Faith Muthambi takes ‘unlawful’ responsibility for SABC

2015-01-15 06:50

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the board of the SABC, she said.

“In terms of the signed memorandum of incorporation, the minister is the sole shareholder in the corporation acting on behalf of the South African government,” she said yesterday.

“The minister therefore has the responsibility to ensure effective and efficient functioning of the board and ultimately the corporation as a whole in her capacity as the executive authority.”

Muthambi was responding to Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis, who said she sent certain members of the SABC board letters, requesting that they give her reasons why they should not be suspended.

“The DA understands from several sources that the minister has written to certain SABC board members requesting that they give her reasons why they should not be suspended. They have been given until today to respond,” Davis said.

He said board member Professor Bongani Khumalo, had reportedly resigned as a result of this.

Khumalo’s resignation came less than a month after SABC board chairperson Ellen Tshabalala resigned.

Tshabalala had been under fire for not providing proof of her academic qualifications, as requested by a parliamentary committee.

Last year, the public broadcaster’s chief executive, Lulama Mokhobo, resigned and its chief financial officer, Gugu Duda, was fired for misconduct.

Davis said Muthambi’s interference in the SABC was unlawful according to the Broadcasting Act.

“It is the president who appoints the board on the recommendation of the portfolio committee. The minister has no lawful role in the appointment or removal of board members and therefore has no right to threaten board members with suspension,” Davis said.

He wrote a letter to communications portfolio committee chairperson Joyce Moloi-Moropa to request that Muthambi be called to explain herself.

On Tuesday, Muthambi’s spokesperson Ayanda Hollow had denied that she was in the process of suspending “certain” board members of the SABC.

Hollow said Muthambi treated her communication in such cases strictly private and confidential.

“Save to say that minister would not ordinarily write a letter to call upon directors of the SABC to give reasons why they should not be suspended since she does not have powers to suspend them,” he said at the time.

Yesterday, Muthambi said she was working hard to stabilise the management team and the board of directors of the SABC.

“The success and failure of the corporation is accounted for by the minister of communications.

“As a result the minister through her political oversight role has the responsibility to ensure implementation of good corporate governance at all times.”

Part of her oversight responsibilities included interrogating the conduct of board members, processes and systems on the governance of the corporation, she said.

Davis said Muthambi’s statements proved that she had written the letters.

“This is a tacit admission that the minister has indeed written to certain board members regarding their conduct and continued employment at the SABC.

“The DA maintains that such interference in the SABC board is unlawful,” he said.

He said that was the communications portfolio committee’s function, just as it was done with respect to Tshabalala.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.