SABC board in stand-off

Cape Town - Parliament has refused to enter the fray in the SABC board stand-off over a proposal to take Hlaudi Motsoeneng back.

The board appeared to be divided after a board member, Krish Naidoo, publicly came out against attempts by his fellow board members to reinstate Motsoeneng as the acting chief operating officer.

Chairman of the portfolio committee on communications Humphrey Maxegwana on Thursday refused to be drawn on the SABC board stand-off.

He said the committee will not intervene at this stage, but will wait for the board to come to Parliament next month. This will be a scheduled meeting of the committee and the SABC board.

In the last stand-off between the SABC and the public over censorship policies, the committee also refused to intervene.

It waited for the scheduled meeting that took place last month where the matters were discussed.

Maxegwana, an ANC MP, said they will not call the board at this stage to discuss Motsoeneng’s situation.“We will get a proper briefing when the board comes in October. The board is the people who are dealing with the people at the SABC,” he said.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago could not be reached for comment.

Naidoo said he would not endorse a decision that Motsoeneng be re-appointed. He said Motsoeneng had ceased to be an employee of the SABC and was trespassing by continuing to come to work.

He did not know in what capacity Motsoeneng was still at the SABC, he said, and it would be unethical and unlawful if he endorsed a decision that was in contempt of a court decision.

This was in reference to the Supreme Court of Appeal's decision on Monday that declared Motsoeneng’s appointment irrational and that it be set aside.

Motsoeneng has demanded one of the senior positions at the SABC if he was not reinstated as chief operating officer (COO), but the board was trying to get him back as acting COO until the end of the year.

Naidoo said this was illegal and, as a board member, would not accept it.

Maxegwana said all interested parties will have to wait until next month when the committee met with the SABC board in the National Assembly.

The SABC board would present the financials of the public broadcaster when it appears in Parliament.