Interviews of candidates for a vacancy on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board

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Communications and Digital Technologies

09 November 2011
Chairperson: Mr S Kholwane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee interviewed 6 candidates to fill one vacancy on the Board of SABC which was left vacant by the resignation of Mr Peter Harris.

The following short-listed candidates were interviewed:
Mr Lionel Adendorf
Ms Ntabiseng Sambo
Mr Thami Ka Plaatjie
Prof Sadhasivan Perumal
Mr Kenneth Herold
Mr Dennis Lille

Thereafter, the Committee briefly deliberated and the majority decided that Mr Thami Ka Plaatjie should be recommended to serve on the Board.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks
The Chairperson started the meeting by welcoming Ms Annelize Van Wyk (ANC) as a new member of the Committee.

He informed the Committee that there was an ongoing war of words in the media around the issue of the SABC. There were some groupings within the media which were calling for the resignation of the Chairperson of the SABC Board, Dr Ben Ngubane. He had engaged with them and informed them that the Committee was dealing with the matter and was waiting for reports.

He reminded Members that in a previous meeting, the Committee had taken a decision that the Board should come back and report on the question of who was Mr Ndaba because there was a confusion of whether he was a contractor or an employee. The Committee had resolved that the Board should investigate the matter, come back and report to the Committee when it had to deal with the report of the Monitoring Task Team.

The second issue that the Board needed to report on concerned the use of luxurious cars- there where allegations circulating in the media that the SABC procured luxurious cars. The Committee was therefore awaiting those reports which partly talked to the above issues and were hoping those issues would be clarified in the reports in terms of the investigations which had been conducted around them. The Monitoring Task Team Report would inform the Committee of what the status quo was at the SABC. He therefore did not doubt the capability of the Committee in taking a correct decision around those particular issues when those reports were made available to the Committee.

Candidates were asked the following questions:
Candidates were asked whether they owned a television set.
They were asked to elaborate on their qualifications and experience.
Candidates were asked why they thought they were the best candidate for the SABC Board.
Candidates were asked if they had any business or financial interests in the communications industry.
They were asked what they thought about the funding model for the SABC.
They were asked how the SABC should be funded.
They were asked to explain the constitutional obligation of the SABC.
They were asked to explain the responsibilities of the SABC Board in relation to those of the management of the SABC.
They were also asked if how they would advance the cause of women in the SABC and those of the people with disabilities in terms of taking on senior positions within that organisation.
Candidates were asked if they thought the SABC was a public broadcaster and if so, why they thought so.
Candidates were asked if they were appointed to the SABC Board what their immediate agenda would be and why.
They were asked what they were bringing to the SABC that would assist in the stabilisation of the entity.
They were asked what they thought was lacking in the SABC and what they would want to change in the SABC.
They were asked if they had conflict of interests in the SABC and if so, where they ready to relinquish such interests.
They were asked if they had the courage to serve at the SABC Board as there were challenges in the organisation.
They were asked to explain the relationship between the Executive and the Board of the SABC.
They were also asked to explain their understanding of the mandate of the SABC.
Candidates were asked how their political views would influence their decision making on the SABC Board.
They were asked whose duty it was to define the message of the SABC.
They were asked what they thought were the most urgent interventions the SABC Board needed to introduce at the organisation.
They were asked how they would achieve quality programming in the SABC.
They were asked what it was they were bringing which would contribute to the unity of the Board.
They were asked about their understanding of the Audit and Risk Management Committee.
They were asked what programmes in terms of the new technology they would introduce in the SABC that would empower women and people with disabilities.
They were asked to explain the relationships that existed between the Minister, the Board and Management of the SABC.
They were also asked what their views were in relation to the political interventions on the mandate of the Board.
Candidates were asked if they would have enough time to dedicate to the work of the SABC Board.
Candidates were asked to elaborate whether they had any problems with policy formulation in terms of implementation between SABC Board and the Executive.
They were asked what better relationship that could be linked with the Department of Arts and Culture.
They were asked to expand on some of the corporate governance challenge facing the SABC.

Refer to audio recording for responses.

Deliberation and Selection of Member of SABC Board
The Chairperson thanked the candidates for availing themselves for interviews. He requested Members to deliberate, consider and select the candidate for the SABC Board.

Mr K Zondi (IFP) proposed candidate number 3, Mr T Ka Plaatjie as candidate chosen by the IFP.

Ms N Michael (DA) also nominated Mr Ka Plaatjie as candidate chosen by DA.

Ms A Van Wyk (ANC) nominated Mr Ka Plaatjie as candidate chosen by ANC.

Ms J Killian (COPE) noted that her party did not support the nomination of Mr Ka Plaatjie.

The Chairperson noted that the majority of parties supported the nomination of Mr Mr Ka Plaatjie.

The Chairperson read out the report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on the process followed for the recommendation of a person to serve on the SABC Board dated 10 November 2011: The Portfolio Committee having considered the nominations of candidates submitted for appointment to serve on the SABC Board in terms of the Broadcasting Act No. 4 of 1999, reported as follows:
The Committee met and short listed the following candidates:
Mr L Adendorf
Ms N Sambo
Mr T Ka Plaatjie
Prof S Perumal
Mr K Herold
Mr D Lille

Having considered all candidates, the Committee recommended Mr T Ka Plaatjie to be appointed for the SABC Board and referred such recommendation to the National Assembly for consideration.

Ms Michael moved for the adoption of the report.

Ms R Morutoa seconded the move.

The Committee recommended Mr Ka Plaatjie as a candidate for the SABC Board.

The Chairperson asked Members if they should debate the matter or pass it as a simple report because COPE had a different view in terms of supporting the candidate and, there was what was called a declaration not necessary a debate, so that it could be communicated accordingly with the programme of the Committee.

Ms Killian noted that it could be a report but as a party they would make use of the right of declaration.

The Chairperson thanked Ms Killian for not prolonging the process into a debate. He also thanked the Committee Members for the smooth process of nominating a candidate because it was the first time in the history of that Committee they’ve agreed on a candidate, in particular the ANC and DA never agreed on a candidate. And that showed as they were working together they started to move out of their political shells to what was important for the country especially the SABC to be able to move forward.

The meeting was adjourned.



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