The former board members at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) have blamed Dina Pule, communications minister, for the reason behind their resignations, saying she does not know where her powers begin and end.
Following the announcement by Sikhumbuzo Kholwane saying Pippa Green resigned from the SABC board, Suzanne Vos, who was one of the two remaining board members, has also quit, leaving Claire McNeil (currently outside South Africa) as the only remaining board member.
Vos gave a short statement at the Portfolio Committee on Communications meeting (PCC) today laying into Dina Pule and Ben Ngubane, the former board chairperson.
The PCC is currently deciding on the way forward amidst all the resignations and controversy surrounding the broadcaster.
“We no longer have the support of the minister and shareholder. As an SOE (state-owned-enterprise) it’s imperative to enjoy ongoing trust and cooperation from the shareholder. It appears the minister does not trust the board,” said Vos.
She added: “She (Pule) has made herself clear in statements that this committee must recommend the dissolution of the SABC board. On Sunday the minister told Justice Malala (eNCA TV presenter) she wanted the committee to get rid of us.”
Regarding Ngubane, Vos said: “Time and again, Dr Ben Ngubane acted illegally. He was acting as an executive chairman, not a non-executive. For too long the board covered up his quixotic behaviour.”
As the government’s shareholder representative, Pule is supposed to meet with the board regularly. Also, the shareholder compact, which measures the board’s effectiveness and details its key performance indicators has never been made available to the public, despite requests by civil society and members of parliament (MPs).
A former board member, who has requested to remain anonymous, told Business Day Live it is common knowledge that Pule has limited understanding of where her responsibilities as communications minister begin and end.
“She has made numerous public comments on radio, TV and in her statements that the board is to be blamed for the governance crises, but it is she who has tried to overturn our decisions when she does not have the power to do so,” said the source.