Parliament rejects DA claims of quashing probe into SABC inquiry liars

2017-07-13 22:06
National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete. (GCIS)

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete. (GCIS)

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Cape Town – Claims that Speaker Baleka Mbete seeks to quash a probe into allegations that people lied to Parliament's ad hoc committee into the SABC board are "erroneous and without basis".

This was Parliament’s response on Thursday, after DA deputy chief whip Mike Waters accused Mbete and acting secretary to Parliament, Penelope Tyawa, of trying to keep the report into those who lied during the SABC inquiry from public scrutiny.

The ad hoc committee, on which Waters served, recommended that Parliament's legal services compile a report of people whose testimony had been untruthful. This report had to be submitted to Parliament by June 5, which was done.

Since then, the DA tried in vain to get its hands on the report, culminating in an application in terms of terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act. 

Tyawa denied this request on the grounds that it would be referred to the National Assembly's "relevant structures". 

This led to Waters's criticism on Thursday, after Tyawa related her decision to him in a letter the previous day.

Parliament's spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said in a statement on Thursday that Mbete would refer the report the portfolio committee on communications in August. 

Mbete had written to individuals on the list, inviting them to make submissions by the end of July on the serious allegations they faced, Mothapo said.

In terms of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, a person who wilfully furnishes a House or committees with information, or makes a statement before it, which is false or misleading, could face a fine or two years’ imprisonment, or both.

Mothapo said Mbete would, after the deadline, pass the list of the individuals and their submissions to the committee "for further handling in accordance with the rules of the Assembly". 

Mothapo said Mbete would not disclose their names until a committee process had begun.

Those who could be implicated in the report include former communications minister Faith Muthambi, and former SABC board chairpersons Mbulaheni Maguvhe, Ellen Tshabalala, and Ben Ngubane. The ad hoc committee said it found Muthambi "incompetent". 

Read more on:    sabc  |  mike waters  |  baleka mbete  |  parliament

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