DA calls for full-scale inquiry into 'institutional rot at SABC'

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications is preparing to put the spotlight on the SABC.

FILE: A sign outside the offices of the SABC in Johannesburg. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Communications is preparing to put the spotlight on the South African Broadcasting Corporation ( SABC).

The public broadcaster has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons recently, including the decision to ban visuals of violent protests and the controversial axing of senior journalists who opposed the move.

While seven journalists have been reinstated, freelancer Vuyo Mvoko will be appealing the decision not to put him back on air in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

The Communications Committee met for the first time today since Parliament went in to recess ahead of the local government elections.

The Democratic Alliance's Phumzile van Damme says, "I requested that the committee hold a full-scale inquiry into the institutional rot at the SABC. The chairperson and members of the committee supported that idea."

Committee chairperson Humphrey Maxegwana says however it's premature to say a full inquiry's being launched.

He says the committee will first hear from Minister Faith Muthambi, the SABC Board and regulator, Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, all of whom have been invited to appear before the committee on Tuesday.

But Maxegwana says he'll be approaching Cedric Frolick, who oversees committee programmes, to ask for more time for the committee to interrogate events at the SABC.