DA to take legal action if SABC Board not dissolved

2016-10-02 17:04

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Cape Town - Should the Portfolio Committee on Communications not act on its promised dissolution of the SABC Board by Wednesday, the DA will pursue legal options, the party's Federal Executive chairperson said on Sunday.

The ANC's chief whip in Parliament, Jackson Mthembu, said the public broadcaster's current board was likely to be dissolved following its decision to reappoint former chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng in an executive post, City Press reported.

Mthembu reportedly told the Sunday newspaper that his reappointment was "nothing more than disrespect for the Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling".

James Selfe, the DA's Federal Executive chairperson said it supported the move, which would effectively ask Parliament to challenge the reappointment of the "disgraced former COO".

"We will not be surprised if this is another case of ANC political grandstanding in order to save face for the embarrassment that has become the SABC," he said.

"The DA has repeatedly called for a parliamentary inquiry to be conducted into the SABC. This includes the Board's fitness to hold office. It is a pity that the ANC allowed the crisis at the SABC to continue to escalate over the last couple of months.

"The crisis could have been avoided much sooner, nevertheless, we are pleased that they have woken up and smelled the coffee."

He said the party was committed to restoring the integrity and independence of the SABC.

"It has become patently clear that the board of the SABC only serves to further the interests of the ANC, the Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, and Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and is not dedicated - as required by the Broadcasting Act - to fairness, freedom of expression, the right of the public to be informed, and openness and accountability."

The DA plans to hold a protest outside the SABC headquarters in Auckland Park on Monday.

Cope joins

Cope on Sunday said it also planned to join in the action against Motsoeneng in a march to Auckland Park.

Last month, the Supreme Court of Appeal rejected Motsoeneng's bid for leave to appeal against a November 2015 Western Cape High Court ruling declaring his appointment as COO irrational, and setting it aside.

This comes after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found in a report released in February 2014 that Motsoeneng lied about his qualifications when he applied for the post of COO, that he hiked his salary from R1.5 million to R2.4 million in one year, and purged senior staff.

Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said in a statement that the party would reiterate that, "Motsoeneng must go because he does not qualify to be appointed in any executive position and we will insist that the SABC Board be dissolved".

The party's president Mosiuoa Lekota together along with senior members would lead its members to the SABC.

"We are calling upon all the SABC TV licence payers, civil society organizations to join this action. We cannot allow the SABC Board and Motsoeneng to run the broadcasting corporation as if we are a banana republic.

"They can't continue to undermine the SA courts of law. They have done it before, but now we are saying enough is enough with their fraudulent actions," Bloem said.

Read more on:    da  |  sabc  |  james selfe  |  hlaudi ­motsoeneng  |  media

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