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Inquiry into SABC board to hold office to go ahead after failed court interdict

Yesterday, the Western Cape High Court struck the chairperson’s application off the roll.

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

CAPE TOWN – The Parliamentary inquiry into the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board’s fitness to hold office will go ahead after its chairperson failed to obtain a court interdict.

Yesterday, the Western Cape High Court struck the chairperson’s application off the roll.

Mbulaheni Maguvhe, the only remaining non-executive board member, wanted the court to set aside a subpoena to appear before the ad-hoc committee.

Lawyers for Maguvhe argued the ad-hoc committee would have been biased against their client because some Members of Parliament have expressed public views about the board.

But Judge Siraj Desai did not agree with their contention.

“I make the following order; the application is dismissed. The first applicant to pay the costs, reasons to follow at later stage.”

Advocate Denzil Potgieter for Parliament described Maguvhe’s claim of partiality as a preemptive strike.

He said his lawyers did not provide evidence to support this claim.

Desai had described the board as non-functional and non-existent with Maguvhe as “the last man standing”.

Ad-hoc committee chairperson Vincent Smith said the application was a waste of time.

“I don’t think they had a leg to stand on. I think it was an exercise of delaying and the arguments raised by the applicants didn’t have anything of substance.”

Smith added he expects Maguvhe to abide by the court’s ruling.

“I do expect the chair of the board and everybody who feels they might be adversely affected to be here to hear firsthand so they can’t argue that they were spoken about in their absence.”

The inquiry is expected to kick off in Parliament sometime next week.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)