SABC Board vacancies brought up to six
This afternoon, the SABC communicated the Board’s removal of two further members citing fraudulent conduct and non-disclosure of conflicts of interest. This follows the removal of Hope Zinde from the Board just two weeks ago under the same circumstances.
The removed Board members are Rachael Kalidass and Ronnie Lubisi, brining the tally of Board vacancies up to six. Of particular concern is that this follows drastic changes to the SABC’s Memorandum of Incorporation which brings the Board and its functions under the direct control of the Minister of Communications.
There has been little transparency beyond the allegations “investigated” by the Board about:
- the substantive nature of the charges;
- the extent of the alleged infractions; and
- the outcomes of each of the individual investigations.
A Principled Board?
The SOS Coalition believes in a principled Board that can be trusted and acknowledges and delivers on its mandate to the public that it serves. Such a Board would have the confidence of the country if it passed resolutions such as this and was transparent about them.
If this Board is, indeed, serious about clean governance and service excellence as it will claim in the interviews and press engagements that follow, why did it choose not to act when Ellen Tshabalala was alleged to have falsified her qualifications and their whereabouts, even at the point where she was proved to have lied and perjured herself? Why has it not yet presented a formal response and a public report concerning the damning findings and recommended remedial action against COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng and others, made by the Public Protector in her report When Governance and Ethics Fail over a year ago?
When will the cycle of instability end?
The SOS Coalition has repeatedly called on Parliament to undertake a full inquiry into the reasons behind the perpetual instability at the level of the Board and it has repeatedly failed to do so, most notably in the period leading up to the dissolution of the Ngubane Board in 2013.
Without evidence to the contrary, it is clear that these recent events evidence a mass purging of members for reasons outside of offering the people of South Africa an SABC that truly works for them. Unless a purposive and thorough inquiry into these instabilities that is devoid of political posturing or scapegoating is undertaken by Parliament, South Africans cannot hope to have a public broadcaster that operates in the public interest.
We want to know: what is really the matter with the SABC, and when will the cycle of instability end?
Timeline of Progressing SABC Board Collapse V2.0
October 2014, Thembinkosi Bonakele resigned from the Board to become commissioner of the Competition Commission.
December 2014, disgraced former Chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala resigned from the Board after she was found by the Portfolio Committee of Communications to have fraudulently misrepresented her qualifications and perjured herself;
January 2015, Bongani Khumalo resigned from the Board citing interference by the Minister of Communications after she had sent him and other members including Zinde, Kalidas and Lubisi letters demanding they give reason why they should not be suspended from the Board.
March 2015, The Board passes a motion of no confidence against Hope Zinde following allegations of fraudulent conduct and non-disclosure of conflicts of interest.
SABC Media Statement
VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE PASSED AGAINST TWO MORE BOARD MEMBERS
Johannesburg, Thursday, 26 March 2015 – The South African Broadcasting Corporation Board of Directors today convened a meeting to conclude the business of the special Board meeting that was adjourned on Thursday 12 March 2015.
Today’s meeting dealt with matters relating to the allegations of fraudulent conduct and non-disclosure of conflict of interest levelled against certain Board Members.
After deliberations by the Board it was resolved that Ms R Kalidass and Mr M R Lubisi be removed as Non-Executive Directors with effect from 26 March 2015. The decision in this regard has already been communicated to the Shareholder.
Issued by: Group Communications on behalf of the Acting Chairperson of the SABC Board, Professor M.O Maguvhe.
Media Enquiries: Mr Kaizer Kganyago
082 306 8888