SABC refuses to hand over documents to Parliament inquiry

2016-12-07 12:47
(Photo: SABC website)

(Photo: SABC website)

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

Cape Town - The SABC has refused to hand over ten of 15 requested documents to Parliament's ad hoc committee looking into the fitness of its board, MPs heard on Wednesday.

Ad hoc committee chairperson Vincent Smith informed the committee on its first day of work that the broadcaster had only handed over five of the requested documents.

- Read more: SABC members walk out of Parliament inquiry

The broadcaster was concerned that handing over seven of those documents would "jeopardise" its commercial interests, he said.

A further three were "no longer in the SABC's possession".

The seven refused documents include the broadcaster's recent "90-10" policy on local content, a deal with Multichoice, a report of its internal audit committee, and a skills audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The three documents "not in the broadcaster's possession" are: the appointment documents of group executive for corporate affairs Hlaudi Motsoeneng, SABC management's response to the auditor general's 2015/16 findings, and internal audit committee meeting minutes.

'Never, ever have documents been refused'

MPs slammed the last remaining board member, Mbulaheni Maguvhe, the SABC, and acting CEO James Aguma on their refusal to hand over the documents.

"I've been in Parliament since 1994, so I have some experience. It is unacceptable that Parliament cannot be provided documents from a state-owned enterprise that we control," IFP chief whip Narend Singh said.

"In my 17 years, never ever has any institution decided not to hand over documents to Parliament," DA deputy chief whip Mike Waters said.

ANC MP Juli Kilian could not believe that three documents were not in the SABC's possession.

"Appointments of staff cannot just be nowhere to be found," she said.

She said those trying to stifle Parliament's work could face criminal charges, and suggested taking legal counsel on the matter.

ANC MP Jabu Mahlangu said he couldn't see how handing over policy documents would affect the SABC's "commercial" interests. He said the broadcaster was a public enterprise, not a commercial one.

EFF MP Fana Mokoena said Maguvhe needs to write to the committee to tell it why he should not be dismissed, following this "farce".

DA MP Phumzile van Damme said the SABC was disrespecting Parliament.

Smith said the non-presentation of the documents was "not negotiable", and had instructed the legal team to go to the highest court in the land if needs be.

The documents were requested on November 17.

Maguvhe appeal

Smith also revealed on Wednesday that Maguvhe had launched a late appeal on Tuesday against Judge Siraj Desai's decision last week to dismiss his request for an interdict with costs.

Desai had said he would give his reasons at a later stage.

The committee took a thirty minute break on Wednesday to discuss the way forward.

"After listening to the legal team, and taking advice from legal counsel, we go back to the point we made when we started, that Parliament would not be deterred from its work," Smith said after their private meeting.

"There is no court order as we speak from continuing its work, and so shall it be. We will continue, today."


Join the conversation!

24.com 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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.