EFF hits out at Communications Minister over SABC appointment

SABC insiders say Chris Maroleng is the new chief operating officer at the SABC.
SABC insiders say Chris Maroleng is the new chief operating officer at the SABC.

The EFF has jumped into the controversy around the expected appointment of MTN group executive of corporate affairs Chris Maroleng to replace Hlaudi Motsoeneng as the new SABC Chief Operating Officer (COO).

In response to the reports on the appointment‚ which drew messages of well wishes for Maroleng from respected figures such as former public protector Thuli Mandonsela and radio host Redi Tlhabi‚ the Minister of Communications‚ Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane issued a statement saying that "all appointments of the Chief Operating Officer‚ Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of State Owned Entities are done through Cabinet processes and therefore the announcements of the outcome are made by Cabinet".

"It is the Minister’s responsibility to present any appointment of executives of the SOEs under the Department of Communications through Cabinet processes. To this end‚ the Minister has no knowledge of any official appointment of a COO of SABC‚" she said on Monday.

On Tuesday‚ the EFF rejected the assertion that Cabinet appoints SABC executives.

"We reject this as yet another attempt to interfere with the independence of the SABC Board in doing its work. On 6 December 2017‚ the North Gauteng High Court ordered that the appointment of executive members of the SABC must be done by non-executive members of the SABC Board. The court further indicated that appointments will be done after consultation with the Minister‚ which means her opinion is not binding to the choices of executive appointments by the board.

"In all the stages of the appointments of executives‚ there is nowhere it includes cabinet. It may very well be that cabinet is informed‚ but this is a mere matter of noting. The cabinet has no role‚ neither the President‚ in the appointment of SABC executives.

"We advise Kubayi-Ngubane to resist returning the public broadcaster into the route of disreputable political interference it suffered under Faith Muthambi."

The EFF said if executives are to be done by cabinet‚ "then not only will the SABC Board be rendered irrelevant‚ it will mean ours is now fully a state broadcaster" - instead of a public broadcaster. "The EFF calls on the Board to stand its ground as the law is on their side and resist all temptations to be bullied by the arrogant Zuma mascot Minister Kubayi-Ngubane."

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