Parliament slams SABC board

2010-10-21 07:27

A long-awaited parliamentary meeting on the latest crisis at the

SABC came to nought yesterday when chairperson Ben Ngubane told members of

Parliament that the embattled board had failed to produce a performance review

of its first six months in charge.

“There are many documents before us that need to go for board

approval. So I’m saying there are many balls in the air. I’m very sorry that we

could not provide a document approved by the board,” Ngubane told Parliament’s

portfolio committee on communication.

The meeting was postponed and the committee issued a withering

statement in which it said the board had failed to do its job.

“The committee believes that there is not much room for optimism

about the affairs of the corporation,” it said.

“In essence the committee is of the view that the board has failed

to provide coherent leadership and to provide proper corporate governance over

the SABC.”

MPs from parties across the spectrum said there was no option

following Ngubane’s admission but to postpone the meeting, two months after an

initial crisis meeting was delayed after media successfully challenged an ANC

decision to hold it in camera.

“It is clear we have reached the end of the line for today. It will

be very difficult for us to continue with a process where the document hasn’t

yet been finalised. What are we going to say to them?” ANC MP Johnny de Lange

said.

“How do you assess the value of reports that are not

finalised?”

Committee chairperson Ismail Vadi agreed, but signalled his dismay

with the board’s failure to prepare and said it was hampering the committee’s

oversight work.

“I don’t want to set a precedent that if any entity does not want

to report, all it has to say is that is does not have the documents.

“This board had sufficient notice. They were aware of the

outstanding issues that faces this committee and there is absolutely no reason

for the board whatsoever not to have been prepared.

“This is the singular most important failure of this board... Now

our meeting with them is dependent on when they could possibly schedule a board

meeting to process this.”?


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