Wednesday, June 17, 2009

SOS Update: On the SABC Board, letter to the Portfolio Committee, report back on MJ Naidoo event.

The following update was received from SOS and will be of great interests to all of us. Please send on to your members.

As you are probably all aware now there are only 5 people left on the board. They include: Kanyi Mkonza, Ashwin Trikamjee, Gloria Serobe, Nadia Bulbulia and Alison Gilwald. Trikamjee has indicated that he will be resigning when he returns from an overseas trip (he has done so since this update was written).

There is a Parliamentary hearing tomorrow where the SABC will be presenting its budget and strategic plans. It is not clear if Parliament will be holding the investigation into the Board at this point - or a little later. The investigation however should be a very short process. The Board will probably be removed on a technicality i.e. the fact that they do not quorate. The grounds for removal of the Board include the Board not fulfilling its fiduciary duties, adhering to the Charter or "controlling the affairs of the Corporation". The fact that the Board does not quorate means that they would not be able to fulfill any of these duties. The investigation could be over in 10 mins. SOS members have indicated that a quick investigation is a positive development. The old Board needs to be removed as soon as possible and an interim Board put into its place so that we can move swiftly ahead to stabilise the Corporate. The interim board consists of 5 non-executive board members and the Group Chief Executive Officer. The interim board members are selected by Parliament without a public process. SOS has sent a letter to the Chair of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee, Ismail Vadi calling for the urgent removal of the present board and the establishment of the interim board. Please find letter here.

Also, need to report back to you all about the MJ Naidoo Foundation event that happened yesterday. The event was successful. There were some good inputs from the panel and the floor. The Minister gave a good input indicating that he was open to new ideas and perspectives. He said that he was open to the policy review process. He also indicated that he had been briefed by the previous Deputy Minister of Communications, Roy Padayachee re: SOS's activities etc. Finally, he stated that a new interim board would be put in place within the next two weeks. The plan is to contact him and set up a meeting. A copy of Libby Lloyd's excellent speech focusing particularly on SABC finances can be downloaded here.

Warm regards
Kate Skinner
Campaign Coordinator - Save our SABC
(082) 926-6404