Monday, June 22, 2009

2 SABC directors attend probe

Only two members of the SABC board managed to turn up at the inquiry being conducted by Parliament's communications portfolio committee into the fitness of the board to continue in office. by Michael Hamlyn

Alison Gilwald and Nadia Bulbulia, the two who pitched, were clearly reluctant to answer a number of the questions posed to them by the committee, saying that they were invited at short notice, and did not have time to prepare.

Gilwald told MPs that she needed to consult with other board members before some questions could be answered, but the chairperson Ismail Vadi told her that the board would be questioned individually about the conduct of their responsibilities.

Few answers

This contrasted with what committee member Johnny de Lange told her. He said that the board was being considered collectively.

Neither Bulbulia nor Gilwald were able to inform the committee on whether the board has ceased to function since the resignation of three of its members.

Bulbulia said she did not know whether their resignations took effect immediately or whether they have to work out three months' notice.

If the latter, then the board can still function because it will be quorate, and will have a deputy chairperson in Christine Qunta, one of the three who quit but said in a newspaper article on Thursday morning that she believed she is still a member.

Last board meeting

Vadi undertook to enquire from the presidency whether or not the three have been given a shorter notice period.

The only question that was answered came from the leader of the ANC group on the committee, Eric Kholwane, who wanted to know when the board last held a meeting. June 4, he was told.

The committee adjourned without getting much further and will reconvene next week, when the members hope to have further answers from more members of the board.

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