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Two more SABC board members given the boot

Rachel Kalidass and Ronnie Lubisi were removed during a special board meeting.

FILE: The axing, if valid, would mean the SABC has lost six members since last year. Picture: Tshepo Lesole/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Two more South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board members have been given the boot, fuelling concerns that members are being purged "unlawfully".

Rachel Kalidass and Ronnie Lubisi were removed during a special board meeting after both received letters accusing them of fraudulent conduct.

It comes just two weeks after another board member, Hope Zinde, was pushed out in a similar fashion.

Zinde was removed from her position following accusations she'd disclosed confidential board information.

Parliament's Communications Portfolio Committee chairperson Joyce Moloi-Moropa says she has not been briefed on the removal of Kalidass and Lubisi, but she is in the process of getting legal opinion on the matter.

"I had consultations with the legal section of Parliament. So I'm still there at the moment; we are working on that with the Speaker"

The axing, if valid, would mean the SABC has lost six members since last year.

Gavin Davis, Democratic Alliance member on the committee, says the purge has strengthened perceptions that members are being given the boot for voting against Minister Faith Muthambi's appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as the broadcaster's chief operating officer.

"In my view it is completely unlawful, because the Broadcasting Act says only the president can remove board members acting on the advice of the National Assembly. And neither the president nor the National Assembly has had anything to do with these removals."

KALIDASS CALLS FOR AN INVESTIGATION INTO THEIR REMOVAL

Meanwhile, Kalidass said the Communications Portfolio Committee needed to investigate the "lawless" conduct of her colleagues who removed her from the board.

The committee is currently looking into the legality of another board member's removal, Zinde.

The purge is believed to be linked to their opposition to the sale of the SABC's archives to pay-TV company Multichoice as well as Motsoeneng's appointment.

Kalidass still regards herself as a board member because she said the process used to remove her and Lubisi was "unlawful" and "flawed".

She was one of six board members who had received letters from Muthambi in December asking them to give reasons why they should not be suspended.

MUTHAMBI DEFENDS DECISION TO GET RID OF ZINDE

Last week, Muthambi said she wanted to put it on record that the SABC board complied with legislation when it removed Zinde as a member.

Muthambi said the board had acted according to the law.

"The SABC board members have complied with the said provision and Zinde was afforded an opportunity to explain her conduct, both in writing and orally."

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