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Political parties welcome court’s decision to dismiss Maguvhe’s application

The DA has described it as a last ditch attempt by Maguvhe to cling on to power and avoid accountability.

SABC offices in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN – Political parties have welcomed the Western Cape High Court’s decision to dismiss the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe’s application to interdict a Parliamentary inquiry.

Judge Siraj Desai yesterday struck down, with costs, Maguvhe’s appeal for the court to set aside a subpoena to appear before the ad-hoc committee investigating the public broadcaster’s board

The Democratic Alliance has described it as a last ditch attempt by Maguvhe to cling on to power and avoid accountability.

The IFP says the verdict is a victory for justice.

The African National Congress’s Vincent Smith, who’s also ad-hoc committee chairperson, says he warned the case was frivolous.

“I feel vindicated. I think it was unnecessarily waste of four days, but of course everybody is entitled to access to justice.”

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 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”.

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)