South African Communications Minister Mmaloko Kubayi. PHOTO: Chantall Presence/ANA
Parliament - Communications Minister Mmaloko Kubayi on Tuesday told MPs she has instructed her department to appeal a high court ruling limiting her powers with regard to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board members and executives.

The judgment, which was handed down in the high court in Pretoria on the same day in October that President Jacob Zuma replaced Ayanda Dlodlo with Kubayi, clarifies under which circumstances board members can be removed and gives the board full powers to appoint the three top executives - chief executive officer, chief operating officer and chief financial officer - without ministerial approval.

Kubayi told MPs that there was a lack of clarity on many parts of the judgment.

"If you look at the judgment, there are things that the judge pronounced without giving explanations to," said Kubayi.

In addition, she claimed the ruling ran contradictory to the Labour Relations Act.

Kubayi said while she agreed the board should appoint executives, "they must at least consult with the minister".

"Where I'm sitting is to say SABC needs to go and appoint executives that are...professional, are above baord," she said.

"We did not want a situation where there's questions around people that are appointed."

The judgment could have broader consequences for the State, added Kubayi.

"The issue where I think it has even consequences beyond the SABC, but also to other state-owned enterprises is where the role of the minsiter is removed and the role in appointment of executives."

The legal challenge was brought by the Save Our SABC coalition. It claimed that ministerial interference could restrict the independence of the board.

African News Agency