Parliamentary inquiry into SABC nears submission deadline

Testimony by two final witnesses saw tense exchanges at Parliament on Friday.

FILE: The SABC headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s inquiry into the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board is now under the whip to produce its final report before its deadline at the end of February.

Testimony by two final witnesses, former board chairpersons Ben Ngubane and Ellen Tshabalala, saw tense exchanges at Parliament on Friday.

Ngubane, who was board chair from late 2009 until he resigned in March 2013, hit out at the Public Protector’s SABC report, which was highly critical of his leadership.

And he lauded Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s work at the SABC, saying his 63% salary hikes in the course of a single year were justified.

Ngubane told members of Parliament (MPs) that far from damaging the SABC, he, with the help of Motsoeneng, had in fact saved it.

“The SABC started hemorrhaging money from 2007, we found a mess. We tried to correct the mess. We instituted monitoring task teams and prosecution structures. We did everything. Therefore, I reject the idea that the corruption and all the destruction at the SABC happened because of us.”

Ngubane is now Eskom’s board chairperson.

“We are taking the one at Eskom to review, because I can tell you this state capture report is full of holes.”

Tshabalala also told MPs parts of Thuli Madonsela’s SABC report were untrue. However, the board never challenged it in court, instead making Motsoeneng COO, despite its damning findings against him.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)