Date set for 'urgent' SABC parliamentary inquiry

2016-11-15 13:10
SABC. (File)

SABC. (File)

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Cape Town - Parliament's ad hoc committee looking into the SABC and its board will begin its hearing into the broadcaster on November 29.

The ad hoc committee met for the first time on Tuesday to begin discussions around holding an inquiry into the board following controversial top appointments, censorship policies and the resignations of multiple board members.

African National Congress MP Vincent Smith was elected as chairperson of the committee unopposed.

Smith said Parliament's researchers and evidence leader Advocate Nthuthuzelo Vanara will do all the legal spade work between November 21 and 28.

The hearing will begin on November 29 and will continue for two weeks.

The committee's proposed witness list has up to 30 names, including former board members, former employees, the SABC's secretary Theresa Geldenhuys and Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi.

Tightened schedule, 'urgent' matter

READ: Zuma accepts SABC board resignations

The committee will be using various pieces of legislation to conduct the hearing, including the Broadcasting Act of 1999 and the Companies Act, and the SABC board charter and former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's 2014 report, “When Governance and Ethics Fail”.

The ad hoc committee is mandated to complete its work by February 28.

MPs expressed concern that an extended break over the Christmas period would result in a loss of momentum.

Smith agreed and said the committee will meet over a compressed timeline, including weekends, to finish its deliberations before Parliament rises on January 9 next year.

A draft report will then be compiled to be considered on January 24 so board members can make comments for the committee to process, adopt and present to the National Assembly by February 15.

Two more members of the SABC board resigned on Tuesday, the broadcaster reported.

The resignations of Nomvuyo Mhlakaza and Aaron Tshidzumba were reportedly tendered over the weekend, meaning chairperson Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe is the only non-executive member remaining.

Maguvhe said he would not be stepping down.

Smith told journalists after the meeting adjourned that the ad hoc committee will continue with its mandate while Maguvhe still holds the position.

Deliberations continued on Tuesday.

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Read more on:    sabc  |  media freedom  |  media  |  parliament 2016

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