SABC board must go - Cosatu

Johannesburg - Cosatu has accused Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and the SABC board of playing ANC factional politics at the public broadcaster.

The federation has backed calls for the board to be disbanded. It was addressing the media ahead of its nationwide general strike action on Friday.  

The SABC board is on Wednesday facing a grilling in Parliament for appointing former chief operations officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng to another executive position despite the Supreme Court of Appeal's (SCA) dismissal of his challenge to a judgment which ruled that his appointment as COO was irrational and set it aside.

Motsoeneng was appointed by the acting chief executive officer James Aguma a week after the ruling with the position having not been advertised, a move seen as defiance of the court by Cabinet, the ANC and opposition parties.

Cosatu's general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali says Muthambi and the board are playing politics instead of dealing with the governance crisis gripping the public broadcaster.

"From minister down to the board – we think they are not working in terms of good governance. We think they are fighting factional political battles within the political party.

ANC divided over Motsoeneng

"That is what we are calling for, that they must implement the decision of the Constitutional Court in that regard, Ntshalintshali said.

The SABC crisis has divided the ANC with the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans' Association and the ANC Youth League backing Motsoeneng's appointment and the ANC caucus in Parliament calling for an inquiry.

The ANC NEC has since backed calls for an inquiry into the board's fitness to hold office.

Cosatu has also slammed the communications portfolio committee for failing to deal with the crisis at the broadcaster.

The portfolio committee should be condemned, he said.

"They have been seeing this going on for some time and they have been sitting and watching this happening and now recently he's been appointed to a different position," Ntshalintshali said.

The communications ministry has refused to comment.

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