It has been 21 days since the National Assembly approved candidates to fill vacancies on the SABC board and President Cyril Ramaphosa is yet to formally appoint the board members as he is required to do by the Broadcasting Act.
President Ramaphosa wrote to the Speaker of Parliament in December indicating that the filling of the vacancies was “urgent” and yet he appears to be stalling.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has been reliably informed that ANC Secretary General, Ace Magashule’s faction is fighting against the appointment of National Assembly approved candidates to fill the 8 vacancies on the SABC board to keep the board inquorate and to allow the ANC to infringe on the SABC’s editorial independence.
From the beginning, the Magashule faction did not want the vacancies to be filled and preferred for the board to be dissolved and an interim board appointed which would be at Luthuli House’s beck and call for the election season.
The divisions within the ANC were clearly visible during deliberations on filling the vacancies in the board in the Portfolio Committee on Communications.
It was only after sustained pressure from the DA and civil society that the ANC was forced to begin the process of filling the vacancies.
It’s clear that Ramaphosa is not in charge of the ANC. As indicated in media reports this weekend, Magashule is firmly in control of the ANC and is consolidating the fight-back campaign against President Ramaphosa.
Magashule even boldly stated in public last month that “[i]t is amazing because our friends throughout the world are asking us a question: how are you governing? Why do you call yourself the governing alliance when you are not in charge of the public broadcaster?”
It is patently clear that Ramaphosa is a President without backbone and is not in control of the ANC. He will no doubt be “shocked” at his own failure to do his duty as is required in the Broadcasting Act.
We have noted that SOS Coalition is considering legal action to force President Ramaphosa to appoint the board. We hope that unlike during the Zuma Presidency, President Ramaphosa will not have to be forced by the courts to do his job.
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