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Will MPs open case against Faith Muthambi for misleading Parliament?

Meeting minutes contradict the former communications minister's testimony that she did not pressurise the SABC board to appoint Hlaudi Motsoeneng as COO.

FILE: Minister Faith Muthambi. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Lawmakers are undecided about whether to open a criminal case against Minister Faith Muthambi for possibly misleading Parliament.

Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications has been given a legal report recommending Muthambi be investigated for possibly lying to Members of Parliament during an inquiry into the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board last year.

Muthambi served as Communications Minister before she was appointed to the Public Service and Administration Ministry during President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet reshuffle in March.

Willfully misleading Parliament is a criminal offence punishable by a fine or two years in jail or both.

But MPs are unsure what to do with the report that’s now landed on their desks. Are they expected to go to a police station to open a case?

After hearing suggestions from lawmakers during a meeting on Tuesday, Committee Chairperson Humphrey Maxegwana agreed to ask Parliament’s lawyers for guidance.

“I think that’s a concrete proposal, that we talk to the legal services.”

Minutes of meetings appear to contradict Muthambi's testimony during the SABC inquiry that she did not pressurise the SABC board to appoint Hlaudi Motsoeneng to the position of COO.

Two former chairpersons of the board, Ben Ngubane and Mbulaheni Maguvhe, as well as former company secretary Theresa Geldenhuys, may have all possibly misled Parliament in different ways, warranting further action.