SABC lurches from crisis to crisis - ANC

Johannesburg - African National Congress chief whip and communications sub-committee chair Jackson Mthembu took a jab at the SABC's senior management on Tuesday, saying the public broadcaster kept "moving from one crisis to another".

"I can assure you that at the highest managerial level, we are lacking. That is why we keep moving from one crisis to another," he told journalists at a press briefing on media freedom and the SABC.

Mthembu said the SABC needed to bring in people with expertise and who had the know-how in terms of running a big corporation.

He made examples of the public broadcaster's former chief executive officer Peter Matlare who he said ran the corporation like a smooth engine.
 
Mthembu said Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi needed to come up with a turnaround strategy that would include people who are knowledgeable in running a billion rand institution.

"We are not saying this dismissing the good quality we have at other levels... We have said to all our appointed ministers at communication, you need to assure that we have people who know how to run an institution as big as the SABC at the highest level. You can't bring in any Tom, Dick and Harry to run such an elite institution.

'Qualified people'

"When you appoint at the highest level, please do so properly and follow the law. We are not happy about the expertise at the SABC," he told journalists.

Mthembu added that challenges that the SABC faces, including the ongoing court battles of its chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, have "led to the collapse of the institution".

"We want people who are qualified to lead at the SABC."

Mthembu said the ANC had also felt the consequences of negative corporate culture at the SABC which needed to end.

The briefing comes after Motsoeneng's decision to stop airing any violent protests. This decision has been widely criticised.

Three journalists who disagreed with an instruction not to cover a Right2Know campaign protest against censorship at the SABC were later suspended. This followed the suspension of three other SABC employees.

On Monday another SABC journalist was charged.

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