Opposition calls for action

2012-10-08 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Opposition parties yesterday demanded that Minister of Communications Dina Pule must act to solve the ongoing problems at the SABC.

The IFP wants Pule to start a commission of inquiry, while the DA wants her to appear before Parliament.

This reaction follows a report in the Sunday Times on a looting spree at the corporation, while attempts were being made to bury an internal audit that showed its turnaround strategy head, Justice Ndaba, had forged his qualifications.

Among others, it is alleged that:

• the corporation spent R1,6 million to entertain 200 people at the July Handicap;

• the SABC bent its own appointment rules by appointing Hlaudi Motsoeneng as CEO and later suppressed a report that found he had lied about twice failing matric; and

• gave the Guptas’ New Age newspaper free exposure worth millions, flooding Auckland Park with 1 800 copies of New Age a day and paying the paper R147 251 to run advertorials.

Other problems include irregular expenditure in the form of a R3 million sponsorship for an information technology indaba, including R1 million in cash.

Both the DA and IFP expressed concern that Motsoeneng seems to have a say on news management.

DA MP Marian Shinn yesterday asked how Pule could until recently say she was satisfied with progress at the SABC. “It was either an attempt to twist the truth or she is out of touch with what is actually happening in the corporation,” said Shinn.

The IFP’s Liezl van der Merwe also asked in a statement how the SABC could claim that the corporation had been turned around in light of the continuing problems.

Van der Merwe said it was in the national interest for the minister to appoint a commission of inquiry, adding this commission should also probe if there was political interference at the corporation.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago yesterday had his cellphone switched off and was unavailable for comment.

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