5 Eyebrow-raising moments during SABC board interviews

2017-09-03 06:00

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There was many a dud among the 34 candidates interviewed this week, and many a committee bunfight. We look at some of the more alarming moments in Parliament:

1. A cow and a calf for Hlaudi

Royalty appeared before the committee in the person of Limpopo teacher Dr Gladys Thidziambi Nethengwe, who is the wife of a chief and active in the women’s movement. Trouble started when she proudly told the committee that the role of the SABC is to be “the mouthpiece of government”. Gasps. “Did I say government?” she asked. MPs replied loudly that she had. She ended the subject there. After sharing that all political parties in her area see her as a mother, she shared her TV viewing habits: “I like religious programmes. They help the women. You see the women are very frustrated and the programmes help them.” She also told how now-disgraced SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng once visited. “They called me outside because I’m the leader… and there was a cow and a calf. I said, ‘What is this?’ and they said, ‘These are cows for the SABC.’” Asked, at the end, if she had any questions for the committee, she replied: “I am a traditional woman. I can’t ask questions to honourables. I am here to receive questions.” Her interview was one of the shortest of the week.

2. Mr Integrity Is Not Static

Dzuguda Kharidza was happily telling the committee about his years in management at the University of Venda when the committee raised the issue that he entered into an agreement to resign from the university in 2008 after City Press reported that his unit gave a bursary to his daughter.

First the fearless communications man tried to convince MPs he was innocent and that he never had an opportunity to state his case, but later he argued that his daughter had received the money but that he had been rehabilitated.

Clearly irritated by continual questions about his integrity, he snapped, in one of the great eyebrow-raisers of the week: “Integrity is not static; it doesn’t mean that if one is guilty, they are guilty for life!”

3. A sangoma made me do it! – CheckPoint judge

Zimbabwean-born-and-raised former Eastern Cape acting Judge Chris Greenland caused a stir early on for removing the first numbers on his ID on his CV to hide his age.

When the Economic Freedom Fighters’ Mbuyiseni Ndlozi challenged him on how old he was, he challenged a for-once-speechless Ndlozi to a round of golf.

Asked why he left Zimbabwe, Greenland made eyes widen with his response: “A sangoma told me when I was 18 that the country would collapse.” But that was nothing. Asked what he watches on the SABC, he replied, “CheckPoint.” Which is on, uh, rival broadcaster eNCA.

4. Star-struck by Rajesh

Will soap star and industry organiser Jack Devnarain be good for the board? We really can’t tell.

The committee was too star-struck to really find out.

“Should I call you Rajesh? You make some of us late for work sometimes…” asked an honourable member, referring to his role on Isidingo.

5. The return of the fake interpreter

Businesswoman and trained Metro cop Cikizwa Dingi went in clashing with the committee over impartiality because of her CV references (President Jacob Zuma, Bathabile Dlamini, Lindiwe Zulu) and things went quickly downhill from there.

She refused to answer any questions about her company hiring the infamous sign language interpreter Thamsanqa Jantjie for Nelson Mandela’s memorial.

Asked whether she agrees with Dlamini’s views on the Mduduzi Manana saga, Dingi snapped at the DA’s Gavin Davis, “Can you take me through the Broadcasting Act and show me the relevance of your questions?”

The DA responded by calling her out for appearing to be reading her answers to questions from ANC members of the committee.

By the end, the ANC members compared the DA members to a hit squad from John Vorster Square and everyone had to take a break and go stand in their corner.

*City Press’ coverage of the SABC board interviews was done in partnership with SOS coalition, a civil society coalition committed to, and campaigning for, public broadcasting that is in the public interest. Visit soscoalition.org.za for more

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