Struggle to draft SABC board shortlist

PARLIAMENT'S communications portfolio committee is struggling to choose 12 people from the 239 nominations it has received for the new SABC board.

PARLIAMENT'S communications portfolio committee is struggling to choose 12 people from the 239 nominations it has received for the new SABC board.

The committee spent yesterday in a session closed to the media trying to compose a shortlist of 30 people, but was derailed when it discovered that not all the nominees' application letters had been included in their documents.

The former SABC board was disbanded in May after a financial crisis that saw the public broadcaster plunged into R830million debt.

Though three members of the disgraced board - Andile Mbeki, Bheki Khumalo and Desmond Golding - accepted nominations for the new board, the ANC will likely oppose their appointment.

Some of the ANC's nominations include South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union head of policy Jane Barrett, businesswoman and daughter of Oliver Tambo, Tselane Tambo, and former arts and culture minister and ambassador to Japan Ben Ngubane.

Common names mentioned by opposition parties included former opposition party leader Fredrick Van Zyl Slabbert, veteran journalist Max du Preez, journalist and former treasury official Pippa Green and BBBEE mogul and academic Mamphele Ramphele.

There is also a Facebook campaign nominating Sipho Ngwema, the Scorpions' first spokesperson and now a prominent Cope member.

Members of the public nominated billionaire entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth, movie critic Barry Ronge, author Antjie Krog, radio personalities Tim Modise and John Perlman and opera singer Mimi Coertse, but none of them indicated that they accepted the nomination.

The interim board recently announced that it would stop a decision to buy R500million worth of local programmes in a bid to save money.

But the Television Industry Emergency Coalition condemned the move, saying it would put thousands of workers out of jobs. The decision also sparked a hunger strike by local TV producer Michael Lee, who has gone for the past 23 days without eating.

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