SABC hits mute button on Maguvhe resignation

Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe was the sole remaining member of the board following a series of resignations earlier this year.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has declined to comment on the resignation of SABC board chair Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe after he notified the presidency that he was stepping down.

The Presidency has confirmed that it received Maguvhe’s letter of resignation on Monday morning.

The professor was the sole remaining member of the board following a series of resignations earlier this year.

Maguvhe faced intensive questioning in Parliament last week, with Members of Parliament accusing him of not giving sufficient answers.

The reasons for the chairperson’s resignation have not yet been made public, but the move clears the way for election of a new board.

Presidency spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga says, “The president has thanked him (Maguvhe) for his service during his tenure at the SABC and wishes him well for his future endeavours.”

Maguvhe served as board chair since the resignation of Ellen Tshabalala in December 2014.

However, questions were asked about editorial controls and allegations of financial mismanagement – with the high court also ordering that Hlaudi Motsoeneng must not hold any position at the corporation.

At the same time, civil society groups have welcomed the resignation of the last man standing on the SABC board.

Maguvhe recently lost a court bid to try and block the work of a parliamentary inquiry.

The ad hoc committee is probing the board’s fitness to hold office.

Director of Media Monitoring Africa William Bird says the resignation is long overdue, and while it’s welcome, it is not the end of the story.

“Their (the interim board) basic task will be to bring some kind of stability to the SABC. At the same time they will have to launch all manner of investigations to start to investigate appointment processes and dodgy deals.”

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)