Four candidates impress MPs during interviews to fill SABC board vacancy

03 September 2021 - 21:38
Members of Parliament in the portfolio committee on communications might have a hard time choosing a suitable candidate from the five it shortlisted to fill a board member vacancy at the public broadcaster.
Members of Parliament in the portfolio committee on communications might have a hard time choosing a suitable candidate from the five it shortlisted to fill a board member vacancy at the public broadcaster.
Image: Waldo Swiegers

Members of parliament's portfolio committee on communications might have a hard time choosing a suitable candidate from the five it has shortlisted to fill a vacancy on the SABC board.

Its sub committee interviewed four candidates on Friday and were impressed with their credentials. The candidates were Mpho Tsedu, Nalini Maharaj, Barbara Sangweni and Dr Rene Horne.

Meanwhile, one candidate, Senamile Masango, requested a postponement of the interview, citing an earlier commitment which could not be rescheduled.   

The committee had initially approved six names, however Dr Nombeko Mbava pulled out at the 11th hour.

“Dr Nombeko Mbava last night wrote to the chairperson in the evening, telling the committee and expressing how humbled she was that she was shortlisted to serve on the board. However, she has brought it to the attention of the committee that she has recently been appointed by the president as the full-time chairperson of the financial and fiscal commission and therefore, due to the expected commitments that come with the position and the fact that she would not wish to over commit herself in exercising such a fiducial duty, she wishes to withdraw her candidacy,” said the committee secretary. 

The board vacancy arose with the resignation of Bernedette Muthien. 

The advertisement for the vacancy was published in all 11 official languages in two national newspapers, two regional newspapers and seven community media newspapers. Sixty-nine nominations were received.

While the public broadcaster has been marred by allegations of corruption, mismanagement and maladministration in the past, the candidates have vowed to advance the entity's plans to rehabilitate, change the face of the institution and make it financially viable again.

Horne holds a PhD in political economy with more than 20 years’ experience in delivering strategy, financial analysis, economic risk mitigation, business development and educational directorship within the sub-Saharan African context. Currently, she is a programme director at the Wits Business School where she leads the MBA and international programmes for the school and liaises with potential clients to increase enrolment and the WBS footprint. 

Sangweni is a former SABC employee with over seven years’ experience helping to ensure the SABC television channels and radio stations adhere to their mandate as set out by ICASA.  She also serves in a number of board positions. She told the committee that she would add value to the board and sought to restore confidence, integrity and the image of the organisation. 

Maharaj is an attorney and forensic investigator with over 15 years' experience. She is a part-time lecturer at Wits. Her credentials include serving in the parliamentary drafting committee, with extensive experience in drafting legislation at national level. She has served on various boards of entities.   

Tsedu is a former broadcast journalist, SABC employee and is the founder of a company that has serviced major companies including SA breweries, Anglo platinum and various government departments. He is responsible for developing and managing implementation of strategies and  budgets.

The committee is on Tuesday expected to interview the outstanding candidate after which it will report to the National Assembly with its recommendations once qualification and security verifications have been concluded.

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