Johannesburg - The SABC board will cease to exist as it will soon be dissolved, ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said on Saturday.
Mthembu, who is also an ANC national executive committee member and chairperson of the ANC’s sub-committee on communications, told The Sunday Independent that the SABC board, which is expected to appear before Parliament on Wednesday, “has already dismissed itself” as a result of its conduct of refusing to respect the justice system.
The party was this weekend holding its regular NEC meeting and it was not clear whether the SABC formed part of the deliberations.
“The ANC will ensure that this SABC board is dissolved. They have become the wonderful candidates for removal,” said Mthembu, stressing that the reappointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng to another senior position this week (as head of corporate affairs) showed complete disrespect for the rule of law following the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruling that his employment by the SABC was fraudulent.
Mthembu reiterated his views about what he called SABC “shenanigans”, which he described as “shameful”.
He said the ANC would ensure that it would never happen at the public broadcaster again.
In one of the strongest cabinet statements on the crisis, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe also launched a scathing attack on Motsoeneng’s appointment by the board, saying “attempts to subvert the SCA ruling through legally suspect interpretations border on violating the constitutional principle of legality and challenge the assigned judicial authority of the courts”.
Mthembu said on Saturday: “This board has lost cases and we want to establish what informs their actions. Their editorial policy was also reprimanded by Icasa, yet they continue with their shenanigans.
“They don’t respect the Broadcasting Act. Hlaudi didn’t appoint himself; it is the board that has taken this decision of defying the court. We want to establish who are the people and what informs their decision.”
He said the board should also explain what happened to Bessie Tugwana who was removed this week from the position that was awarded to Motsoeneng.
“They must explain what processes they used to re-appoint Hlaudi. How did they unceremoniously remove a woman (referring to Tugwana) and replace her with Hlaudi?” Mthembu fumed.
He said it was “absolute nonsense” that Motsoeneng was deployed by the ANC to command power at the SABC. “He (Hlaudi) was never part of the ANC deployment. Anyone who suggests that must provide us with proof. He is not deployed by the ANC. I have records to prove that. The board must account for their action.”
Motsoeneng, however, appears to have the support of the party’s Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) chairman, Kebby Maphatsoe, and ANC Youth League president Collen Maine.
Speaking separately from Mthembu, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the party respects the courts and the rule of law. He also said the Presidency made it clear, through Radebe, that it respected the SCA judgment.
Asked about MKMVA and the ANCYL support for Motsoeneng, Mantashe said: “Their statements are just overlapping each other. I’m not going to dwell on that.”
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said: “The SABC is not going to comment because the board is appointed by the Presidency and Parliament.”