If there were a contest for the worst board of directors in the country, the SABC would win by a country mile. It remains the Usain Bolt of bungling, the Caster Semenya of incompetence — streets ahead of anyone else.
But wait, not all the members of the nine-person board are the same.
This weekend, reports detailed how two directors — Krish Naidoo and Vusi Mavuso — wrote to chairman Mbulaheni Maghuve demanding he axe Hlaudi Motsoeneng and acting CEO James Aguma.
They argue that Aguma was "labouring under an incorrect understanding" if he believed he could simply appoint Motsoeneng as a corporate affairs executive, after Motsoeneng’s failed bid to challenge a court ruling setting aside his appointment as chief operating officer.
Court ruling be damned, Aguma evidently thought, as he simply shifted Motsoeneng to another role. Naidoo and Mavuso say this "irrational and unlawful" appointment should be set aside and Aguma should be suspended.
Quite why anyone with principles is still on the board is a mystery. After all, being part of any board that ignores Thuli Madonsela, disregards court decisions, and seems more intent on craven politicking won’t boost your reputation.
Any director who sanctioned an R11.3m bonus for Motsoeneng, a man who effectively led the broadcaster to a R411m loss for the year to March, should battle to ever find another job entailing oversight.
Financially, the SABC is a heaving mess. The Sunday Times reported that in the five months since its last financial year-end, the SABC’s predicament has only worsened. For those five months, it apparently made another R496m loss, having burnt through R600m in cash over that time.
In this context, with all its credibility shot, there’s no way that the SABC board can remain in place — even if this means the few good people end up ousted too.
As for Aguma and Motsoeneng, well, if no-one ever heard from them again, the country would be a better place.