Faith Muthambi: SABC ills not my responsibility alone

Despite being grilled by MPs, Muthambi has repeatedly denied her own responsibility for any of the ills at the public broadcaster.

FILE: Communications Minister Faith Muthambi. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN – Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says the failure of corporate governance at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is not her responsibility alone and that the board’s failure to exercise its duties is not her competence.

Despite being grilled by Members Parliament (MPs) during a robust hearing at Parliament on Wednesday, Muthambi repeatedly denied her own responsibility for any of the ills at the public broadcaster.

She was testifying before Parliament’s inquiry into the SABC board.

Earlier, the inquiry was told by the Right2Know Campaign that the board had been 'captured' by an untouchable employee, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and needed to be urgently dissolved.

MPs from all parties flexed their muscle in a rare display of cross-party determination.

Minister Muthambi was reminded her job includes overseeing the performance of the SABC board, which she herself concedes has ceased to exist.

African National Congress (ANC) MP Makhosi Khoza says, “We've had a lot of witnesses, minister, before this ad hoc committee and they’ve put the blame of SABC governance failure squarely on you as a minister. Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng – absolute power, with impunity…”

Muthambi insisted it was a collective responsibility.

“You are saying it shouldn’t be put on the shareholder, are you exempting the shareholder represented by yourself?” asked Khoza.

The minister replied, “Okay. I’m not exonerating myself, where I’ll take responsibility, I’ve done that since I started.”

Muthambi’s denied interfering with editorial decisions at the SABC. She claims to be unaware of complaints that Motsoeneng had become a law unto himself.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)