Parliament to consider final SABC inquiry report

Cape Town – Parliament will on Tuesday consider the final report of the ad hoc committee looking into the SABC board’s fitness to hold office.

The debate in the National Assembly will be one of the final steps before the recommendations contained in the report can be implemented. The document was tabled last week.

After weeks of hearings and intense days of finalising the recommendations, the committee resolved to leave Communications Minister Faith Muthambi’s fate in the hands of President Jacob Zuma.

Other recommendations include:

• The formal dissolution of the SABC board and the appointment of an interim board, in line with the Broadcasting Act;

• The interim board and portfolio committee on communications must investigate the validity of the board's memorandum of incorporation;

• The interim board must investigate the nature of the State Security Agency's activities at the SABC;

• Parliament must amend the Broadcasting Act to make it legally clear that it supersedes the Companies Act;

• A reputable company must conduct an independent forensic investigation into all irregular appointments, suspicious contracts, salary increments and performance bonuses paid at the SABC during the period in question;

• The interim board must ensure that the top three senior management positions (group CEO, COO and CFO) are filled by suitably qualified and experienced professionals;

• The current editorial policy must be scrapped and public participation must be sought in formulating new editorial guidelines that are conducive for journalists to work without fear;

• All witnesses who deliberately provided incorrect information to the ad hoc committee’s inquiry should be investigated by Parliament's portfolio committee on communications and;

• The legal team who attempted to block Parliament's proceedings on behalf of the SABC should face appropriate consequences.

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