I felt bullied, belittled and disrespected - SABC's Maguvhe

2016-12-07 20:21
Hlaudi Motsoeneng greets supporters outside the High Court in Cape Town. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Hlaudi Motsoeneng greets supporters outside the High Court in Cape Town. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - The SABC delegation which left Parliament during an ad hoc committee hearing into the fitness of the public broadcaster's board was not walking away from proceedings but wanted objectivity, head of corporate affairs Hlaudi Motsoeneng insisted on Wednesday.

"We are willing [to take part] as long as there is fairness. We want to face this inquiry but have problems with people who prejudge," he told the media during a briefing following the walkout.

"We are not afraid to go there and deal with the issues but we want a fair process."

Board chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe, who on Tuesday launched a last-minute appeal against the Western Cape High Court's decision dismissing his request for an interdict to stop the committee's work, said he had taken the action because he "believed the process was not going to be fair, independent and impartial".

"The attitude that prevailed today as the inquiry was commencing was very negative and hostile. As the chairperson I felt bullied, belittled and disrespected.

"This inquiry is a done deal. There were statements by various members saying that I should give reasons why I shouldn't be dismissed because a decision was taken to dismiss me. To be subjecting myself to an inquiry where it is crystal clear my rights won't be respected serves no purpose."

Earlier on Wednesday Maguvhe, who is partially blind, complained to the committee that the three documents the committee would be scrutinising were not in Braille.

'I have a right to information'

Committee chairperson Vincent Smith told the SABC delegation that its secretary, Theresa Geldenhuys, requested the documents from the committee in Word format on November 18 in order to transcribe them into Braille.

The committee resolved to continue with the inquiry as the High Court had not ordered it to cease working.

The SABC delegation, including acting CEO James Aguma and Motsoeneng, then walked out.

Maguvhe said he believed it was the ad hoc committee's responsibility to make accessible documents available to him.

"I feel my constitutional rights are being violated. I have the right to information, legal representation and cross-examination [of witnesses who testify during proceedings]."

Aguma said some of the SABC documents requested by the committee would contravene its confidentiality clauses with clients.

He said there had been no appointment letter for Motsoeneng in his new position as it was a management call and "he just reverted".

MPs on the committee were critical of what the DA's Phumzile van Damme called "a vexatious, pathetic attempt to try and delay this committee".

Read more on:    sabc  |  mbulaheni ma­gu­vhe  |  hlaudi motsoeneng

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