Embattled SABC chairwoman Ellen Tshabalala will be asked to fall on her sword as the ANC’s top brass looks to tighten the screws on the wayward public broadcaster.
A number of sources in the party’s national executive committee and in Parliament confirmed that Tshabalala will be asked to resign, weeks after allegations that she misrepresented her qualifications came to light. One NEC member said she had “lied under oath” if the allegations were true.
Tshabalala stated on her CV that she had a BCom degree from the University of South Africa (Unisa) and held a diploma in labour relations, but the university said it had no record of these.
Independent Newspapers learned of the push for her resignation after the ANC’s national executive committee meeting in Pretoria at the weekend where the matter came up.
ANC sources said Tshabalala was due to meet ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe on Sunday, but Independent understands the meeting had not taken place by the time of going to press. Mantashe would not be drawn on the details last night.
The ANC’s move against Tshabalala is likely to send a discomforting signal to Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the public broadcaster’s controversial chief operating officer, who has managed to hold on to his R2.8 million-a- year job despite not having a valid matric certificate and holding a seemingly bogus qualification from a US seminary not recognised in this country. Despite being named by the public protector as having lied about having matric, Motsoeneng has survived in his position, seemingly because of his relationship with President Jacob Zuma.
But the ANC was reportedly unhappy with Motsoeneng’s permanent appointment in July, and the Tshabalala revelations have proved to be the last straw.
Tshabalala was expected to appear before a parliamentary inquiry on Thursday so she can answer to the allegations, but that has been postponed by the communications committee to October 14 to allow her more time to prepare. The committee has recommended she be suspended pending the inquiry.
Committee chairwoman Joyce Moloi Moropa said the recommendation had gone to Speaker Baleka Mbete who will forward it to Zuma.