SABC inquiry off to a rocky start

Ellen Tshabalala is appearing before Parliament's Communications Portfolio Committee.

SABC board chairperson Ellen Tshabalala. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Angry Members of Parliament (MP) have accused South African Broadcasting Cooperation (SABC) board chairperson Ellen Tshabalala of trying to delay the inquiry into whether or not she lied about her qualifications.

Tshabalala is appearing before Parliament's Communications Portfolio Committee at a Cape Town hotel.

But Tshabalala's legal counsel is claiming they aren't ready for the inquiry to go ahead.

Tshabalala arrived with a lawyer and advocate Norman Arendse in tow.

When asked to plead to the charges, Arendse answered for her, saying he had only been briefed late yesterday and that they were not ready to proceed.

Arendse also raised questions about the impartiality of what he insists is a disciplinary hearing.

But angry Members of Parliament said it's an inquiry in terms of the broadcasting act and that it should go ahead.

If Tshabalala is found to have misled the committee, it could recommend to President Jacob Zuma that she be relieved of her post.

Tshabalala claimed to have a Bachelor of Commerce and a diploma in labour relations from the University of South Africa, but has not been able to produce any proof.

Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Gavin Davis says Tshabalala has a simple question to answer.

"There is a letter here from Unisa that claims she doesn't have the qualifications that she has."

The hearing has now postponed to a date to be decided by the committee.