SABC board candidate grilled over Muthambi bribe attempt

Nomvuyiso Batyi was asked about allegations that former Communications Minister Faith Muthambi tried to bribe her when she was an Icasa councillor in December 2015.

Former Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) councillor Nomvuyiso Batyi in Parliament for her interview to be part of the SABC board. Picture: YouTube

CAPE TOWN - Parliamentarians have questioned a former Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) councillor on allegations that Minister Faith Muthambi tried to influence the awarding of a licence to a Gupta-owned broadcasting company.

The issue arose during Nomvuyiso Batyi’s interview for a position on the SABC board at Parliament on Thursday.

It’s been reported the former communications minister offered Batyi the job of Icasa chairperson if she approved the license.

Batyi was asked about allegations that Muthambi tried to bribe her when she was an Icasa councillor in December 2015.

“Where I received the letter, as I still state, I had no condition attached to the letter. But because it was December, and at that time I didn’t even know who was bidding for the Icasa license.”

Batyi told MPs that although she initiated legal action against the minister for rescinding the job offer, she dropped the civil case because it would be too costly.

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications is searching for 12 qualified people to serve on the SABC board.

MPs are looking for people with the right expertise, but also want bold, independent-minded board members who will stand their ground against powerful executive directors and undue political influence.