SABC board to be dissolved

Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications has recommended that the SABC board be dissolved following its spectacular implosion in the past two weeks.

Nine of the 11 members had resigned by this morning with the 10th, Suzanne Vos, also offering to leave voluntarily.

Academic Pippa Green informed committee chairperson Sikhumbuzo Kholwane of her resignation this morning, leaving Vos and Claire O’Neil as the only remaining board members.

Kholwane proposed that the committee ask the National Assembly to dissolve the board and launch a forensic investigation into the “corporation on auto pilot” after six board members resigned last week.

This followed the resignation of chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane and his deputy Thami kaPlaatjie, who submitted their joint resignation to President Jacob Zuma.

“The SABC board has collapsed,” Kholwane said.

The committee also heard that Communications Minister Dina Pule still does not have access to the Special Investigative Unit’s (SIU) report into corruption at the SABC, which apparently implicates some board members.

Kholwane has asked Pule to institute a probe into the SABC and report directly to Parliament.

“We expect that when you come back in April you’ll have the SIU report,” Kholwane told Pule.

Earlier, Vos blamed many of the SABC board’s woes on Ngubane, who she said took unilateral and unlawful decisions and behaved like an executive chairperson.

“Time and again Ngubane acted illegally and attempted to overturn decisions taken by the majority of board members in a properly constituted meeting,” said Vos.

She added that Ngubane may have learnt to take executive decisions during his time as KwaZulu-Natal premier, science and technology minister and diplomat.

She said Ngubane was prepared to bow to ministerial dictates pertaining to executive appointments including the recent removal of acting chief operations officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng. “At present, the corporation has no acting COO.”

Cope’s member of Parliament Juli Killan insisted that there should be an inquiry into the SABC board.

The National Assembly is expected to debate the committee’s recommendation after Speaker Max Sisulu read out the motion this afternoon.

If the board dissolution is confirmed, O’Neil will not have to resign as the board will not have legal standing.

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