Inquiry into SABC board delayed

Parliament – The four remaining South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board members are set to be served with notices to attend a parliamentary inquiry into their fitness to hold office by the end of next week, the legislature’s portfolio committee on communications said Wednesday.

Briefing journalists in Parliament, committee chairman Humphrey Maxegwana indicated the inquiry had been delayed in the interests of fairness as the legislature needed to afford board members and their legal representatives time to prepare.

SABC board members appeared before the parliamentary communications portfolio committee earlier this month. From left: Krish Naidoo, Hlaudi Motsoeneng and Vusi Mavuso. Naidoo and Mavuso had just announced their intention to resign when the picture was taken. Picture Jeffrey Abrahams. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

“The Committee, having sought and obtained legal advice on the due process, resolved…to abide by the rules of natural justice. To this end, the Committee processes are in progress in preparation for the hearing,” said Maxegwana.

“The Committee hopes to serve members of the Board with the Notice of Hearing by no later than Friday, 28 October 2016.”

Maxegwana said the date of the inquiry would only be announced following the notices of inquiry being issued, but said it would be completed before the last sitting of the National Assembly on November 24.

At a meeting of the committee two weeks ago, it resolved to ask the board members to resign, failing which an inquiry would be conducted.

The committees’ resolution came after board chairman Obert Maguvhe and acting group chief executive officer James Aguma defended their decision to appoint the ever controversial Hlaudi Motsoeneng to the senior post of chief executive for corporate affairs.

The appointment came after the Supreme Court of Appeal would not entertain an appeal of a high court decision invalidating his appointment as chief operating officer.

Later, two board members broke ranks with Maguvhe and the rest of the board, telling the MPs they would quit and called for the dissolution of the board.

A day after the committee resolution, Maguvhe held a media conference in Johannesburg where he accused MPs of trying to bully him and fellow board members to resign, insisting he won’t be quitting his post.

“In order for me to not keep you in suspense, let the inquiry come. I’m ready for it so it means I’m going nowhere,” a defiant Maghuve said at the time.