R2K: Maguvhe could face criminal charges

Maguvhe resigned from the SABC board just days after he battled to explain recent controversies at the public broadcaster.

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

JOHANNESBURG – The Right2Know Campaign says Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe could face criminal charges.

Maguvhe resigned from the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board on Monday just days after he battled to explain recent controversies at the public broadcaster.

He told the Parliamentary inquiry looking into the SABC's fitness for office that concerns around Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s reach were never brought to his attention.

The group’s Micah Reddy says Maguvhe might not be off the hook just yet.

“Looks to me like a last ditch effort to try and save his skin. It's finally becomes clear to him that not only has he failed his fiducial duties but he may well be liable to face criminal charges.”

INTERIM BOARD

An interim board is expected to top Parliament's agenda amid its ongoing inquiry into controversial developments at the SABC.

The emergency board will come into effect early next year following news of Maguvhe’s resignation on Monday.

The former chair of the board struggled to defend several damning allegations against the public broadcaster last week, including claims of censorship, political interference and intimidation at the SABC.

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

Media Monitoring Africa director William Bird says Maguvhe’s resignation is a good start, but it is not the end of the story for the SABC.

Bird believes it's an opportunity for a competent interim board to address, among others, the leadership crisis and corporate governance problems at the broadcaster.

“The interim board should be appointing the executive members who then need best quality people. They’re going to need to act independently and not subject to ministerial interference.”

The emergency board is expected to be appointed by Parliament’s communications committee early next year.

Members of Parliament say Maguvhe’s departure will not hamper the ad hoc committee’s work.

The Parliamentary inquiry into the SABC will reconvene in January.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)