The Portfolio Committee on Communications is satisfied with the progress made by the Board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on the implementation of the recommendations of the Public Protector report titled When Governance and Ethics Fail and Ad Hoc Committee on the SABC Board Inquiry.

The current SABC Board rescinded the decision of the previous Board to take the Public Protector report on a judicial review. It implemented the recommendations, including resuscitating disciplinary hearing against former Chief Operations Officer (COO), Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who was subsequently dismissed for other misconduct.

On the Ad Hoc Committee recommendations, the Committee has noted the successes including, among others, a reversal of the duties of the Editor-in-Chief from the COO to the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), review of 90/10 local content directive as well as termination of contracts awarded irregularly to Lornavision and The New Age (TNA) media.

The Committee, however, felt that little has been done in so far as investigating the occurrences of staff intimidation, especially involving former SABC Journalist, the late Ms Suna Venter. The Committee encouraged the Board to make concerted efforts to uncover perpetrators in order to avoid future recurrences.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Mr Humphrey Maxegwana, said the Committee has welcomed the initiative to recover ill-gotten monies from Mr Motsoeneng and Mr James Aguma.

We also appreciate the fact that there is a possibility of instituting criminal charges against those employees who allegedly participated in criminal activities under the regime of the previous Board, said Mr Maxegwana.

The Committee was also briefed by the SABC Board chairperson, Mr Bongumusa Makhathini, about the circumstances that led to the resignation of a member of the current Board, Ms Rachel Kalidass.

Mr Maxegwana has reiterated that having received the story from the point of view of the Board, the Committee still undertakes to meet with Ms Kalidass next week or in the first term of 2018 to listen to her side of story.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa