Victory for independent SABC as court nixes Mokonyane’s appeal bid

Minister of Environmental Affairs Nomvula Mokonyane briefs media in Johannesburg on November 6, 2018. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Minister of Environmental Affairs Nomvula Mokonyane briefs media in Johannesburg on November 6, 2018. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The dismissal ‘helps bring an end to an era of overt political interference in SABC governance by the ministry of communications.’

Advocacy group Right2Know (R2K) said the dismissal of the appeal by the communications minister regarding her powers over the SABC board is a victory for millions of South Africans, who will now see the public broadcaster’s independence and freedom from government control.

Last week, High Court in Pretoria judge Justice Elias Motojane dismissed the application by Minister Nomvula Mokonyane for leave to appeal his previous ruling made in October last year, in favour of the independence of the SABC board.

This ruling meant that she would no longer have a say on the appointments or dismissals of the public broadcaster’s board executive members.

R2K spokesperson Busi Mtabane said the organisation welcomes the dismissal, as it meant that the public broadcaster was now free of political influence.

She said the dismissal “helps bring an end to an era of overt political interference in SABC governance by the ministry of communications.”

Matabane added: “R2K considers this a victory for the country as millions of South Africans depend on the SABC, as the national broadcaster, for access to credible information and to have independent information that is void of propaganda.

“We commend the democratic judgment of Justice Motojane on his ruling for independent access to information and hope the SABC board will be responsible enough to deliver on this.”

The SABC announced the filling of two key positions on Sunday. Madoda Mxakwe was appointed as the new chief executive officer and Yolanda van Biljon was appointed as the new chief financial officer.

ALSO READ: Mokonyane gets legal advice on powers of SABC board to appoint executives

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