Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The SABC is a state-owned company and a public broadcaster, claims minister of communications, Faith Muthambi.

The SABC is a state-owned company and a public broadcaster, South Africa's minister of communications, Faith Muthambi said on Wednesday about the beleaguered SABC which continues to rock from crisis to scandal and controversy.

Earlier this year Faith Muthambi controversially annexed the Companies Act, instead of the Broadcasting Act, to directly interfere in the SABC to get rid of at least three SABC board members, to such an extent that the gutted SABC board with an acting chairperson which originally had 12 board members, no longer has a quorum to legally constitute meetings.

Faith Muthambi also applied pressure to force the SABC board to permanently appoint the highly controversial and famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng as the troubled public broadcaster's permanent chief operating officer (COO) in the middle of last year despite a damning report from the Public Protector that he be suspended and be subjected to a disciplinary hearing.

The Public Protector's report last year found that Hlaudi Motsoeneng lied, made up symbols for a matric certificate he knew he couldn't produce and that he "should never have been appointed at the SABC".

Faith Muthambi said she has the right to appoint the SABC's CEO, its COO and chief financial officer (CFO) and to suspend them.

Parliament's portfolio committee on communications earlier this week indicated that following legal opinion, it differs from her view, and will be taking steps about the minister's interference in the workings of the SABC.

On Wednesday Faith Muthambi said that the SABC is a state-owned company and a public broadcaster and that "if the Broadcasting Act does not address an issue, then the Companies Act applies. I did not say say one supersedes the other".