SABC to face music at parliament
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THE SABC is expected to come under fire from MPs over its conduct the past few months, including banning the broadcast of violent protests and firing its journalists for standing up to management's censorship policies.
The top brass of the SABC will make its first appearance in the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on communications tomorrow since the scandal broke three months ago.
Civil society and parties have been up in arms against the SABC’s censorship policies.
At the centre of the controversy is SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who has refused to go despite strong calls for the SABC to fire him.
The portfolio committee has been called numerous times to intervene at the SABC.
The calls widened after the SABC axed eight journalists, although seven were reinstated, with the exception of Vuyo Mvoko, who is appealing the Johannesburg High Court judgment.
At the heart of the questions to the SABC top brass will be censorship at the public broadcaster.
The ANC had also indicated during the election campaign that Parliament needed to intervene over the crisis.
The SACP has been leading a relentless campaign to stop censorship at the SABC and the firing of Motsoeneng.
Parliament was seen as the appropriate authority to deal with the crisis at the SABC.
Seven years ago the infighting at the SABC led to its dissolution by Parliament.
The communications committee, chaired by then ANC MP Eric Kholwane, conducted an inquiry that led to the dissolution of the board.
Businesswoman Irene Charnlely was appointed to lead an interim board of the SABC to bring back stability to the public broadcaster.
The fight to get Motsoeneng out of the SABC is expected to be mounted in the committee tomorrow.
Motsoeneng has refused to step down over the last few months despite pressure to do so.
The SABC has been embroiled in controversy the last few years, and had no permanent chief executive for some time.
It has had several chief executives the last few years, with many departing after a fallout with the board and receiving golden handshakes.
The outcome of tomorrow’s meeting will determine the future of the SABC.
For many people it has been a long wait for Parliament to intervene in the crisis at the public broadcaster.
The decision of the committee could end the months-long stand-off between the SABC and civil society, and political parties.
The SABC could also be grilled for ignoring several court orders and the amounts spent in defending itself.