27 February 2023, Jacaranda FM, Mmangaliso Khumalo
The public broadcaster has been without a board since mid-October.
The organisation’s William Bird says the absence of a board places the SABC at risk.
“It’s a really crisis for the public broadcaster because there are certain things that they can’t do around strategy, they can’t address their finances so the board needs to work with the SABC management. So we decided to approach the courts, we decided that since it is a constitutional issue that we go and apply for a direct access to the Constitutional Court for them to give us an order directing the president to appoint the board.”
Bird adds that they have suggested timelines to the court but will wait until the chief justice pins a date for a hearing.
“So we approached the Constitutional Court on an urgent basis and given some suggested timelines but those sorts of things are in the hands of the chief justice who will then give directions to say okay we will hear it on this date or we won’t. They might say that they are not going to hear us now and we will need to go to the High Court first, but it is in the hands of the court at this stage.”
Bird hopes the apex court grants them access.
“If the court gives us access and they hear our arguments we hoping that will then get to the president that says once Parliament has recommended the name he then has to act diligently and without delay and appoint the board.
“We’re hoping for an order that will do that and for them to them direct the president and say; ‘Mr President this is your constitutional mandate you need to appoint the board’.”