Political parties butt heads over SABC inquiry draft report

The committee will hear legal advice on Friday morning on whether or not it can release its draft report.

FILE: A screengrab of committee chairperson Vincent Smith listening to deliberations in Parliament.

JOHANNESBURG - Parliament's inquiry into the SABC is set to finalise its draft report on Friday but parties are deadlocked on how to deal with its recommendations.

There is also no consensus yet on how far the report should go in demanding action against Communications Minister Faith Muthambi for the part she played in the public broadcaster’s decline.

These are among a number of sticking points Members of Parliament (MPs) will be thrashing out when the committee charged with the probe reconvenes on Friday morning.

The African National Congress (ANC)’s Juli Kilian says the committee should make its recommendations only after it gets responses from affected parties to the main body of its draft report.

“We could even place the entire process at risk because people could then say, here you have found x, y and z, we are now going to go for an interdict so that you cannot submit the report to Parliament.”

But opposition parties don’t agree.

The Democratic Alliance (DA)’s Phumzile Van Damme says, “The key part of this report is the recommendations which will detail what we as a committee think needs to happen to steer the SABC to calm waters and what needs to happen to hold those people who created the mess at the SABC accountable.”

ANC MPs deny getting cold feet at the 11th hour.

They want the recommendations to have bite, but be implementable.

The committee will hear legal advice on Friday morning on whether or not it can release its draft report without including its recommendations.

(Edited by Neo Koza)