mce_keep=”true”TheMediaOnline reported earlier Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven confirmed Cosatu was considering legal action to challenge the composition of the newly-appointed board.
Cosatu claimed the composition of the board did not comply with the Broadcasting Act as “labour is not represented”.
Asked why the Presidency would not engage with Cosatu to avoid a court case, Presidential spokesperson Mukoni Ratshitanga, said: “Cosatu has the right to take legal action.”
Ratshitanga said the “process dictated by the Act was followed” in appointing the board. Asked to respond to the claim that labour should be represented and wasn’t, he said no board member represented a specific constituency. “The law does not say Mukoni would represent a particular sector,” he said by way of example.
According to the Broadcasting Act, the members of the SABC Board must, among other things, “when viewed collectively be persons who are suited to serve on the board by virtue of their qualifications, expertise and experience in the fields of broadcasting policy and technology, broadcasting regulation, media law, frequency planning, business practice and finance, marketing, journalism, entertainment and education, social and labour issues…”
Craven told TheMediaOnline on Monday it was not possible to say when a decision about possible legal action would be taken. Future actions would be guided by legal advice. “We need to be sure.”
He claimed Cosatu had not received a response from the Presidency since it had signed a letter to the president, together with other organisations, asking for the composition of the board to be reconsidered.
Ratshitanga said he was unable to comment on this issue.
Cosatu in December, in a href=”http://www.cosatu.org.za/press/2007/dec/press18.htm” target=_blank mce_href=”http://www.cosatu.org.za/press/2007/dec/press18.htm”statement, condemned the presidentÃ¢Â€Â™s approval of the final short-list of candidates and called for the approval of the new board “to be referred back to Parliament for further consideration”.
The news board has, nevertheless, since been appointed.
Legal action would aim to change the composition of the board to “comply with the Broadcasting Act”, Craven said.
When asked about dissatisfaction with the way in which the board was appointed, owing to alleged political interference, and dissatisfaction with the composition of the board, new SABC board chairperson Kanyi Mkonza said in an earlier interview with TheMediaOnline, because the appointment process was handled by Parliament and the president, “all we can do at this point in time, is to suggest… if people are not happy with the process, what is it that we can do”.
“I want us to look at whether it is the nomination process or is it the way the board is structured that people are complaining about. And if that is the issue, what is it that we need to lobby Parliament for and to make sure that the process is open and fair and representative…”
Mkonza said it was key to address the “core issues” in this regard to avoid facing the same criticism in future.
align=justifyÃ¢Â–Â This is an updated version of the story first published on TheMediaOnline on 11 February.