Former chairperson of the SABC board, Ellen Tshabalala, faced tough questioning by the parliamentary committee probing the fitness of the board to hold office.
Contrary to her undertaking last week, former chairperson of the SABC Board Ellen Tshabalala this week told Parliament’s ad hoc committee she had nothing further to give the committee.

The committee resolved at its meeting on Friday last week that Tshabalala should submit an affidavit with the names of politicians she had accused of political meddling in the SABC’s affairs.

Committee chairman Vincent Smith said the written submission made by Tshabalala this week did not address the issue of names of people she accused of political interference.

He said it was a just normal submission with no specific names of people.

Tshabalala said she has nothing further to submit to MPs after she made a written submission this week.

“There is nothing I can say. I am no longer with the SABC, I am not a member of the board,” she said.

During last week’s appearance, Tshabalala accused SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande of political interference.

The SACP warned Tshabalala about her claims, saying they would take her to court. The party said Nzimande only raised issues pertaining to digital migration, which was done in his capacity as leader of the SACP.

When Tshabalala was questioned further by MPs on Nzimande’s alleged interference, she said she was called by someone from the SACP, or Nzimande’s deputy. She also accused the DA and ANC of interfering with the SABC.

The committee decided that she should submit an affidavit on the matter. But this week, they said her written submission fell far short of what was required, and what she promised she would deliver to the committee.

The committee decided to recommend a full-scale forensic investigation into corruption at the SABC be instituted, and agreed that the yet to be appointed SABC interim board must appoint an independent audit firm to conduct a probe. The interim board would be urged to scrap all irregular contracts and tenders at the public broadcaster.

Members of the ad hoc committee want the forensic investigation to be extensive and cover tender fraud. In the past six years the SABC has incurred irregular expenditure of R5.1 billion.

Former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been fingered by former board members and executives in a number of irregularities.

Political Bureau