Why I am resigning from SABC board – Rachel Kalidass

Majority of board members in favour of former Land Bank CEO Alan Mukoki to take over as GCEO

Text of Rachel Kalidass’ letter of resignation from the SABC board:

15 November 2017

The Honourable President Jacob Zuma
President of the Republic of South Africa
Union Buildings

c/ o Ntoeng Sekhoto
Private Secretary to the President

CC: The Portfolio Committee on Communications
Parliament of the Republic of South Africa
3rd Floor, 90 Plein Street
Cape Town

c/o Mr Thembinkosi Ngoma
Committee Secretary to the Portfolio Committee on Communications

Dear Sir


During my interview for appointment to the SABC Board I undertook to raise concerns around the SABC with Honourable Members of the Portfolio Committee on Communications, and depending on the severity of the matters, elevate these concerns to Parliament and the Deputy President (as the leader of Government Business).

Following the concerns publicly expressed by former Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, I had similar and further concerns around the suitability of candidates which are in the process of being considered for the GCEO and COO positions.

After receiving the handover report presented by the Interim Board, the new Board interviewed the proposed GCEO and COO candidates at the offices of the recruitment agency, Talent Africa, on the evening of 31 October 2017.

(These were the first choice candidates previously recommended to former Minister Ayanda Dlodlo but not finalised upon completion of the Interim Board's term).

Despite the GCEO candidate having allegations of fraud and corruption levelled against him during his previous employment, as well as a conflict of interest with a significant SABC content service provider, the majority of board members were in favour of having him appointed as the SABC GCEO.

I specifically requested for my dissenting view to be recorded, which was received with great hostility by some of the Board Members present.

The Board further agreed that evening to set up a "cleaning up committee" of Board Member's with media experience, which would respond to the anticipated "bad publicity" following this appointment.

Considering the severity of the matter in hindering the restoration of stability and integrity at the SABC, I deemed it necessary to bring this to the attention of Honourable Members of the Portfolio Committee on Communications and/or Parliament.

On 4 November 2017, I contacted Honourable MP Mondli Gungubele to share my concerns. He was recommended to me by a former SABC Board Member. I also sent Honourable Gungubele the links to the articles which I had picked up, linking the proposed candidate to allegations of fraud and corruption etc.

On Monday 6 November, during a joint meeting of the SABC's Governance & Nominations and Human Resources Sub-Committees, I was verbally attacked by Board Members present for, inter alia, "leaking board information to parliament". Board member Ms Khanyisile Kweyama , indicated that she had received a call from the Member of Parliament concerned, indicating that I had made various statements, including informing parliament of the Board's confidential process.

The Board Chairperson and Member's present instructed that such disclosures should have first been authorised by the Board, and they considered such action to constitute a breach of confidentiality and fiduciary responsibility if not.

This conclusion by Board Members has impacted negatively on the commitment I made to the Portfolio Committee of Communications and society at large, during my interview process referred to above.

Given this fundamental difference of opinion between me and many of the Board members, I feel that it would be best to resign with immediate effect, as opposed to being side-lined and victimised, which I feel is now occurring.

I therefore humbly request that I be released from my fiduciary duties as a Board Member with immediate effect and that the 3-month period required in the Act be waived.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the Portfolio Committee of Communications, as well as the various political parties represented, as well as society at large, for their confidence in recommending me for appointment to serve the country once again.

It is most regrettable and unfortunate that the current environment is not conducive to me fulfilling my full term of appointment.

I am available to discuss this matter in further detail with the Honourable Member's of the Portfolio Committee on Communications should they so wish.

Yours faithfully