EFF hits out at Communications Minister over SABC appointment
The Economic Freedom Fighters have hit back at claims by Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane that the appointment of senior SABC executives had to be done through Cabinet.
Reports since Sunday have indicated that MTN group executive of corporate affairs Chris Maroleng - of "don't touch me on my studio" fame - had been appointed as new SABC Chief Operating Officer (COO). While he has been unable to officially confirm, a reply to a congratulatory tweet on Sunday gave a strong indication that he had been appointment.
But since the reports broke - which drew messages of well wishes from respected figures such as former public protector Thuli Mandonsela and radio host Redi Tlhabi - Kubayi-Ngubane issued a statement saying that "all appointments of the Chief Operating Officer‚ Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of state-owned entities are done through Cabinet processes and therefore the announcements of the outcome are made by Cabinet".
"It is the minister’s responsibility to present any appointment of executives of the SOEs under the Department of Communications through Cabinet processes. To this end‚ the Minister has no knowledge of any official appointment of a COO of SABC‚" she said on Monday.
But EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi on Tuesday rubbished this claim.
"We reject this as yet another attempt to interfere with the independence of the SABC board in doing its work. On December 6, 2017‚ the North Gauteng High Court ordered that the appointment of executive members of the SABC must be done by non-executive members of the SABC board. The court further indicated that appointments will be done after consultation with the minister‚ which means her opinion is not binding to the choices of executive appointments by the board," he said in a statement.
Ndlozi continued that that while "it may very well be that cabinet is informed", this was a "mere matter of noting".
"The cabinet has no role‚ neither the President‚ in the appointment of SABC executives," he said. "We advise Kubayi-Ngubane to resist returning the public broadcaster into the route of disreputable political interference it suffered under Faith Muthambi."