Dzuguda Rufus Kharidza being interviewed by MPs at Parliament for a position on the SABC board. Picture: Chantall Presence/ANA

Parliament - A former ANC councillor who is currently serving as a commissioner of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa, was given a hard time by MPs on Wednesday as they grilled him about his resignation from the University of Venda following allegations donor student funds were transferred to a close relative.

Dzuguda Rufus Kharidza, who is among 35 candidates being interviewed for 12 positions on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board, admitted R32 000 was transferred to his daughter's bank account, but said he was not involved in the approval, although a PricewaterhouseCoopers report implicated him.

If he was appointed, MPs wanted to know whether the allegations hanging over his head would affect SABC staffers' attitudes towards him.

"Yes, I reasonably expect the rank and file to regard me as an honest person...," he responded.

Kharidza told MPs he believed integrity was a moving target.

"Integrity as you point out is not static, that once you're guilty, you guilty for life. The weight you are putting on that is not equal to the weight that others put, otherwise I would not be here where I am getting appointed to some opportunities." 

On righting the SABC ship, which was experiencing problems moving forward as a result of financial pressures, Kharidza said the board structure needed to change.

"I noted that the board's structure is not that strong. The CEO is appointed by the shareholder in consultation with the board. I would like to see a situation where a board makes a recommendation."

I've also noted the structure of the executive directors. Almost everything has been piled in one division - that of chief operating officer. That makes that divison too powerful at the expense of other divisions," he said.

Given Kharidza's ANC affiliation, opposition MPs wanted to know how he would deal with an "instruction" from the ANC if he became a board member.

"During my life of service, I have come across instructions which I did not honour because they were wrong instructions. Ever since becoming a commissioner at the BCCSA, we have been trained on how to be fair, how to deal with issues of procedure, and how to do things in a credible way."