Another qualification debacle at SABC

Its alleged SABC board chairperson Zandile Tshabalala lied about having a Bachelor of Commerce degree.

The SABC offices in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - As Communications Minister Faith Muthambi prepares to explain to Parliament why she appointed Hlaudi Motsoeneng as Chief Operations Officer (COO) at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the chairperson of the public broadcaster's board could also face an inquiry.

The Democratic Alliance's Gavin Davis, who is also a member of the parliamentary communications portfolio committee, says he will request an urgent inquiry into reports Zandile Tshabalala lied about having a Bachelor of Commerce degree on her CV.

The allegations surfaced in the City Press newspaper and claims the University of South Africa (Unisa) has no record of Tshabalala graduating there with the degree.

Davis says the inquiry will stop the decline of the SABC.

"I am writing to the chairperson of the communication's portfolio committee, to request that the committee exercise its powers to investigate wrongdoing or allegations of wrong doing on the part of a board member."

At the same time, the African National Congress (ANC) says it has not yet set a date to meet with the communications minister, to explain Motsoeneng's appointment.

The ruling party says its communications sub-committee has not yet been informed why Motsoeneng was appointed without it first being consulted.

Davis says Muthambi has a lot to explain.

"Specifically the processes around the appointment, why there were no other candidates, why there was no post advertised and also why she contradicted the Public Protector's report in appointing him."

It's been reported that Muthambi received the 'go ahead' from President Jacob Zuma to appoint Motsoeneng.

But this has also been denied by the presidency.

Meanwhile, a fresh probe has been launched by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela into Motsoeneng's permanent appointment.

The Public Protector says she's received numerous complaints about the appointment and is launching a new investigation.

"The best way forward was to commence a new investigation that looks specifically at the appointment and the circumstances surrounding it."

Madonsela says the only way her report can be reviewed is in a court of law.

"In any event, before you even go to a High Court, my preference is that these matters should be debated in Parliament."

She says the SABC board should have informed her before permanently appointing Motsoeneng.