Union slams opposition issue over SABC board

The head of legal services at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Sizwe Vilakazi,Picture: Gallo Images

THE Communications Workers Union said yesterday that opposition parties issue with the two newly-elected SABC members was “petty and irrelevant”.

Last week the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on communications had approved the names of the 12 to serve as non-executive members of the SABC board.

The two members are Krish Naidoo and Febe Potgieter-Gqubele both of which have been accused by opposition parties such as the EFF and DA as being deployed by the ANC. “What the opposition parties allege about Naidoo and Potgieter-Gqubele is politically flawed and stupid to say the least.

There is a growing line of thinking coming from opposition parties that anything related to the ANC is not of a high level of moral ground. “The issue which they have raised is petty and irrelevant,” CWU general secretary Aubrey Tshabalala said.

In relation to entire interview process and the appointment of the SABC board, Tshabala said if a person was an ANC member and they qualified they should be appointed.

“We should not view people in relation to their political affiliations, we need to view them in terms of what they can offer to the SABC,” Tshabalala said.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu had previously said: “They (Naidoo and Potgieter-Gqubele) have been serving on the interim board. They have done wonderful work together with the other three members of the interim board.

“If people were worried about these two being members of the ANC, why did not those people raise it when we first appointed the interim board.” Tshabalala said he was disappointed that among the 12 newly appointed SABC board members there was no labour union representation.

“We are disappointed as we thought there would be a person from the labour union sector to be part of the board who would then serve in the interest of the public broadcaster and generally in the interest of society.

However, we will still cautiously watch what the newlyelected 12 SABC board members do in the future,” Tshabalala said.

The names of Rachel Kalidass, Nomvuyiso Batyi, Krish Naidoo, Mathatha Tsedu, Khanyisile Kweyama, Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, Dinkwanyane Mohuba, Jack Phalane, John Matisonn, Micheal Markovitz, Victor Rambau and Bongumusa Makhathini have been submitted to President Jacob Zuma for appointment.

REFILWE MAGASHULE    news@thenewage.co.za