File image: INLSA
The DA said it “noted with concern” that the new SABC board chairperson and his deputy were President Jacob Zuma’s close allies.

DA national spokesperson and MP Phumzile van Damme, said: “The DA notes with grave concern the appointment of SABC board chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini and deputy chairperson Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, who are close allies to President Zuma and his family. This comes after the president has been in possession of the recommended candidates (list) for over a month”.

She said the SABC interim board’s term of office came to an end on September 26 and the embattled entity has been without a board since.

“Despite the appointments finally being made, the DA has some concerns regarding the suitability and impartiality of the chairperson and deputy chairperson appointed by the president,” said Van Damme.

“Makhathini is also the chairman of a foundation run by one of President Zuma’s wives, Bongi Ngema-Zuma.

“Potgieter-Gqubule has been a close ally and adviser to Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, with strong political ties to the ANC.

“During interviews, she admitted there is a possibility that she would resign from the SABC board if elected to the ANC national executive committee.”

Van Damme said it was “obvious that the president wilfully delayed” the appointment because he wanted certain individuals on the board to serve his own interests and not those of South Africans.

She said the SABC needs individuals who will carry out its mandate, act within the prescripts of the Broadcasting Act and not bow to political pressure.

“It is reassuring that there are some very qualified and suitable individuals on the board and we wish them all well during their tenure. We will be keeping a hawk’s eye on the board’s work.

“It is now up to them to stand up against corruption and political interference. The DA remains committed to ensuring that the SABC is not re-captured by individuals who don’t have South Africans’ interests at heart.”

Other members include Krish Naidoo, Khanyisile Kweyama, John Matisonn, Mathatha Tsedu, Rachel Kalidass, Michael Markovitz, Victor Rambau, Dinkwanyane Mohuba and Jack Phalane.

ANA