The mass resignation of six further SABC board members is tragic news for the public broadcaster that has been brought to its knees by political interference, vested interests, cronyism and corruption at all levels of the corporation.
This must be heartbreaking for the pockets of excellence that still exist in the SABC and who keep the airwaves humming. They have been betrayed by a board, executive management and colleagues who have seen the SABC as a private playpen for enrichment.
The latest resignations render the board inoperable as only three directors of the 12 have not resigned – Suzanne Vos, Pippa Green and Claire McNeil.
Prior to the news of the resignations parliamentary portfolio committee chairperson Sikhumbuzo Kholwane advised members that Minister of Communications Dina Pule and the SABC board would appear before us at an emergency meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon.
He has assured me that this meeting will proceed and that after the presentations the committee will discuss options on the future direction and management of the SABC.
The legal option is the appointment of an interim board but it’s an open question whether there are many people of political independence and repute, with relevant broadcasting and corporate governance experience who will make themselves available.
One thing is clear. The solution cannot be business as usual as has been practised at SABC during the past 15 years. Unpopular and probably expensive decisions will have to be made to rid the corporation of its weak executive management, bloated complement of unsuitably skilled staff and those politically connected and less-than-honest board members.