SABC board plan a wreck

WE will take a sympathetic view and assume that the state's under-marketing of the process to nominate the new SABC board was meant to create controversy and thereby ensure the story remained in the headlines.

WE will take a sympathetic view and assume that the state's under-marketing of the process to nominate the new SABC board was meant to create controversy and thereby ensure the story remained in the headlines.

That is what has happened since we learnt that the state had announced that the public nominates names of individuals who will sit on the new board.

But in case the state had more cynical reasons for not telling as many people as possible to have their say on who should become a member of the board, it is by now clear that their plan has failed.

Civil society has taken the initiative and ensured that the public broadcaster is henceforth protected from changes in the fortunes of politicians.

In a democracy we not only get a government we deserve but we also earn the public institutions that come our way.

The ANC also has an opportunity to prove that its talk of disassociating itself from the Mbeki years is more than just empty talk.

It should avoid the temptation of padding the board with people who owe their first loyalty to the party even when this is at the expense of the public, as the party itself alleged of the dissolved board.

Having said that, we add our voice to those organisations that say the nomination period should be extended by a month, from July 31 to the end of August, to allow communities and interest groups disadvantaged by the state's short notice enough time to lobby and canvass for preferred candidates.

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