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d ispute over sabc' S new INTERIM BOARD members

By Anna Majavu | Jul 03, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A NEW interim board is set to take the reins at the SABC - but only for the next six months.

Even though it will be replaced by a permanent 12-member board by the end of the year, parliament's portfolio committee on communications still argued for hours yesterday over the names for the interim board.

Fears that the ANC would use their majority in the committee to force through an interim board of "political appointees" did not materialise, with all political parties initially agreeing on four out of the five board members.

Those new members were former National Union of Mineworkers senior negotiator turned billionaire Irene Charnley, former chief executive of the Media Diversity Development Agency Libby Lloyd, entertainment specialist lawyer Leslie Sedibe, and former Inkatha Freedom Party member of parliament's communications portfolio committee, Suzanne Vos.

The Independent Democrats, the DA and the Congress of the People initially agreed with the ANC on Charnley, Lloyd, Vos and Sedibe.

But, when the ruling party refused to appoint former World Bank director Dr Mamphela Ramphele as the fifth board member, the opposition parties did an about turn and withdrew their support for the entire board.

The ruling party said they held Ramphele in "high esteem" and would have included her if the Broadcasting Amendment Act had allowed for a six-member interim board.

But, they insisted on nominating Unisa political scientist and former editor of The Voice newspaper, Phil Mtimkulu.

Mtimkulu is to be deputy chairperson and Charnley the chairperson of the board.

President Jacob Zuma is now set to endorse the new interim board which will be under pressure to tackle the broadcaster's R830million deficit.


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