Over the past two days the SABC board chairperson and executive management have shown Parliament and citizens the middle finger – first, when the SABC delegation walked out of the inquiry, and again when last remaining member of the SABC Board, Professor Maghuve was a no-show at his scheduled hearing. SABC management has also refused to provide documents that Parliament’s committee needs to do its work.
In the face of this repeated stonewalling of the inquiry into the fitness of the SABC Board, we welcome the Committee’s decision to issue summons to force Professor Maghuve to appear before the ad-hoc committee. We call on Parliament to take every necessary step to force the SABC to release all the information requested by the committee. It is time to stop the stonewalling of those who do not wish to account.
It is no wonder that these individuals walked out. Witness after witness – including a former CEO, two former board members, the Public Protector and ICASA – have revealed shocking examples of mismanagement, fraud and political interference at the SABC.
The level of interference by Minister Faith Muthambi was laid bare by former board member Vusi Mavuso who testified that the Minister forced Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s unlawful appointment on the board. Mavuso also described Muthambi’s signing the SABC’s Memorandum of Incorporation in the place of the board chairperson as ‘anomalous’.
The former CEO testified that she has received threats from SABC staff for appearing before the inquiry and was harassed and bullied Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Several witnesses do not want to make public submissions. Coming in the wake of threats against the SABC8, it shows how far mafia tactics have spread at the SABC under Hlaudi’s reign.
R2K makes its submission to the inquiry on Wednesday 14 December where we will reiterate our call for an independent, credible well-run public broadcaster that holds power to account, meets the needs our diverse nation and remains a public asset in the hands of the people.
The one-member board must be dissolved. Hlaudi must go. Faith Muthambi must be fired for her role in undermining the independence of the public broadcaster. And from there, South African can begin to build a truly public broadcaster that can serve the needs of the people.
For comment, please contact:
Jayshree Pather: 0824135621
Busi Mtabane: 0833297844