Muthambi ducks tough questions

Muthambi ducked tough questions from MPs about SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says she's not trying to avoid being accountable to Parliament.

On Tuesday, she wouldn't answer tough questions from opposition Members of Parliament about the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)'s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng, claiming it was subjudice.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) recently went to court to challenge Motsoeneng's permanent appointment at the Public Broadcaster.

Earlier this year, the Public Protector recommended disciplinary action be taken against him after he lied about passing matric.

Muthambi said she wouldn't answer questions about Motsoeneng's permanent appointment because it's the subject of a court case.

She says she intends on being fully accountable to Parliament when the court case is over.

"I'll not interfere personally with the functioning of the court which has just currently heard the matter and you know that judgment has been reserved. So I think when this matter has been resolved by the court, then I'll be in a best place to deal with this matter."

But Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Gavin Davis accused her of trying to protect Motsoeneng.

"You need to come here and account for the remedial action that you are undertaking or in this case, not undertaking."

Economic Freedom Fighters MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says the minister has given a lousy response.

Madonsela probed allegations of maladministration, corporate governance deficiencies, abuse of power and Motsoeneng's appointment.

The minister ratified the decision and explained that the private law firm was also asked to probe the allegation against Motsoeneng and found he had done nothing wrong.

Muthambi said aside from raking in more than R2 billion for the SABC during his tenure as acting COO, Motsoeneng has also improved staff morale and improved stability.

Muthambi listed 13 achievements by the embattled COO to explain her reasons for permanently appointing him, despite Madonsela damning findings.