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SABC probe nearly over

Chairman of the parliamentary ad hoc committee conducting the SABC inquiry Vincent Smith. Picture: Independent Media

Chairman of the parliamentary ad hoc committee conducting the SABC inquiry Vincent Smith. Picture: Independent Media

Published Jan 5, 2017

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Parliament – The ad hoc committee into the SABC is wrapping up its work with two former board chairpersons to appear before members of parliament (MPs) next week.

Chairperson of the ad hoc committee Vincent Smith said on Wednesday he did not have sleepless nights about finalising the report into the SABC within the deadline set by Parliament.

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Smith said former SABC board chairpersons Ben Ngubane and Ellen Tshabalala will be the last two witnesses to face questions from the committee next week.

He said after the evidence of Ngubane and Tshabalala, they will start working on the draft report of the committee.

The committee was set up by Parliament late last year to investigate the conduct of the SABC board.

But since then all the remaining board members have quit, with ex-chairman Mbulaheni Maguvhe the last one to throw in the towel after putting up a fight in the Western Cape High Court.

Other former board members labelled the SABC an organisation in crisis with Hlaudi Motsoeneng at the centre of events affecting the SABC.

Former senior officials of the SABC also painted a poor state of the organisation under Motsoeneng.

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Smith said Tshabalala and Ngubane will be the last two former board members and ex-chairpersons to face MPs.

The ad hoc committee will then work on the draft report and thereafter table a final report in Parliament.

The National Assembly will have to take a decision on the final report.

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Parliament gave the ad hoc committee until the end of February to finish its work and table a report.

The ad hoc committee was set up after the SABC complained that the portfolio committee on communications would be biased against it when it conducts the hearings.

The communications committee conducts an oversight on SABC matters.

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The national legislature then decided to establish the ad hoc committee to remove any element of bias against the SABC.

The law requires that the SABC, as a public entity, must report to the National Assembly.

Smith said they will finish the report on time, and the committee has been able to cover most of its work.

It was their wish that they finalised all the witnesses by December last year, but Tshabalala and Ngubane will only be available next week.

However, there was still time for the committee to work on the report before making it public.

They will be able to deliberate on the report in the days after the two former board chairpersons have given their evidence.

The SABC has had several boards in the past few years with some of them being dissolved by Parliament due to infighting.

Political Bureau

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