DA vows to fight for Parly probe into SABC

ANC MPs have accepted SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng's assurances that there is no crisis at the broadcaster.

FILE: The South African Broadcasting Corporation's offices in Johannesburg. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) Members of Parliament (MPs) have quashed the chances of a Parliamentary inquiry into the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) but the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) says it will continue to fight for a full investigation into the public broadcaster.

Minister Faith Muthambi, SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng and other board members appeared before the Communications Portfolio Committee yesterday to answer questions about editorial policy, the SABC's legal battles and its financial situation.

"There is no crisis. People are talking about chaos. We don't know where they've come from, they come from another world, not our world. There's no crisis at the SABC, the SABC is doing wonderful."

ANC MPs accepted the all-clear sounded by Motsoeneng and the assurances offered by Muthambi.

"Most of the things we're responding to, they're based on these so-called media reports. But now we've given the facts," Minister Muthambi said.

The DA's Phumzile van Damme accused the ANC of turning a blind eye.

"The ANC is in fact complicit in the rapid decline of the state of affairs at the ANC."

Van Damme said she will continue to push for a probe.

At the same time, the COO says it's misleading to say that TV licence fees can be described as "taxpayers' money".

Motsoeneng has told opposition MPs he sees no need to account to them because the SABC has to operate without adequate funding from the government.

"And sometimes I ask myself why I should account to these people, when they don't give us money. Why should I account to you, when you don't contribute?"

Motsoeneng included not only MPs but also taxpayers in his question.

"[Having a] TV licence is like paying your electricity and water, so it can't be taxpayers' money. It is misleading to say when you pay your TV licence it is taxpayers' money."

He says the SABC's transformation agenda will continue.