Former SABC board chairs called to appear before Parliament

A parliamentary committee is investigating the fitness of the public broadcaster's board in holding office.

Ellen Tshabalala. Picture: SABC.

CAPE TOWN - Former South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board chairpersons Ellen Tshabalala and Ben Ngubane have been called to appear before a parliamentary inquiry.

An ad hoc parliamentary committee is investigating the fitness of the public broadcaster's board in holding office.

Yesterday was the second day of hearings, but there was no sign of current chairman Mbulaheni Maguvhe.

On Wednesday, Maguvhe stormed out of the hearings, claiming the committee bullied him and that necessary documents had not been made available in Braille for him.

The committee says the chair has never before requested documents be made available in Braille.

The committee's Vincent Smith says the decision to call Tshabalala and Ngubane was made following evidence given by some witnesses yesterday.

“The reasons are simple, the witnesses have ‘implicated' them and it’s only fair for them to be able to give their side of the story and not leave the impression that things happened under their watch. It’s about fairness and giving them to the right to refute or confirm what we’ve heard.”

Earlier in the day several witnesses came out strongly against Hlaudi Motsoeneng and his relationship with Maguvhe, the last remaining board member.

Former SABC board member Vusi Mavuso said there has been a common thread in the board’s past.

“To the current situation, Maghuvhe as the chairperson has been a common threat and the common denominator has been one person: Mr Motsoeneng.”

Former SABC CEO Lulama Mokhobo claims Motsoeneng’s relationship with the board undermined her authority.

She testified he once stormed her office screaming that she would not be in her position if it was not for him.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)