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Resignation of Naidoo, Mavuso renders SABC board inquorate

Naidoo and Mavuso announced their resignations during yesterday’s presentation in Parliament.

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

CAPE TOWN - The resignation of two non-executive South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board members, Krish Naidoo and Vusi Mavuso, has rendered the public broadcaster's board inquorate.

This means the board will not be able to take any legal decisions.

Naidoo and Mavuso announced their resignations during yesterday's presentation to Parliament' s Communications Portfolio Committee.

According to the SABC board's presentation to the communications portfolio committee, it always follows due processes and members act in the best interest of the institution.

But Naidoo disagrees: "Listening to the debate here today it's very clear that we're dealing with the board which, in my view, is not honest."

Also quitting the board, Mavuso speaks out against the removal of former board members.

"How the previous board members, the late Hope Zinde and others we removed, it's still a sore issue."

Meanwhile, Mavuso says his conscience could no longer allow him to serve at the public broadcaster in light of recent developments.

Mavuso says he has tried to act ethically over the last three years and says yesterday's resignations were not planned.

"I did my utmost best and I believe it was in the public interest in the first instance, it had absolutely nothing to do with me but with the public good and public interest. I believe that it's important to act in an ethical manner in everything that we do and that's what I tried to do."

Opposition Members of Parliament and the African National Congress (ANC) caucus in Parliament is of the opinion that the board has lost its ability to act in the best interest of the institution.

Naidoo said he has decided to leave the SABC because the governance of the public broadcaster is starting to erode.

"A lot of the decisions were taken at management level, we were just informed of very few decisions in terms of the delegation of authority at the public broadcaster.

"I'm just beginning to hear now of some certain contracts which I've never seen as a board member, but that's the way the delegation of authority worked at the SABC."

Meanwhile, chairperson of the portfolio committee's Humphrey Maxengwana said the remaining board members cannot operate until Parliament decides on a way forward.

"They can't operate until such time Parliament decides what we need to do."

INQUIRY INTO FITNESS OF SABC BOARD

The Portfolio Committee said that it had taken the unanimous decision to institute an inquiry into the fitness of the SABC's board to hold office.

After being briefed by the SABC board members, MPs and the committee concluded the entity needed to be dissolved and an interim board must be appointed.

Maxengwana said the board's presentation was of a very low standard.

"We'd have a dysfunctional board, and therefore we must institute an inquiry and follow the parliamentary processes."

Maxengwana added the remaining board members would be requested to resign.

"In the light of the current events, we're going to ask them to resign."

SUPPORT FOR CALLS TO DISSOLVE SABC BOARD

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."

SABC BOARD TO FACE AN INVESTIGATION

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 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 says 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."

LILI SLAMS OPPORTUNISTIC ANC

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 claims 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."

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