SABC draft report advises Zuma to fire Communications Minister

The draft SABC report calls on President Jacob Zuma to consider firing Communications Minister Faith Muthambi for her role in problems at the SABC.

The Sunday Times reported that the draft report also calls for “the inspector-general of intelligence to investigate the broadcaster for setting spooks on its employees”.

According to the report, Muthambi “displayed incompetence in carrying out her responsibility as shareholder representative”.

Problems at the SABC include the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as chief operating officer, despite the public protector saying he should be suspended.

The ad hoc committee inquiring into the SABC adopted its final report on Friday after a brutal deliberation process.

MPs of the ad hoc committee spent 13.5 hours on Thursday evening negotiating its list of recommendations, following a three-month process of public hearings.

The biggest point of contention among MPs was the role of Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and her involvement in amending the SABC’s Memorandum of Incorporation.

Other final recommendations included:

  • The formal dissolution of the SABC board and the appointment of an interim board, in line with the Broadcasting Act.
  • The validity of the board’s memorandum of incorporation must be investigated by the interim board, in conjunction with the portfolio committee on communications.
  • The interim board must investigate the nature of the State Security Agency’s activities at the SABC.
  • Parliament must amend the Broadcasting Act to make it legally clear that it supersedes the Companies Act, which has always been the view of the ad hoc committee.
  • A reputable company must conduct an independent forensic investigation into all irregular appointments, suspicious contracts, salary increments and performance bonuses paid during the period in question.
  • The interim board must ensure that the top three senior management positions (GCEO, COO and CFO) are filled by suitably qualified and experienced professionals.
  • The current editorial policy must be scrapped and public participation must be sought in formulating new editorial guidelines that are conducive for journalists to work without fear.
  • All witnesses who deliberately provided incorrect information to the inquiry should be investigated by Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications.
  • The legal team who attempted to block Parliament’s proceedings on behalf of the SABC should face appropriate consequences.

The committee has until Tuesday to table the report in Parliament.

Thereafter, it will be debated by the House, and will become official once adopted by the National Assembly.

Now read: Muthambi never filed key SABC documents with Cipro

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SABC draft report advises Zuma to fire Communications Minister