Communications minister on the spot in SABC saga
Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane will have the opportunity on Tuesday to present her side of the story to the parliamentary portfolio committee on communications in the SABC executive appointments saga.
It emerged earlier in January that the SABC was set to hire MTN group chief Chris Maroleng pending vetting by the State Security Agency despite claims by the minister that she was not consulted.
The broadcaster has also re-advertised the position of CEO and chief financial officer. A court order in December stated that the board would make any permanent or interim appointment of any executive member "only after consultation with the minister of communications".
Kubayi-Ngubane’s spokeswoman Ireen Magwai said on Monday the minister had not been consulted. "She must be consulted in that process… she does not want to appoint or fire executives, but due process has to be followed," said Magwai.
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said the process to appoint the executives was yet to be finalised.
"We have made it clear that we will only comment on the process of appointments once they are finalised… We have to make sure the correct thing is done. The appointment of the chief operating officer is under way… we have also advertised the positions of CEO and CFO [chief financial officer}."
The SABC had to restart the process of appointing permanent executives after previous communications minister Ayanda Dlodlo criticised the interim board for recommending "underqualified" candidates.
It is also understood that the Treasury will not advance the R3bn government guarantee the SABC has requested until the public broadcaster deals with several issues including the appointment of executives.
Treasury sources said there was concern that without permanent executives in place, there would be no accountability at the SABC, increasing the likelihood that its turnaround plan would fail.
The SABC is still facing financial difficulties. Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu warned about the SABC’s going-concern status, noting it was commercially insolvent by March 2017.