Zuma appoints new SABC chair and deputy

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has appointed a chairperson and deputy chairperson of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the presidency announced on Friday.

He appointed the current acting chair Mbulaheni Obert Maguvhe as the chair and Leah Thabisile Khumalo as deputy with immediate effect.

"President Zuma has wished Professor Maguvhe and Ms Khumalo all the best in their new responsibilities," the presidency said in a statement.

The Democratic Alliance on Friday questioned whether Zuma had applied his mind when making the appointment.

"Maghuve proved his political usefulness further this year when, as acting chairperson of the SABC board, [he] illegally removed Hope Zinde, Rachel Kalidass and Ronnie Lubisi. It has since been confirmed by Parliament's legal advisors that Maghuve's decision to remove these board members was unlawful," DA MP Gavin Davis said.

He claimed Maghuve got the job because he remained loyal to Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Maghuve, along with Khumalo, had voted in favour of Motsoeneng's appointment as chief operating officer in July last year, he said.

"This was in direct contravention of the public protector’s directive that Motsoeneng be suspended and disciplined for lying about his matric certificate and other acts of fraud and corruption."

"He is now being rewarded for getting rid of excellent and independently-minded board members and protecting Motsoeneng when he should have been fired."

Motsoeneng’s appeal against the Western Cape High Court's order that he be suspended pending a disciplinary inquiry, was set to be heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein in September.

In April, Judge Ashton Schippers upheld a ruling that Motsoeneng be suspended and a disciplinary hearing take place within 60 days of the ruling, pending the appeal process.

The DA filed the interim application in December 2014, arguing that the high court order against Motsoeneng be enforced following Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report into alleged bribery at the SABC.

She established his salary had increased from R1.5m to R2.4m in one year; he had misrepresented his qualifications to the SABC and purged senior staff.

Madonsela recommended a new SABC chief operating officer be appointed within 90 days.

Muthambi pemanently appointed Motsoeneng to the position in July last year.

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