MPs: Urgent intervention needed to deal with SABC board

A resolution has been agreed upon by committee members to kick-start an investigation and dissolve the board.

A screengrab of Communications Minister Faith Muthambi (left) and Hlaudi Motsoeneng (back left) in a parliamentary committee meeting.

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament's Communications Portfolio Committee say urgent intervention is required to deal with challenges faced by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board.

A resolution has been agreed upon by committee members to kick-start an investigation and dissolve the board of the public broadcaster.

Members of the SABC board addressed the committee yesterday on interventions taken after the Public Protector's report relating to mismanagement at the institution.

Chairperson of Parliament's Communications Portfolio Committee, Humphrey Maxengwana, said following the board's sluggish presentation on how it dealt with findings by the Public Protector, the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Western Cape High Court, there is no doubt it's management is marred by incompetence.

"All that we got is that we don't have a functional board, we don't have a board that curates."

Legal advisor to the committee, advocate Nthutuzelo Vanara, says the Broadcasting Act of 1999, makes provision for the committee to probe the effectiveness of the board.

"The National Assembly may, after due inquiry by the adoption of a resolution, recommend the dissolution of the board."

The committee intends requesting the remaining board members resign, before embarking on an inquiry into its fitness to perform its mandate.

Opposition MPs and the African National Congress caucus in Parliament have called for the axing of group executive of corporate affairs Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Motsoeneng was appointed to the position after the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld a ruling that his appointment as COO was unlawful.


The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has joined the ANC and opposition parties in the call to dissolve the SABC board.

Cosatu's Bheki Ntshalintshali says it's time to call it a day.

"The apparent defiance campaign by the SABC board and management has eroded the credibility of both in the eyes of citizens. We're calling on them to abide by the court ruling and perform their duties within the law."

Parliament's Communications Portfolio Committee chairperson Humphrey Maxegwana has agreed on a process to dissolve the current SABC board.

According to legislation, the board must consist of nine members, but with the resignation of non-executive members Naidoo and Mavuso there are now only eight.

The committee's legal advisers have indicated the powers to appoint an interim board lies with President Jacob Zuma.

Committee legal advisor Nthuthuzela Vanora explains the Broadcasting Act that governs the process.

"The National Assembly may after due inquiry and by the adoption of a resolution."


Economic Freedom Fighters MPs have vowed to ensure that Motsoeneng is axed from the institution by the end of this year.

Members have also indicated that Communications Minister Faith Muthambi will be called to engage them on issues at the public broadcaster.

Parliament's Communications Portfolio Committee has resolved to establish an investigation into the SABC board.

The opposition Inkatha Freedom Party's Liezel van der Merwe said it's vital for Muthambi to be called to account to the committee.

"Whether we'll also be looking at the actions of the minister of communications in her role in aiding and abetting the board."


Ses'Khona Peoples Rights Movement leader Andile Lili said the ANC is being opportunistic by criticising Motsoeneng.

Earlier today Ses'Khona picketed outside Parliament in support of Motsoeneng, alongside other supporters which included some ANC members.

Right2Know campaigners were also picketing a few metres away from the group, calling for Motsoeneng to go.

Lili claimed the ANC is being opportunistic by joining the DA in their criticism of the former COO.

"The ANC must not be so opportunistic, because if they respect the law of this country they should've dissolved this Parliament."