File photo: ANA/Karen Sandison

Parliament - SABC board members and management were risking their lives trying to clean out the rot at the cash-strapped broadcaster, MPs were told on Tuesday.

Board chairman Bongumusa Makhathini, who was leading a briefing to Parliament's portfolio committee on communications along with SABC executives, said there was a significant "pushback" to the work they were doing to respond to reports of misconduct at the SABC.

He cited the attempted killing of the organisation's chief audit executive, Thamsanqa Zikode, in June this year as proof that people were trying to prevent the SABC board and management from uncovering irregularities.

"The head of internal forensic, Mr Zikode, was almost killed a few months ago because of the work that he is driving. People have lost their lives because of the cleanup that we are doing," Makhathini told MPs.

The board chairman said the pushback was also responsible for "headlines" placing the management team in a negative light.

"When you see these headlines, don't panic, everything is under control," said Makhathini.

"I want to assure you there is no amount of intimidation or pushback that will stop us from doing what is responsible and what is in the best interests of the SABC."

African News Agency/ANA