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Expect to hear a lot more still about Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the propaganda czar who won’t leave his job at the SABC – even though there has been court action to eject him from the state broadcaster. His friends in Parliament have postponed a hearing into the fitness of the SABC board, claiming that lawyers have said it’s a good idea to do that. But it is clear that Motsoeneng is a protected man, so this delay seems like another tactic to keep Motsoeneng in situ. Motsoeneng, like many others in key positions in state entities, supports President Jacob Zuma, who is at the centre of a storm of controversy around his possible role in widespread state capture and financial irregularity. There is also a battle for succession within the ANC and, with allegations of corruption, Zuma will undoubtedly be aiming to instal one of his allies in position for his own preservation. More than ever, Zuma will be hoping to control the messaging that emanates about him and those in his circle as details continue to spill out about the involvement of the Zuma family, associates and friends in #Guptagate. Motsoeneng is his right-hand man at the SABC. – Jackie Cameron
By Paul Herman
Cape Town – Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications will only hold an inquiry into the fitness of the SABC board later this year, to ensure that justice is not subverted.
Committee chairperson Humphrey Maxegwana released a statement on Wednesday, saying the inquiry, which was due to be held this week, had been postponed after the committee sought legal advice on Tuesday.
He said the committee would take the advice they had received to abide by the rules of natural justice, and would now prepare for the hearing.
“The committee is committed to proceeding with the inquiry at its earliest convenience,” the statement read.
“The inquiry is a due process to which the rules of natural justice apply.”
The SABC board would be served with notices of the hearing by no later than October 28.
— ANC Parliament (@ANCParliament) October 19, 2016
The committee hoped to finalise the inquiry before the last sitting of the National Assembly on November 24 this year.
A total of 26 people have indicated an interest in testifying at the inquiry, including former board members, employees and the SABC 8 – eight journalists who had been fired by the broadcaster, but reinstated by the Labour Court in July.
In the inquiry, the committee would look at:
- the board’s ability to discharge its fiduciary duties;
- the financial status and sustainability of the SABC;
- the SABC’s response to the Public Protector’s 2014 report, When Governance and Ethics Fail;
- Court judgments by the High Court and rulings by Icasa on the SABC’s “protest policy”;
- resignations of two SABC board members on October 5, and its implications;
- adherence to the Broadcasting Charter; and,
- its overall ability to carry out its duties in the Broadcasting Act of 1999.
The committee resolved to institute the inquiry on October 5, after board members Krish Naidoo and Vusi Mavuso resigned during the committee meeting in Parliament, following the reappointment of former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng as GE of corporate affairs.
#SABCBoard 12 days after being ordered by ANC's Kodwa to sack the board, Min Muthambi's still quiet. Who does she account to?
— Lezanne (@Lizira00) October 19, 2016
Three of the remaining board members have told the committee they do not intend resigning, and would appear at the inquiry. The fourth has not yet responded. – News24
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