NUMSA statement on the Public Protector’s report on SABC

Numsa General Secretary presentationThe National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) notes the findings by the Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela, on a litany of maladministration, fraud and abuse of power at the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
The Public Protector’s findings have exposed the deep-seated rot that has plunged the SABC into a systematic and permanent crisis over years. The ugly or scandalous affairs at the SABC can be partly attributed being used as a vehicle by the political elites inside and outside the State to dispense political patronage by rewarding certain powerful individuals with lucrative positions.
We will study in detail the Public Protector’s report or findings, with an intention of making a comprehensive response, and publicly contribute on a way forward on a number of issues related to the SABC. The SABC remains an important property of all South Africans, especially the working class and the poor, and should never be left in the exclusive hands of a few or political hyenas.
Whilst we commend the Public Protector’s findings in highlighting brazen maladministration, corruption, fraud and irregular appointments at the SABC, we believe that at the core of cleansing the rot is the amendment of the SABC’s articles of association by removing the responsibility of appointing Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO); Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), from the government.
We strongly believe that the appointments of individuals in these key positions should be the competency of the Board, since the current arrangement violates the Broadcasting Act, which requires the Board to be in control of the SABC affairs.
Hence, the bizarre decision to give the Chief Operations Officer (COO), as opposed to the GCEO as the Editor-in-Chief, to be in charge of Editorial content, has proven to be disastrous recently.
The canning of popular Big Debate anchored by Siki Mgabadeli, censoring of Numsa’s President Andrew Chirwa’s call during our Special National Congress for President Jacob Zuma to consider resigning; and so-called “70 percent positive news” as spearheaded by Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng illustrates the dangers of appointments made on the basis of one’s political allegiance or buddy system, rather than on the basis of their commitment to public broadcasting.
We believe the above challenges requires urgent attention from the Minister of Communications, Mr Yunis Carrim, in consultation with all key organs of peoples power, who are interesting in a public broadcaster that serves all our people, especially the workers and the poor.
Furthermore, we are pleased that the Minister of Communications, comrade Yunis Carrim, has assured the public that he will act in accordance with the time-frame as outlined by the Public Protector Adv. Madonsela. We have full confidence and trust in Minister Carrim, that he will act decisively in the interests of our people, who are the biggest consumers of our SABC.
Surely, he should not succumb to whims of certain political elites or profiteers that want to capture the SABC for their self-centered interests or political expediency.
As NUMSA, we will engage our ally – the Communications Workers Union (CWU) in devising a clear and comprehensive campaign geared towards dealing with the plethora of challenges besieging our public broadcaster.
Castro Ngobese
National Spokesperson
Mobile: 0836275197
Tel (dir): 0116891702