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Muthambi must act against remaining SABC board members - ANC

The SABC’s remaining board members and Hlaudi Motsoeneng say they’re not stepping down.

FILE: Communications Minister Faith Muthambi. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - As the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)'s four remaining board members and Hlaudi Motsoeneng stand defiant this morning, the African National Congress (ANC) says Communications Minister Faith Muthambi must now immediately fire or suspend them.

Yesterday, the board's chairperson Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe said he was going nowhere after Parliament's Communications Committee told the board to resign or face an inquiry.

The ANC's Zizi Kodwa says they have had enough.

"The minister must fire or immediately suspend the four remaining board members who are on the destruction path of Hurricane Matthew."

And Parliament's communications committee chairperson Humphrey Maxegwana is also unhappy.

"We're determined in trying to resolve the matters in SABC."

But the board's defiant Maguvhe has again been asked if Motsoneng received a R10 million bonus.

"The information is contained in our annual report and I don't believe I'm difficult. I'm just encouraging people to read."

That means the information will only be made public in September next year or in around 350 days' time.

SABC BOARD NOT STEPPING DOWN

Motsoeneng and the SABC's remaining board members say they're not stepping down, and insisted they are being targeted because they're transforming the corporation, and trying to root out corruption.

Maguvhe has also claimed that members of Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Communications are simply trying to bully him, by threatening to hold an inquiry into the board.

Professor Maguvhe said he's going nowhere, and is ready to go through the inquiry.

While Motsoeneng said people are against him, only because he wants to use the SABC's resources for transformation.

"We said, let's use that money to empower our own black people. Now that we're paying black people, there's a crisis at the SABC."

He also said people without qualifications are often better in the real world than people with qualifications.

MOTSOENENG THE RIGHT PERSON

Motsoeneng said he is the right person to be at the SABC, referring to himself as "a broadcasting genius".

"All these people who are sitting here, most of them have qualifications but if you can take me head on, they know I mesmerise them."

And Motsoeneng is not backing down.

"When people make noise [laughs], even people you admire run away and they won't transform this country. I'm not a coward."

He also said that he runs towards noise and is only being targeted because he is trying to transform the SABC.

It didn't appear that Wednesday's hearing has taken any of Motsoeneng's confidence.

"Whether it's a broadcaster or its big companies, everywhere I go around the world, people acknowledge Hlaudi. They invite me to go and add value."

He also appeared to mock those who value qualifications.

"Maybe if I was more educated because everything happens for a reason, maybe I'd be drinking tea, playing with words of English and forgetting about ordinary citizens (sic)."

ANC CALLS FOR BOARD RESIGNATION

Meanwhile, Parliament's ANC caucus says SABC board members must tender their resignations to speed up the process of establishing an interim board.

The ANC caucus's Moloto Mothapo has applauded efforts by the communications committee to protect the integrity of the public broadcaster following the reappointment of Motsoeneng.

He said remaining board members should resign.

"Those remaining board members because they no longer quorate and therefore they cannot function in terms of the law, they are incompetent [and they can't] even take decisions of even lead the institution."

SABC acting group chief executive officer James Aguma said the board is operating in the best interest of the corporation and explains why it's taking the Public Protector's report on review.

"We found that there were disparities between what was in the report and what was ventilated at that disciplinary. That's what triggered a review of the Public Protector reports."

The committee will embark on a process seeking the resignation of the remaining board members within the coming week.

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