Axed SABC board member speaks out

Ronny Lubisi maintains his dismissal from the SABC board was unlawful.

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

CAPE TOWN - Sacked South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board member Ronny Lubisi has confirmed he complained to the Chairperson of Parliament's Communications oversight committee about his "unlawful" removal.

He sent a letter to Joyce Moloi-Moropa in May asking Parliament to investigate the board's actions, but it doesn't appear as though his letter was formally tabled in the portfolio committee.

ANC Members of Parliament (MPs) have accepted the board's decision to remove three non-executive directors in March.

This despite parliament's own legal opinion that the board was wrong to rely on the Companies Act to remove members.

The Broadcasting Act, which governs the SABC, says only the president can remove a board member.

Moloi-Moropa was on sick leave on Tuesday when her fellow ANC MPs accepted the SABC board's decision.

ANC MP Maesela Kekana remarked that in the absence of a formal complaint, the committee could conclude that the sacked board members were happy with the situation.

But in a letter authored by Lubisi to Moloi-Moropa, he asks Parliament to launch an inquiry into his dismissal.

Lubisi says he was removed unlawfully after Communications Minister Faith Muthmabi wrote to him asking him to resign over his alleged conflict of interest.

The SABC claims he audited two companies involved with the public broadcaster, an allegation Lubisi denies.

He said an independent panel should have been set up to investigate the allegations against him.

Moloi-Moropa has been unavailable for comment.

Muthambi went on the offensive this week, telling MPs they had no right to tell the executive which laws it can and cannot use.

"The legal opinion offends the doctrine of separation of powers," said Muthambi.