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MPs slam senior SABC officials during parliamentary inquiry

The ad hoc committee set up to investigate the affairs of the broadcaster’s board resumed on Monday morning.

A screengrab of SABC acting CEO James Aguma and SABC board chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe at a press briefing.

CAPE TOWN – Members of Parliament (MPs) have slammed some senior South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) officials saying they are treating a parliamentary inquiry with impunity.

The ad hoc committee set up to investigate the affairs of the broadcaster’s board resumed on Monday morning.

Sole board member Mbulaheni Maguvhe has refused to co-operate with the inquiry having labelled it as unfair.

Meanwhile, the SABC’s former general manager of employee relations has told the committee she left because she wanted her integrity to remain intact.

“Certain matters will be either taken away from me as I said before, given to legal and I think as I said before that I was becoming an irritation or I had become an irritation because I’d not agree with certain things and I knew that at that time I was becoming a stumbling.”

She says the environment at the broadcaster became increasingly intolerable.

“It was hurtful to hear, whether it is the journalist, whether it’s 702 radio station, to ask about what’s going at the SABC. Where is the head? Do they even have labour relations department?”

MAGUVHE SUMMONED

Parliament has officially instructed the Maguvhe, to appear before an inquiry, or face criminal action.

Maguvhe not only walked out on the ad hoc committee but also failed to appear on the day he was scheduled to testify.

He claimed his constitutional rights were being violated because he was not given documents in braille as he is blind.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has instructed Secretary to Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana to issue a summons for Maguvhe to appear on Tuesday.

The subpoena also comes with an order that he delivers SABC documents that are required by the ad hoc committee.

Committee chairperson Vincent Smith says the documents are critical to its work.

“One of the documents requested was a SABC skills audit that was done by Pricewaterhouse.”

Smith added Members of Parliament are looking forward to having fruitful discussions with Maguvhe when he appears this week.

Former SABC executives, including the ex-group executive for human resources Jabulani Mabaso and journalists known as the SABC 8, will make submissions on Monday.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)