War of words erupts over SABC allegations

Gavin Davis claims Faith Muthambi is interfering with the running of the broadcaster's board.

FILE: The SABC's offices in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A war of words has erupted between an opposition Member of Parliament and the Communications Ministry over allegations that South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board members are being purged.

DA MP Gavin Davis has accused Communications Minister Faith Muthambi of writing to certain SABC board members, requesting reasons why they should not be suspended.

Davis claims the minister's interference is unlawful and has led to the resignation of at least one board member.

But Muthambi's spokesperson Ayanda Hollow, has hit back, claiming the allegations are "spurious".

"The minister's conversations and her correspondence with board members is confidential."

Muthambi has also come under fire for her appointment of SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

In a report released last year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found Motsoeneng lied about passing matric and gave himself massive salary increases while in the position of acting COO.

Madonsela had recommended disciplinary action against the COO and said she was shocked when he was suddenly permanently appointed.

The SABC has also been in the headlines recently following the resignation of former board chairperson Ellen Tshabalala last month after a Parliamentary inquiry found she misrepresented her tertiary qualification s and lied under oath.

Tshabalala claimed proof of her credentials had been stolen.