‘No need for parliamentary inquiry into SABC’

ANC MPs have said there’s no need for an inquiry into the embattled broadcaster, despite calls from DA MPs.

A sign outside the offices of the South African Broadcasting Corporation in Johannesburg. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A full investigation into the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is off the table after Parliament's portfolio committee on communications accepted the assurances of Minister Faith Muthambi and board members, including controversial chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

African National Congress (ANC) Members of Parliament (MPs) said there was no need for a parliamentary inquiry, despite calls from the Democratic Alliance (DA) for the entire board to be fired.

Muthambi says the SABC acted within the law in deciding not to air visuals of violent protests - a decision that's since been reversed on the orders of the regulator, Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (Icasa).

The minister argued the public broadcaster has to strike a balance between freedom of expression and inciting violence.

While ANC MPs expressed their satisfaction with what Muthambi and board members had to say, DA MP Phumzile van Damme vehemently disagreed.

"As the SABC board you have failed dismally in your duties to conduct oversight over the SABC. In my opinion all of you should be fired and this committee should appoint a new board."

The SABC's current financial situation was not discussed, as its annual report and audited statements for the past year have yet to be tabled in Parliament.