File picture: Independent Media

Cape Town - The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) says it is alarmed by President Zuma’s long delay in approving the new South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board.

The Interim Board’s term of office expired at the end of September.

In a statement on Wednesday Saftu said: “We will not allow our short-lived, recently gained freedom of expression to be rolled back. It has been nine days since the term of the Interim Board has expired. However, there has been no political will to remedy the governance crisis at the broadcaster”.

The union federation said the SABC’s purpose ought to be to inform, educate and entertain all South African communities and to reflect the diversity of our cultural, linguistic, political, religious, sporting and social heritage and to be a platform for democratic and uncensored debate.

"The SABC eight fear that the real reason for Zuma’s delay is that he wants to use the extra time to enable the Minister of Communications Ayanda Dlodlo, on his behalf, to appoint or extend the contracts of executive officers who would continue with the agenda set by [Hlaudi] Motsoeneng".

Motsoeneng was fired in June after he was found guilty of misconduct. He was also criticised for interfering in editorial matters in order to stifle critical voices and mismanaging the finances of the SABC.