Shortlist of candidates for Media Development and Diversity Agency Board & South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board

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Communications

24 March 2015
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Meeting Summary

The Portfolio Committee on Communications met to approve the shortlist of interview candidates for the Media Development and Diversity Agency and the South African Broadcasting Corporation as referred by the Sub-committee on Communications. The Committee decided to dismiss the late submission of names by the EFF as the choice of candidates were too late to be considered by the Sub-committee. Interviews of the candidates for the MDDA were 31 March 2015 and 1 April 2015. Interviews for the position at the SABC were 2 April 2015.

The name of Mr Lumko Mtimde, former MDDA CEO and SABC Board member, which was one of the preferred candidates of the ANC for the MDDA Board, had to be withdrawn as he was unable to provide proof of his qualifications.  The Committee approved the Sub-committee’s recommendations for interviews, which were:

MDDA Board
1) Ms Pearl Ncamisile Maseko;
2) Mr Yengwayo Wilberforce Kutta;
3) Mr Keabetswe Modimoeng;
4) Mr Thamsanqa Isaac Ntenteni;
5) Advocate Kwena Thomas Ntsewa;
6) Ms Belese Nobubele Majova;
7) Ms Palesa Kadi;
8) Mr Radithoana Solomon Motsepe;
9) Mr Mahmood Abdulla Sanglay;
10) Mr Olwethu Sipuka ;
11) Dr William Peter Rowland;
12) Ms Vuyelwa Vivian Mdazana;
13) Mr Jabulane Blose.

SABC Board
1) Ms Jennifer Anne Irish-Qobosheane;
2) Mr Keabetswe Modimoeng;
3) Mr Ashwin Hirjee Trikamjee;
4) Dr Ntombizandile Carol Lesame;
5) Ms Saskia Janine Hickey.
 

Meeting report

[Note: PMG did not attend the Sub-Committee on Communications meeting immediately prior to this meeting where Members negotiated and finalised the shortlist of preferred candidates for interviewing].

The Portfolio Committee on Communications met to consider the Sub-Committee’s recommended shortlist of candidates for interviewing for the vacant board positions at the MDDA and the SABC.

Ms J Moloi-Moropa (ANC) announced that following the adjournment of the Sub-committee, the EFF had submitted their five preferred names for consideration for the SABC and three for the MDDA. She had two concerns: Firstly, Committee Member Mr Ndlozi (EFF) was not present in the Sub-committee. The Chief Whip, Mr F Shivambu (EFF), was present in his place but left early. According to Mr Shivambu, Mr Ndlozi said he had sent the names of the EFF’s preferred candidates earlier. The names from Mr Shivambu arrived late, after the Sub-committee meeting. Ms Moloi-Moropa opened the floor to Members for guidance.

Mr G Davis (DA) said it would be good to see what the Rules said. Was it a party who got to nominate a candidate or was it a person? Was it interchangeable? Why was it acceptable that people could just send names in after the meeting of the Sub-committee? What was the purpose of the deliberations by the Sub-committee?

Ms Moloi-Moropa said it was clear from the Rules that members who conducted interviews should be members from Portfolio Committee. Mr Shivambu was not a Member of the Committee. He had written a letter that he would be an alternate Member but this had not been placed in the ATC (Announcements, Tabling and Committee Reports) parliamentary papers.

Mr R Tseli (ANC) said the names submitted by the EFF had not been processed by the Sub-committee. The names submitted by the EFF after the Sub-committee meeting did not belong before the Portfolio Committee for consideration.

Mr M Kekana said the names from the EFF should not be considered because the EFF Chief Whip was present at the earlier stages of the Sub-committee meeting. It is then that he should have submitted the names. Added to that, all qualifications of candidates should be vetted.

Ms Moloi-Moropa said the crux of the matter was that the EFF submission was late. Rules prescribed that she was allowed the option to submit her opinion on the matter. The strict resolution was that the names were not on time. The matter was closed.

Shortlist of MDDA Board candidates for interview
Prior to the adoption of the names for interview for the MDDA Board, Ms Moloi-Moropa drew Members attention to the letters referred to the Committee by the President about the board vacancies:

▪ The first letter informed the Assembly that Media Development and Diversity Agency board member Dr René Alicia Smith had tendered her resignation in terms of section 6(1)(b) of the Media Development and Diversity Agency Act, 2002 (No 14 of 2002) and the term of office of Mr Phenyo Nonqane would expire on 13 January 2015 in terms of section 8(2) of the Act. He requested the Assembly to commence with the process of recommending, in accordance with the principles set out in section 4(1)(b) of the Act, suitable candidates to fill the vacancies.

▪ The second letter informed the Assembly that the MDDA member Mr Robert Dangisa Nkuna, was appointed until 22 January 2016, had tendered his resignation in terms of section 6(1)(b) of the MDDA Act, 2002 (No 14 of 2002). He requested the Assembly to commence with the process of recommending, in accordance with the principles set out in section 4(1)(b) of the Act, a suitable candidate to fill the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the term of office.

The Committee received 46 nominations and the Sub-Committee shortlisted 13 candidates. They were:
1) Ms Pearl Ncamisile Maseko;
2) Mr Yengwayo Wilberforce Kutta;
3) Mr Keabetswe Modimoeng;
4) Mr Thamsanqa Isaac Ntenteni;
5) Advocate Kwena Thomas Ntsewa;
6) Ms Belese Nobubele Majova;
7) Ms Palesa Kadi;
8) Mr Radithoana Solomon Motsepe;
9) Mr Mahmood Abdulla Sanglay;
10) Mr Olwethu Sipuka ;
11) Dr William Peter Rowland;
12) Ms Vuyelwa Vivian Mdazana;
13) Mr Jabulane Blose.
The majority of the candidates shortlisted were put forward by the ANC. The DA proposed Mr Motsepe and Mr Mdazana.

[In the Sub-committee deliberations, which happened immediately prior to the Portfolio Committee meeting, Mr Davis objected to the ANC nomination of the former Chairman of the MDDA, Mr Lumko Mtimde. He said that Mr Mtimde, who was one of the six people considered in the shortlist, was a proponent of the Media Appeals Tribunal. Mr Davis indicated that Mr Mtimde also served on the SABC board between 2011 and 2013. He, like Ms Tshabalala, could not provide evidence of his qualifications. He reportedly said, according to Legal brief: ‘I don’t believe that somebody who wants the state to regulate what journalists say is somebody you could say is committed to freedom of expression or the right of the public to be informed.’
He reportedly quoted the Broadcasting Act, which said that members of the SABC board ‘must when viewed collectively be persons who are committed to fairness, freedom of expression, right of the public to be informed, openness and accountability on the part of those holding public office’.

Mr Mtimde name was withdrawn by the ANC on the basis that all his documents had not been received.]

The Committee approved the Committee Report recommending these names for interviews

The interviews are scheduled to take place on 31 March 2015 and 1 April 2015.

Mr Davis asked for clarity on whether Mr Mtimde did submit proof of his qualifications or were they late. If they were late, he could re-submit. However, if he did not have them, then it raised serious questions about his previous tenure on the SABC Board as well as his position on other institutions such as the MDDA.

Ms Moloi-Moropa said the submission was late because there were some aspects that were still remaining. She did not want to get into the nitty gritties.

Shortlist of SABC Board candidates for interview
Ms Moloi-Moropa drew Members attention to the instruction letter from the President on filling the SABC vacant board position left by former Board Chairperson, Ms Ellen Tshabalala.

The Chairperson read out the Committee Report recommending the names for interviews, which read:
The Portfolio Committee on Communications, having considered the letter by President informing the National Assembly of the resignation of Ms Ellen Zandile Tshabalala from the Board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) with effect from 17 December 2014; and requesting the Assembly to recommend, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Broadcasting Act, 1999 (Act No 4 of 1999), a suitable candidate to fill the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the period for which the vacating member had been appointed. The Committee received 96 nominations and subsequently shortlisted:
1) Ms Jennifer Anne Irish-Qobosheane;
2) Mr Keabetswe Modimoeng;
3) Mr Ashwin Hirjee Trikamjee;
4) Dr Ntombizandile Carol Lesame;
5) Ms Saskia Janine Hickey.

The Committee approved the Committee Report recommending these names for interviews

The interviews are scheduled to take place on 2 April 2015.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

Present

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