File image: Independent Media
The report by Parliament’s legal services that identified people who misled the ad hoc committee probing matters at the SABC will soon be referred to the portfolio committee on communications.

“The speaker is considering a wide range of issues pertaining to the report. It is not gathering dust. She is processing it,” spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said.

“Ultimately, at the appropriate time, it will be referred to the portfolio committee to be handled in line with the rules of Parliament.”

Opposition parties have demanded that Speaker Baleka Mbete table the report.

Legal services handed the report to Mbete’s office about a month ago, but it is yet to be tabled.

This has prompted the official opposition to accuse Mbete of refusing to table the report because, “its contents implicate a number of her ANC comrades”.

“It is shocking that Members of Parliament have to go to such lengths to gain access to reports emanating from their committee work,” DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said.

It was previously reported that Mbete had sought legal advice and that she would first engage with the implicated parties.

Van Damme said Mbete’s duty to Parliament was above her role as chairperson of the ANC.

“Mbete doesn’t have any legal basis for withholding the report and her explanation, offered in the National Assembly programme committee, that the implicated persons were being consulted doesn’t hold water. “Parliament doesn’t have an obligation to consult with those who lied to it,” Van Damme said.

She also said Mbete was obliged to table this report to ensure that Parliament performed its oversight role and those who lied faced the full consequences of their actions.

“The DA will not allow those who lied before Parliament to escape accountability.

“We will continue to put pressure on the speaker to make this report public,” she said.

Cope’s Willie Madisha said it was a pity that the implementation of the ad hoc committee’s recommendations was hitting a snag.

The ad hoc committee found that in many instances the evidence provided by witnesses was contradictory.

“The evidence leader has been requested to analyse the contradictory testimonies, and on conclusion of this exercise Parliament’s legal services office will make appropriate recommendations,” the report said.

During the inquiry, former SABC journalist Vuyo Mvoko gave evidence that the SABC’s resources were diverted to fund the controversial business breakfasts of the Gupta-owned newspaper company, The New Age, and that the public broadcaster did not generate any revenue from the briefings.

These claims were disputed by former board chairman Ben Ngubane, who said the breakfasts made good business sense and were at no cost to the SABC.

But, the interim board recently told Parliament that the SABC incurred costs totalling R20 million on these breakfasts.

Political Bureau