Thumbs up as the SABC gets new board and chief executive

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has appointed 12 members for the SABC board.

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has appointed 12 members for the SABC board.

Twelve non-executive members as recommended by the national assembly are: Cedric Gina, Phillipa Green, Peter Harris, Barbara Masekela, Magathe Mello, Nkotomane Motsepe, Ben Ngubane, David Niddrie, Claire O'Neil, Felleng Sekha, Suzanne Vos and Desmond Golding. Ngubane is the chairperson while Sekha is his deputy.

Ngubane is former minister of arts, culture, science and technology and former SA ambassador to Japan.

Sekha was once chairperson of the Independent Broadcasting Authority and the National Telecommunications Forum.

Meanwhile, the Creative Workers Union at the SABC has accepted the new chief executive Solly Mokoetle. Mokoetle and the board members will take up their positions next month. Mokoetle replaces Dali Mpofu.

The SABC has been operating without a permanent chief executivesince Mpofu and the SABC parted ways acrimoniously almost two years ago.

mmeanwhile head of content enterprise Gab Mampone has been acting as chief executive.

The SABC is yet to fill other senior positions, including that of chief executive of news, a powerful and highly influential editorial position. This position was previously held by controversial veteran journalist Snuki Zikalala whose contract was not renewed.

The CWU welcomed Mokoetle's appointment.

"The union has a strong belief that with the experience, the knowledge and passion for the institution, Mokoetle will be able to turn the SABC around," said spokesperson Mimi Lushaba.

"He demonstrated his ability to take the corporation to greater heights while he was part of the SABC management as the COO a few years ago.

"The union also believes Mokoetle will pay attention to current concerns about the contents of the auditor general's report, which has pointed to huge problems in the running of the SABC."

The previous SABC board commenced the process of appointing a chief executive and short-listed candidates for the position. For the sake of transparency the board reopened the process by re-advertising the vacancy.

The Interim Board then recommended Mokoetle to Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda, following an intensive interviewing process.

SABC Interim Board chairperson Irene Charnley said the decision to appoint Mokoetle was based on his experience and a proven track record during the time the SABC was profitable, making him the most suitable candidate.

Mokoetle served the corporation for 12 years. He started working at the SABC in 1994 as one of the team of executives who were assigned to transform the SABC from the state broadcaster to a public broadcaster. When he left the SABC in 2006, he held the position of chief operations officer.