SABC inquiry chair 'dismayed' by document leak

2017-01-18 13:45
SABC inquiry ad hoc committee chairperson Vincent Smith. (File, Misheck Makora, Daily Sun)

SABC inquiry ad hoc committee chairperson Vincent Smith. (File, Misheck Makora, Daily Sun)

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Cape Town - The chairperson of the parliamentary ad hoc committee looking into the SABC board is "dismayed" that a working document from the inquiry has been leaked.

The document was meant to aid MPs during deliberations about the inquiry process on Thursday and Friday, ad hoc committee chairperson Vincent Smith said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The working document was prepared as a foundation upon which a constructive meeting of the committee and deliberations will commence, and it was drafted for that purpose only," Smith said.

"It has no standing as an official document of the committee until deliberations are exhausted, possibly by Friday."

He did not say who he thought was responsible for the leak, or its consequences for the committee's work.

ACDP MP and ad hoc committee member Steve Swart told News24 on Wednesday that the working document had no legal standing yet. He expected it to be amended substantially when the committee met on Thursday.

DA MP Phumzile van Damme said in a statement on Wednesday that the party was studying the working document. The draft was a "good start", but more work was needed, she said.

ANC in Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said the "so-called" leaked document shouldn't distract from the task at hand.

"Leaks are generally malicious and ill-intended, but we must be mindful that this is just a draft created as basis for discussion. It's far from final."

The working document contains recommendations of forensic probes into allegations that several witnesses at the committee had made about deals between SABC, MultiChoice, and the Gupta-owned The New Age.

It also recommended that certain witnesses deemed to have given misleading or false information to the committee be sanctioned and that editorial independence and a high standard of journalism be adhered to at the broadcaster.

It also recommended that the SABC board's dissolution be finalised as a matter of urgency, that the interim board institute a probe into all irregular and wasteful expenditure, that action be taken against those behind the expenditure and that steps be taken to recover the money.

Read more on:    parliament  |  sabc  |  sabc inquiry  |  parliament 2017  |  media

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