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Ad hoc committee pushes for outstanding SABC documents

The committee says it has requested outstanding documents from the SABC board last month.

The SABC delegation briefs the media following its walkout in Parliament on 07 December 2016. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – A parliamentary ad hoc committee probing the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board says it will legally demand outstanding documents from the public broadcaster.

The SABC has refused to submit the documents because it could negatively affect commercial interests.

The committee has tasked Parliament’s legal team with summonsing SABC board chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe to appear before it on Tuesday.

The committee says it had requested outstanding documents from the SABC board last month.

The documents include information related to the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as Group Executive of Corporate Affairs, management reports responding to the Auditor General’s findings and a report on internal audit committee meetings.

Committee chairperson Vincent Smith says the board indicated it lost the reports.

“Section 14.2a of the Powers and Privileges and Immunities of Parliament Act 2014 for professor Maguvhe to appear before this committee as a witness and to deliver the documents which are still outstanding.”

Committee members have emphasised the importance of the public broadcaster to serve the interests of South Africans.

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.

Smith said when they asked if Maguvhe has posed this request with the Auditor General before during its reports, the institution said no.

“We repeated that question to the Public Protector as to whether there was a requirement or a request for her report when she presented it to be converted into braille, she also said no. And similarly we put it to Icasa, they too said no.”

MOTSOENENG IN THE SPOTLIGHT

The second full day of the SABC inquiry heard details around the relationship between Motsoeneng and Maguvhe.

Witnesses came out strongly against Motsoeneng and his relationship with 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.

Another former board member Ronnie Lubisi told the committee Motsoeneng’s appointment as COO was done without due process.

He added it was common knowledge that the board had failed in its duties.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)