Office of the Presidency has announced that it has received resignation letters from two board members of the South African Broadcasting corporation.
The presidency revealed this on Tuesday saying two SABC Board members tendered their resignation letter last weekend leaving the chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe as the only non-executive member.
The news that Nomvuyo Mhlakaza and Aaron Tshidzumba were stepping down emerged ahead of an ad hoc committee meeting “for the first time” to elect a chairperson to deal with the inquiry into the fitness to hold office of the remaining board members.
The Presidency also announced on Tuesday that President Jacob Zuma had received and accepted their resignations, with immediate effect.
“President Jacob Zuma has received and accepted the resignations of Ms. Vuyo Mhlakaza and Dr. Aaron Tshidzumba as members of the Board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), with immediate effect,” the Presidency said in a statement. “The President has thanked the two former board members for their contribution during their tenure at the SABC and wished them well in all their future endeavours.”
Nomvuyo Mhlakaza and Aaron Tshidzumba’s resignation came after the DA filed an application in the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town asking that SABC head of Corporate Affairs, Hlaudi Motsoeneng not be allowed to hold any position in the public broadcaster pending a review of the public protector’s findings against him in a 2014 report.
Parliament is in the mean time, preparing to hold an inquiry into the fitness to hold office of the remaining SABC board members.
The inquiry is scheduled to start before the end of November and the newly elected chairman of the ad hoc committee, Vincent Smith, suggested that it would, because as far as the committee was concerned “there are three board members”.
“We cannot rely on the media on that one,” he said, referring to the reports of the latest resignations.
“As far as I am concerned there are three individuals until told otherwise. I am hoping members (of the ad hoc committee) can bear with us on that one,” he said during the committee’s first meeting.
The crisis at the public broadcaster largely surrounds former chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng who lost his job in September when the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed his application for leave to appeal against a ruling by the High Court in Cape Town setting aside his permanent appointment.
This was followed by a sudden announcement that the broadcaster had reappointed Motsoeneng to his previous post as group executive for corporate affairs. This raised dust in the parliament as MP began demanding an immediate resignation of the board members, starting from Krish Naidoo and Vusi Mavuso.
MPs still insist that the remaining board members must quit or be forced out through a parliamentary inquiry.