The DFA was established in 2007 to promote and protect the interests of doc filmmakers in South Africa. To contact the DFA, please use the contact form: here . The DFA website is at: Membership applications can be made through the website here.

28 May 2010

SOS Calls for the Chair of the SABC Board to Resign

28TH MAY 2010

The SOS Campaign representing a number of trade unions, independent producer organisations and a host of NGOs, CBOs, academics and freedom of expression activists endorses the recent statements released by our trade union partners and our working group member, Media Monitoring Africa.

SOS once again congratulates board members for swiftly dealing with the corporate governance breaches around the appointment of the Head of News. However, SOS sees these issues in such a serious light that we call on the Chair of the SABC Board, Dr Ben Ngubane, to do the honourable thing, and resign.

We believe that the statement he released last Saturday (22 May 2010) defending his actions, is in itself indefensible. Dr Ngubane admits to the fact that he took the decision re: the appointment of the Head of News on his own. He states categorically – “I made the decision as a leader to instruct the GCEO, Mr Solly Mokoetle to finalise the appointment of Phil Molefe as GE: News and Current Affairs, because he satisfied all the requirements as agreed by all Board members.” But the Chair is not empowered to make decisions without the co-operation of the Board. A sub-committee of the Board had been set up to do the interviews, this committee was to make a recommendation to the Board and then the full Board was to take the final decision. Dr Ngubane thus openly admits to circumventing the internal processes of the SABC, contravening good corporate practices and protocols as stipulated in the Broadcasting Act, Public Finance Management Act, the Companies Act and King III.

As SOS we nominated Dr. Ben Ngubane for a position on the SABC Board because we believed he had excellent leadership qualities, a good understanding of the arts, and a strong commitment to building a new vision for public service broadcasting. However, given his present actions we sadly no longer have confidence in his ability to the lead the SABC through its present serious problems (the paying back of its deficit etc.) to build a new vibrant, pro-democracy institution.

If Dr Ngubane is not prepared to do the honourable thing and resign then we call on Parliament to hold an urgent public hearing into the matter. SOS believes that very swift action is needed in this regard. Given the very pressing issues that the SABC needs to attend to we can ill afford to draw out this leadership crisis.

SOS notes once again the findings of the Auditor General’s Report that the SABC needs “leadership from the front” and impeccable adherence to good corporate governance procedures going forward.

Finally, the Coalition notes that the Draft Public Service Broadcasting Bill touches on the roles of the SABC Board and management and also the role of oversight structures such as the Minister, Department of Communications, Parliament and the independent regulator, ICASA. We believe these roles need to be clarified in the Bill. This is to ensure that the latter’s roles and responsibilities, reporting and accountability lines are clear. This is critical as regards the swift resolution of crises such as the crises outlined above.

For more information please contact:

  • Kate Skinner – SOS Coordinator - 082-926-6404
  • Patrick Craven – Cosatu Spokesperson – 082-8217456
  • Matankana Mathapo – Spokesperson CWU – 082-759-0900
  • Siphiwe Segodi – Freedom of Expression Network – 072-655-4177
  • William Bird – Executive Director Media Monitoring Africa – 082-887-1370
  • Melissa Moore – Acting Executive Director Freedom of Expression Institute – 082-924-8268
  • Rehad Desai – South African Screen Federation – 083-997-9204

26 May 2010

AMAA Call for nominations - 2011

Dear Friends of the Media and Film Making Fraternity...

THE AFRICAN MOVIE ACADEMY AWARDS - AMAA - is calling for nominations for the 7th Edition of AMAA scheduled to take place in APRIL 2011.

Nominations from all stakeholders are welcome and open from the 29th May 2010 - 30th November 2010.

Please click here to see Media Release.

Best Regards

+27 72 355 0486

25 May 2010

“KE NAKO” – the time is now for the SABC board

25 May 2010

How did we get here? A brief outline of the key events over the past few days:

  • SABC Board Chairperson announces appointment of new head of news for SABC on 20/05/2010. This follows a period of over a year of Mr Phil Molefe filling the job as Acting Head of News;
  • Appointment refuted by SABC Board members, who say they had no knowledge of the decision and that processes had not been completed. Highlighted in several daily news media on 21/05/2010;
  • SABC Board Chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane released a statement saying the appointment of Phil Molefe as head of news was in his view legal on 22/05/2010,
  • SABC Board meets on 22/05/2010 and 10 of the 12 members declare the appointment of Mr Molefe null and void;
  • Reports emerge that Phil Molefe instructs journalists not to use any sources other than SABC Chairperson and or Group GCEO emerge suggesting censorship for self gain on 25/05/2010;
  • Report published in The Star that the Minister for Communications has indicated he will become involved and intervene on his return to South Africa on 25/05/2010;
Despite the breach in corporate governance in the appointment and announcement of Phil Molefe, as head of News, to date there has been no indication that the new SABC board is incapable of fulfilling its mandate. Accordingly the actions of the SABC board are to be applauded in seeking to resolve this breach of SABC’s corporate governance rules so speedily. We are however concerned that there has not yet been any announcement as to what action will be taken against the SABC board chairperson and the SABC GCEO and we call on the Board to inform the public about what processes and investigations are being undertaken to address the breach, and to ensure its speedy resolution.

Reports that the Minister of Communication will “intervene” to solve the issue are cause for alarm. While the Board clearly needs to be informing and updating the public, parliament, ICASA and the Department of Communication on an ongoing basis, it would be a serious blow to the new boards’ independence as well as that of the SABC if the Minister were to intervene and issue directives. The board needs to be given the space and support in order to resolve this issue without outside intervention, and there is little evidence to suggest that the board is incapable and in crisis.

MMA is also deeply concerned by media reports in The Star newspaper and others, alleging interference by the Acting Head of news Mr Phil Molefe. Reports in the Star highlight that Mr Molefe allegedly instructed SABC journalists not to use any other sources for reports on the appointment issue other than the SABC Board Chairperson or SABC group GCEO. Ordinarily it is clearly the role of the Head of news to determine ultimately what is included and what is excluded from the news. In the current instance however, there is a clear conflict of interest in Mr Molefe making such interventions about a story directly related to him and his position. If these allegations are true they indicate an abuse of SABC resources and power for self interest. Accordingly we call on the board to suspend Mr Molefe pending a full investigation into these allegations. Should these allegations then be found to be accurate MMA would expect the board to initiate formal disciplinary proceedings and take appropriate action.

MMA applauds the respectful tone and comments reportedly made by the parliamentary portfolio committee on communication Chairperson Mr Ismail Vadi. He was quoted as saying, that “at some point”, the committee would want a full, formal report from both the board and the chairperson about the process followed. These comments indicate that he is open to allowing the SABC Board to resolve the problem on their own but still holding them accountable for their actions. MMA notes with concern the deafening silence from ICASA on the issue. To date all other SABC oversight bodies have made their voices heard on the matter. As it is Africa day, Halala Africa, Ke Nako it is time! – The time is now ICASA let us hear your voice!

For more information contact William Bird 082 887 1370 or 011 788 1278.

Creative Documentary - looking for a South African co-production partner

Dear DFA Member,

Philip Clemo contacted us via the National Department of Arts and Culture while in Cannes with a creative documentary feature in development. Click here for a pdf with more information. A significant amount of material for this project will be filmed in Africa and he is currently looking for a South African co-producer. He is also keen to explore South African tax credits and funding opportunities.

Philip already have key members of his team in place, including British and Australian producers and serious interest from a British distributor and sales agent.

His mobile no. is +44 7932 185535 and his e-mail:

24 May 2010

DocLove 02 - American Foulbrood by Carlos Francisco

Preview screening at the Bioscope at Life on Main (one block up from Arts on main) corner of Fox and Maritzburg Street in the CBD Johannesburg. The director will be there for a Q&A after the film and as always with DocLove Joburg, the film still has one more edit and final mix to go, so input at the DocLove screening will be considered for the final version of the film.

Here is a synopsis of the film:

At a time when globally bee populations are dramatically collapsing, African bees show no signs of being affected, they are flourishing.

Early 2009 witnesses the unexpected and sudden outbreak of ‘American Foulbrood’ this, the world’s worst bee disease and historically prevalent in all countries, has finally arrived in South Africa.

Filmed over a period of a year we follow some charismatic South African beekeepers as they come to terms with and react to this, the worst of all bee diseases. The wild South African bees have handled every disease thrown at them before, how will they do this time with the worst bee disease known. The viewer is taken on several personal journeys into learning the secrets behind the African bee which until now has been unaffected by the rest of the worlds problems.

The film brings forward the dilemmas people are faced with when livestock fall prey to diseases. Is it time for man's attitude to control everything to be reconsidered? The story brings about a comparison between the practice of keeping wild bees in South Africa as to the mass breeding and artificial insemination techniques of America and Europe.

The film and its characters raise the question, is it not perhaps time to turn to nature for the answers? Will all the world's disease finally put the African bee in the same situation as the rest of the world or can she pull through one more time.

Click here to go to the Facebook event for more details

Posted by Pascal

SABC Board Release - Board decides appointment of Phil Molefe as Head of News is null and void



Johannesburg, 23 May 2010 –The SABC Board resolved that the purported appointment of the Group Executive News & Current Affairs, Mr. Phil Molefe is null and void and has no legal effect.

In a special Board meeting held yesterday, May 22nd, attended by 10 out of its 12 non-executive directors, the Board heard legal opinion that the appointment was not lawful because it had not been made by the Board in a manner required by the SABC’s Memorandum and Articles of Association.

The Articles of Association and Delegation of Authority Framework states that appointments at a Group Executive level must be made by the Board. This is couched in mandatory terms.

Thus the Board believes it would be failing in its fiduciary and oversight duties were it not to exercise this responsibility.

After deliberating for several hours yesterday afternoon and evening, the Board unanimously agreed that the appointment of Mr. Molefe as Chief Executive of News and Current Affairs was not legal.

It agreed that a process of assessing candidates, that had not yet been concluded, must continue.

It should be stressed that the Board regrets any embarrassment to any of the candidates for the position of Chief Executive News and Current Affairs. The decision taken by the Board is not intended to harm or prejudice any candidate but is solely aimed at conforming to corporate governance rules.

The Board stands by its commitment when taking office in January 2010 to oversee the reorganisation and revival of the SABC as a national public broadcaster worthy of the people of South Africa. The Board believes that the trust and credibility that needs to be restored in the SABC must start with transparent and clear rules of corporate governance.



Issued By: Group Communications

Media Enquiries: Kaizer Kganyago (SABC Spokesperson)
082 306 8888

WoS invite you to Jo'burg Premiere 'Gugu & Andile'

WoS-Last Thursday Showcase
Invites you to come celebrate the Johannesburg Premiere of this multi award winning feature film by a talented women team!!

'Gugu and Andile'
(A South African adaptation of Romeo and Juliet)

Writer/Director: Minky Schlesinger Producer:
Bridget Pickering (Fireworks media),
Co writer Lodi Matsetela

Genre: Fiction, Runtime: 96min

Date: 27 may 2010 Venue: The Lab (Market Theatre) Time: 7.30 for 8pm
Free screening, (donation appreciated)
Food and cash bar available

This multi award winning drama is a love-story set against the backdrop of the war that raged through South Africa’s townships in the early 1990s. What ultimate sacrifice do they make for the sake of their love?

(Winner Best South African Feature - Cape Winelands Film Festival 2010) (Winner Best African Language Film - African Movie Academy Awards, 2009 (Winner best youth film - Lola Kenya Screen 2009), (Official selection Rotterdam 2010) (In competition, Best TV Feature, FESPACO 2009)

It has been seen all over the world and honoured with awards, and now don't miss your chance to see it, network with the filmmakers and other women of the sun.

See you there!