(SubCommittee) SABC Board Vacancies: deliberations and recommendation

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Communications and Digital Technologies

24 November 2022
Chairperson: Mr B Maneli (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


The Sub-Committee convened to deliberate and finalise the list of recommended candidates for appointment to the South African Broadcasting Corporation board. The political parties prioritised gender, expertise, and interview performance in selecting their preferred candidates. Unlike the ANC, DA, and IFP, the EFF only nominated two candidates. The operated in terms of persuasion rather than using a majority approach. As a result, parties dropped some of their preferred candidates to accommodate the appointment of women on the board.

The list of 12 recommended names included: Dr Renee Horne, Mr Tseliso Thipanyane, Mr Khathutshelo Ramukumba, Prof Franz Kruger, Ms Nomvuyiso Batyi, Ms Phathiswa Magopeni, Ms Aifheli Makhwanya, Ms Magdalene Moonsamy, Ms Rearabetsoe Motaung, Mr David Maimela, Mr Dinkwanyane Mohuba, and Mr Mpho Tsedu. Three additional names will serve as a reserve pool to cater for any eventuality: Mr Zolani Matthews; Ms Palesa Kadi and Mr Quentin Green.

The list would be recommended to the full Committee for consideration later that day.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed everyone to the meeting.

He noted an apology from Ms Kubheka.

The Chairperson said the purpose of this meeting is for members to motivate the names they want considered for the SABC Board. This would then be followed by a discussion once representations are made. The first objective is to try and persuade each other in the best interest of South Africans who also followed the processes

There would be a report at the end that has taken into account all other steps including comments received from the public and the legal clarities given to the Committee and deliberation

He noted that there are different party caucuses but he urged Members to stay and conclude this task.

This item has been longstanding item on the basis of a decision to have all candidates vetted

It was now time for Members to make recommendations on who should serve on the SABC Board.

Deliberations on preferred candidates for the SABC Board

Ms D Kohler Barnard (DA) requested confirmation on whether the Committee accepted that vetting has been completed.

The Chairperson replied that the Committee does have the vetting of candidates. This was announced at the end of the previous Committee meeting. Only one person has withdrawn during the vetting process. The person who withdrew is Ms Cynthia Stimpel. The Committee has been receiving names bit by bit and the Committee had to proceed without the person who withdrew.

The Chairperson indicated that at the end, other than recommending names, the Committee might want to make recommendations on the process going forward.

The Chairperson indicated that the support staff will assist with taking down the names.

Mr L Molala (ANC) stated that, from his political party’s point of view, all the names have been considered and due diligence has been done. Guided by continuity, gender, performance in interviews, youth and minority representation, the candidates that the party is presenting are: Dr Renee Horne, Mr David Maimela, Mr Dinkwanyane Mohuba, Ms Magdalene Moonsamy, Dr Oscar van Heerden, Ms Palesa Kadi, Ms Nomvuyiso Batyi, Ms Aifheli Makhwanya, Prof Franz Kruger, Ms Rearabetsoe Motaung, Mr Lumko Mtimde, Adv Tseliso Thipanyane, Mr Langa Zita.

Ms Kohler Barnard noted that there are some similarities on her list. She stated that she graded the candidates using similar measures as Mr Molala but prioritised the candidate’s expertise on the subject that could benefit the SABC. Ms Phathiswa Magopeni (encyclopaedic knowledge) was her top scoring candidate, this is followed by Dr Renee Horne (continuity), Advocate Tseliso Thipanyane (excellent interview), Mr Quentin Green (financial expert), Prof Franz Kruger (extensive expertise), Mr Lance Rothschild (expert in truening stations around financially), Mr Zolani Matthews (expert in broadcast policy), Mr Jack Phalane (continuity), Mr Mr Khathutshelo Ramukumba (internal audit expert) Mr Thembisa Fakude (radio and finance expertise), Mr Mpho Tsedu (strong on journalism) and Mr Kingdom Moshuenyane (arts expert).

Ms Z Majozi (IFP) stated that they used the same formula as the other parties which considered the candidate’s performance in interviews, a balance in gender equality, and youth representation. Their first priority is former CEO of the National Youth Development Agency Mr Khathutshelo Ramukumba, Ms Phathiswa Magopeni, former head of news, Dr Renee Horne, Ms Neliswa Thanjekwayo, Ms Nomvuyiso Batyi, Advocate Tseliso Thipanyane, Mr Quentin Green, Mr Zolani Matthews, Mr David Maimela, Mr Langa Zita, Mr Thembisa Fakude, Mr Mpho Tsedu, Prof Franz Kruger and Mr Jack Phalane.

Mr V Pambo (EFF) proposed only two numbers, Mr Khathutshelo Ramukumba and Mr Dinkwanyane Mohuba. This was done in the spirit of sharing this space and the reality that the party has certain numbers in the Committee. The EFF was not going to submit more names. He sees that other political parties have focused on the representation of women. The EFF welcomes this. The EFF will accept the majority’s proposals.

The Committee paused

When they returned, the Committee Secretary presented a consolidated document with all the candidates’ names as proposed by each political party.

Ms Majozi made a correction requesting Ms Neliswa Thanjekwayo to be removed from her list.

The Chairperson requested a persuasion between the political parties and not to make decisions by majority. He suggested that the Committee sort out the candidates along gender lines by drawing up a list of women on one side and men on another side. From these lists, the parties can see where they have a consensus on these names and then persuade each other on the last names.

Mr Molala suggested that before they consider gender, minorities, and other principles, the names should be categorised according to the number of political party votes each candidate received. Once it has been so categorised, it will be easier for the Committee to categorise the names according to gender thereafter.

The Chairperson clarified that this will be done however, the names still have to be sorted out according to gender so that the discussion be looked at in totality, rather than the Subcommittee taking breaks.

Mr Molala agreed with the Chairperson.

Ms Kohler Barnard suggested that a list of people who received no votes should be compiled first. A number of women have been nominated by at least two parties. Drawing up a list of who got two votes and who got three votes will be a good start.

Mr Pambo proposed that the Committee have a principle before make a decision. The principle must be a 50/50 split between men and women. The split can be 60% women and 40% men but it must not be more men than women in the split.

Ms Majozi, agreed that the nominations should be split into lists of number of votes but then the candidates’ prefixes/titles should be added before their names in order to give the Committee a clear idea of how many women and young people are represented on the list then the Committee can engage on that.

The Chairperson said that the Committee is in agreement with how the lists should be put together and requested that the Committee support team assist to compile this.

Ms Majozi stated the there is a possibility that she will not be available for the second half of the meeting.

The Committee took another break.

On their return, the candidates were categorised based on the number of votes.

One woman had three votes. Three women received two votes. Four women received one vote.

The Chairperson clarified Mr Pambo’s position that even though the EFF nominated two men, they are still giving their support and vote to all the women nominees. Therefore, EFF votes should be added to the women nominees on the list.

The list was adjusted according to this clarification.

Mr Molala said the candidates that have three votes can be left on the list. A reshuffle must happen, and each party must identify candidates to compromise on with the two so that women are put first. For example, if the ANC says we can compromise, the EFF will not compromise on a particular name, the Committee needs to know from the DA whom they are going to compromise in terms of the list that they presented. The IFP also needs to tell the Committee which name they are compromising. His proposal is that the Committee agree to retain the first four names because they have majority votes.

The Chairperson stated that this is the correction he has been suggesting and clarified the suggestion again so that the correction is made. If the EFFs vote is added, it changes the numbers.

Mr Molala stated that the list does not reflect that correction. So far, there is a 70/30 split. Can Ms Makhwanya, Ms Moonsamy, and Ms Kadi be given the EFF votes? He does not have a problem if this is the understanding.

Ms Kohler Barnard stated that she would be happy with Ms Makhwanya, Ms Moonsamy, and Ms Motaung as the last three as they scored higher on her list. She had some males that can be cut off but this can be raised later.

Dr M Basopu (ANC) said column two is the starting point for him. If the EFF’s principle is supported, that would mean that the two women in column two are moved up to have six candidates. Can we do that?

The Committee Secretary edited the list accordingly.

Mr Pambo clarified that the EFF is committed to the 50/50 split but it may have objections on some female names.

Dr Basopu stated if the Committee added all the names from columns 1 to 3, they end up with 18 names. This means that 6 names must be removed. He was suggesting that when they are discussing whatever approach to come up with, it must be around that 6 names that must be removed.

Ms Kohler Barnard proposed Mr J Phalane be removed as a nominee as other people have the same expertise as him. She also suggested Mr T Fakude’s name be removed, this would be a shame but the list has to be narrowed down. She stated that she would give her vote to Ms Motaung over Ms Kadi.

Mr Molala suggested that the DA should interact with the IFP in removing these names so they don’t remove names and the IFP argues for the same names. They can agree separately and the Committee can then confirm.

Ms Kohler Barnard that Ms Majozi is attending her caucus and she is not able to contact her. She added that if she removed her vote from those two candidates it will bring them to one vote and achieve the same goal.

Mr Pambo said the EFF has been very fair as it gave minimum names so as to allow everyone else to come in. They asked that the two names proposed by the EFF be accepted.

The Chairperson stated that the Committee be aware that Ms Majozi presented her party’s nominees in order of whom they prioritise. The Committee should bear this in mind when removing names on the list.

Mr Molala requested that he quickly deliberates with his party members over the names to remove. The only name he is left with on the list to compromise is Mr L Zita.

Dr Basopu agreed with this in principle. His approach was to have the 12 names. The gender matter would be addressed. Then other issues like geographical spread would also have to be looked at.

Ms Kohler Barnard suggested that if the Committee decided on the second batch of three women first they could be moved up the list and the Committee would be left choosing the last couple of men. She reiterated that she was happy to add her vote to Ms Makhwanya, Ms Moonsamy, and Ms Motaung.

The Chairperson queried if the ANC’s proposal is aligned with this.

This was agreed to.

The Committee staff adjusted the table.

The Chairperson noted that there were 11 names at this stage and there was agreement. There was a fair representation in those names in terms of expertise. For the sake of demographics, he proposed that the Committee include Dr van Heerden on the list to complete the male representation. He also proposed that instead of completely throwing out the remaining names, especially the names with two votes, can the names with two votes be kept as reserve names that can be considered should a member from the final nominees not be available. This can be a recommendation. He suggested that Members can consult on this suggestion and then return to the meeting if they need to. The Committee had operated in terms of persuasion rather than using a majority approach.

Mr Molala stated that he is fine with this suggestion. The minorities are represented. He suggested that Mr Tsedu and Dr van Heerden be included as they have done well.

Mr Pambo proposed that Prof Kruger be dropped and said that there are women that can be dropped should it be needed to reach a 50/50 split. The Committee can conclude with 12 names. The reserve names should be placed in order of preference by the Committee to avoid the Committee having to reconvene and deliberate on names should one of the people on the final list is unavailable.

Ms Kohler Barnard stated that she has a problem with bumping Dr van Heerden up on the nominations list as he scored low on her own list. She did not understand why Dr van Heerden should be bumped when she believes that other candidates performed better and other candidates received more votes. She would be happy to bump Mr Tsedu up.

Mr Molala noted that Mr Pambo made a proposal about Prof Kruger and asked for a discussion on this. Responding to Ms Kohler Barnard, he was fine with any of the remaining candidates and he would not oppose her as what she was raising was valid.

The Chairperson said that Prof Kruger was supported by three parties and only the EFF had raised an objection.

Addressing Ms Kohler Barnard, the Chairperson explained that name came as a result of the direction she asked for in terms of balancing the race. If that name is not acceptable, then this was fine. The ANC agreed to Mr Tshedu as proposed by Ms Kohler Barnard. The remaining names can be re-ordered.

The Chairperson stated that objections will be noted and that 12 names should be agreed on.

Ms Kohler Barnard stated that four names should be suggested as reserves should a spot open up and she would like to bump Mr Z Matthews up on the list of reserves.

The Committee finalised the list: Dr Renee Horne, Mr Tseliso Thipanyane, Mr Khathutshelo Ramukumba, Prof Franz Kruger, Ms Nomvuyiso Batyi, Ms Phathiswa Magopeni, Ms Aifheli Makhwanya, Ms Magdalene Moonsamy, Ms Rearabetsoe Motaung, Mr David Maimela, Mr Dinkwanyane Mohuba, and Mr Mpho Tsedu

Three additional names will serve as a reserve pool to cater for any eventuality: Mr Zolani Matthews; Ms Palesa Kadi and Mr Quentin Green.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting.


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