to leave and should consider themselves lucky not to have been fired.

“President Zuma must have no hesitation in accepting the resignation of SABC Board chairperson Ben Ngubane,” Shinn said. “He should have fired him long ago.

“If the SABC was listed on the JSE the chairperson would have been kicked out for causing rifts and disgust among board members for the manner in which he runs the corporation. To have lost nine board members in two years points to poor leadership. Nothing else.”

Shinn also accused Ngubane of condoning political influence in executive appointments and SABC operations.

She also highlighted the controversy around Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s appointment and subsequent replacement as chief operating officer as evidence Ngubane was not cut out for the job.

“President Zuma must make the right decision about these board resignations and appoint replacements by the weekend,” Shinn said. “He must not be tempted to soothe hurt egos and reward personal loyalties.

“He must not be tempted to allow negotiations for golden handshakes for these men. They’re lucky not to have been fired, so must not have the option of retiring in luxury.”

The shadow minister said the recent chaos at the SABC was indicative of the lack of leadership exhibited by Dina Pule at the Department of Communications (DoC). Shinn said she would be sending to Pule and Communications Portfolio Committee Chairperson Eric Kholwane proposals on how to “put an end to the ever-increasing chaos at the SABC”.

These proposals include: President Zuma accepting the resignations of the chairman and deputy chairman; the immediate replacement of the pair; increased National Treasury and Auditor General involvement in turning the corporation around and adhering to loan guarantee conditions; the implementation of an independent skills audit; and parliament hearings on the future structure and regulatory framework of the SABC.

“For decades South Africans have been subject to a broadcasting regime that has been abused by governing political parties to entrench their power and manipulate the way the citizens should think,” Shinn said.

“Because of its size and commercial potential the SABC has become a cash cow for the opportunistic and connected cronies.

“There is a role for public broadcasting which is informative, educative and entertaining without being beholden to commercial considerations, but there must be guarantees in place that it is not abused for political ends and has active involvement of the citizens its serves.”

Posted in: Telecoms

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