Faith Muthambi misses own deadline to appoint SABC CEO - Gavin Davis

DA MP says delay leads to suspicions that the post is being kept vacant so that COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng can continue calling the shots

Muthambi misses own deadline to appoint SABC CEO

25 September 2014

Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, has failed to meet her own deadline for the appointment of a permanent Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the SABC. 

On 24 June, shortly after the Minister was appointed, she told a media briefing in Parliament:

"The entities reporting to the Department have a clear directive from me to stabilise their leadership. To this end, I have recently indicated to the SABC to ensure that we can appoint a Chief Executive Officer within the next three months."

At the time, the Minister was praised for her commitment to get the SABC back on track. However, three months have passed and the SABC is no closer to appointing a permanent CEO.

At a Communications Portfolio Committee meeting last week, SABC Board Chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala, said that the Board was making sure the appointment was done "efficiently" and "with haste". She added that a shortlist was being compiled so that interviews could commence.

This is simply not good enough. The closing date for applications for CEO was 12 May. Why has there been no progress in filling the position since then?

The SABC has been limping along with an Acting CEO since Lulama Mokhobo resigned in February, reportedly because Acting Chief Operations Officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, had repeatedly undermined her authority.

The delay leads to suspicions that the post is being kept vacant so that Motsoeneng can continue calling the shots at the SABC on behalf of his political masters. 

I have submitted parliamentary questions to Minister Muthambi to determine what factors led to the deadline being missed, and when the Minister expects an appointment to be made. 

The current situation at the SABC is untenable. An experienced, qualified and non-partisan Chief Executive is urgently needed to bring stability to the SABC and restore its credibility as an independent public broadcaster.  

Statement issued by Gavin Davis MP, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, September 25 2014

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