Judge me by my track record not my ANC affiliation - Krish Naidoo
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Parliament - Interim South African Broadcasting Association (SABC) board member Krish Naidoo, who is among 35 people vying for 12 posts on the permanent board, on Thursday told MPs he would not quit his job as ruling party legal consultant to secure his appointment.
"Judge me by my public record...I stood up against ANC [African National Congress] ministers, I stood up against ANC board members, that's a matter of public record," Naidoo said as opposition party member suggested being appointed to the board and staying on as a legal advisor to the ANC constituted a conflict of interest.
"I have track record of integrity...and if I see something wrong I will say it."
Naidoo was part of the previous SABC permanent board for three years and had opposed and publicly spoken out about the appointment of the now disgraced Hlaudi Motsoeneng as well as the broadcaster's controversial deal with Multichoice.
In October last year, while briefing the very parliamentary portfolio committee on communications who were interviewing him, Naidoo and his colleague Vusi Mavuso announced their resignation from the board, which they felt unfit to hold office.
Just two months later he also testified at the parliamentary inquiry into the SABC's affairs where he told the board of several unsuccessful attempts by then Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and the board to remove him.
Naidoo admitted on Thursday to receiving only one order when informing the ANC he would be appointed to the previous permanent board and that was to "try and help and rectify and fix the board".
"That's the only instruction from the ANC. Not once in the three years on board was I ever told to do anything or say anything at the SABC board."
Opposition parties did not buy this.
Economic Freedom Fighters MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the mere fact that Naidoo had an interest in the ANC paying him for legal advice and that the ruling party had an interest in the direction the SABC would take created an "ethical dilemma".
Ndlozi also wanted to know if Naidoo was an ANC deployee and whether he spoke about sensitive and confidential board matters to ruling party members.
"I have not spoken to anyone," Naidoo replied, denying he was an ANC deployee.
"I was recommended by a group of lawyers."
On Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who has often publicly accused Naidoo of a smear campaign against him, Naidoo said he would not engage the man who was fired from the broadcaster for bringing it into disrepute.
"I will not allow myself to be distracted by a person who is bitter, I believe."
The interviews continue on Friday with the last 12 candidates set to appear before MPs.