I will not step down, I am not guilty of anything: SABC chair

SABC chairwoman Ellen Tshabalala refuses to step down, saying she has done nothing wrong.

“I’m not prepared to step down because I am not guilty of anything,” she told reporters in Johannesburg on Friday.

She said a particular political party had a vested interest to destroy her image and that of the SABC.

On Wednesday, Parliament’s communications portfolio committee resolved unanimously to recommend Tshabalala’s removal from office after an inquiry into whether she lied about her academic qualifications found her guilty on two charges of misconduct.

Tshabalala said evidence given by the University of SA (Unisa) executive director for legal services Jan van Wyk at the committee inquiry was “hearsay”.

“He draws information from the computer system. He is not an IT expert,” her lawyer Michael Tillney said on her behalf.

“The committee relied on hearsay evidence to find me guilty.”

Tillney said the committee’s decision was procedurally unfair and would be reviewed.

He initially said Tshabalala’s legal team would probably seek leave to appeal the committee’s decision, but later said such an application was filed even before the committee sat.

Tshabalala told reporters Unisa was having problems with its records and computer system and they could not be trusted.

Van Wyk told the inquiry its records showed that although Tshabalala registered for a BCom degree and a labour relations diploma, she failed to obtain either.

He testified that she registered for her BCom degree in 1988 and again in 1996, but did not complete her studies. She registered for a diploma in labour relations in 1995 but her results were so bad she could not be readmitted again. She scored 35 percent for a labour relations module and 13 percent for a human resources module.

On Friday, Tshabalala accused Van Wyk of “leaking” false information to the media and to the Democratic Alliance, and said he was “not there” when she wrote exams and graduated in 1996.

She refused to accede to a photographer’s request for access to her graduation photos.

“I will not provide that to the media, I will prove it in court,” she said.

Tshabalala has been given 14 working days to respond to the committee’s report, which contains its findings and recommendations. Both documents will then be sent to National Assembly for approval.

The first charge of misconduct against Tshabalala relates to her stating on her CV that she had obtained the two qualifications when she applied for the job as SABC chairwoman.

The other charge relates to an affidavit she submitted to Parliament stating certificates of her qualifications were stolen during a burglary at her home.

On Thursday, the DA laid a charge of perjury against Tshabalala for lying about the theft.

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I will not step down, I am not guilty of anything: SABC chair