SABC inquiry to request affidavit from Tshabalala

Cape Town – Former SABC chairperson Ellen Tshabalala’s submission of a list of politicians and parties who allegedly interfered in the running of the public broadcaster left MPs unimpressed on Friday.

She should not be given the opportunity to redeem herself using the parliamentary ad hoc committee investigating the SABC board’s fitness for office, ANC MP Makhosi Khoza said.

Her testimony to the committee had been inconsistent and she now wanted to improve her credibility, Khoza said.

Other MPs said the vague list did not provide more information that what Tshabalala had already told them.

Tshabalala told the committee last Friday that there had been consistent political interference during her tenure as board chairperson. At the time, she was reluctant to divulge the names, and was asked to send it to the committee in writing.

Before the committee started deliberating on its report on Friday, chairperson Vincent Smith raised Tshabalala’s submission to the committee.

IFP MP Narend Singh said Tshabalala should condense the information supplied to the committee into an affidavit, and they could consider it on Tuesday.

"Let’s put the ball into her court for now."

'Important evidence'

NFP MP Nhlanhla Khubisa agreed with this suggestion.

"This is important evidence to us because at the end of the day we must make sure we come with strong recommendations, so an affidavit will suffice.

"This committee also noted that when she was giving her evidence, she was peddling forward and backwards," Khubisa said.

Tshabalala first mentioned Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande in her testimony, and then said it was a South African Communist Party official.

"I think that kind of dilly-dallying, peddling forward and backward situation, should be reduced to an affidavit so it is a credible document."

ANC MP Fezeka Loliwe said when Tshabalala was asked to submit the names, she asked for more time. After she was granted an extension, she still failed to provide anything substantial.

Loliwe said they could not accept anything from her which was not in affidavit form. 

"Her delay in submission should not deter us from concluding our work," she said.

Smith said they would write to Tshabalala and ask her to resubmit the document, and give her time frames. They would view it as a work in progress for now.

During her testimony, Tshabalala told MPs there had been gross political interference at the SABC. She named the ANC, the DA and SACP as some of the culprits.

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