Parliamentary committee instructed to take action, says top ANC official
The under-fire SABC board is likely to be dissolved as the ANC has resolved that there should be a parliamentary inquiry into the board’s fitness to hold office. This comes after months of impasse between the board and the ANC over the board’s handling of affairs at the national broadcaster.
But most recently the ANC has been annoyed by the board’s defiance of the Supreme Court of Appeals decision setting aside the appointment of its former chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
The board, which is led by Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe, chose to appoint Motsoeneng in a new position as the head of corporate affairs last week.
This drew the wrath of both the cabinet and that of ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu last week.
The cabinet said this was total disrespect of the rule of law, while Mthembu said it was “the last straw that breaks the camel’s back”.
Yesterday, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the national executive committee (NEC) had agreed that there should be an inquiry into the board’s fitness to hold office.
The NEC is the highest decision-making structure of the ANC between conferences.
Two NEC members, who did not want to be named, told Times Media that an inquiry was a mere formality as the party was clear that the board should go.
“We are dealing with it [SABC board]. We are not compromising regarding those board members who have been disrespecting the ANC. We have given the mandate to dissolve it in parliament,” one NEC member said.
“They [parliament] are the ones who will decide, but this is just a formality.”
Another NEC member said the committee felt the board was making a mockery of the public broadcaster.
“Many agreed that the board was now defying those that had elected it and going against not only the rule of law but the ANC itself. Our comrades have been given a strong mandate and they will see it through,” the source said.
But communications portfolio committee chairman Humphrey Maxegwana was cautious yesterday regarding the NEC’s decision.
“The NEC’s decision is the NEC’s decision. We will follow our own processes. We are going to listen to the board regarding all the issues and questions. We will analyse them and take a decision from there,” he said.
The board is set to appear before the committee tomorrow.
Meanwhile, DA leader Mmusi Maimane has called on businesses advertising with the SABC to pull out of their deals.
“I want to call upon all the people who are advertising here‚ that let us remind the SABC that we can’t keep on pouring money into an institution that is losing money and is a propaganda machine for the ANC‚” he said.
Maimane was speaking outside the SABC headquarters in Auckland Park‚ Johannesburg, yesterday.
The DA delivered a memorandum of demands calling for the removal of Motsoeneng and the disbanding of the SABC board.
“Therefore, if you are a business‚ you must use this time wisely and stop saying to yourself you will invest in an institution that is undermining our people‚” Maimane said.
This comes as the SABC reported a R411million loss for the 2015-16 financial year but insists the public broadcaster is solvent.