Wednesday, April 13, 2016

SABC refuses to be accountable to parliament as to where the suspended SABC CEO Frans Matlala is, and what is going on with its CEO investigation and disciplinary process.

The SABC refused to tell parliamentarians on Tuesday what the exact situation around the public broadcaster's abruptly and still suspended CEO Frans Matlala is and why he has been suspended.

The SABC used the fake-out American legal verbage that the matter is "sub judice".

SABC board member Dr. Aaron Tshidzumba - who should know better since he's a broadcast lecturer - told parliament's portfolio committee on communications on Tuesday that he can't answer a question about the suspended SABC CEO Frans Matlala and his disciplinary process and hearing because its "sub judice".

"Sub judice" is used in (1) American law when public information about a case (2) could possibly influence a jury before they've reached a decision on the evidence presented in court only.

Lo and behold, South Africa doesn't have a jury system we have magistrates and judges who are learned, and there is nobody who is going to be influenced by hearing what they "shouldn't" - least of all parliamentarians.

The Frans Matlala suspension case and disciplinary process is also not, as far as the public knows, a legal case before any court.

Frans Matlala became SABC CEO in July 2015; then abruptly suspended barely 4 months later in November last year, pending an "investigation".

Keep in mind that the SABC is a public broadcaster, for the public, that the public pay SABC TV licence fees towards, who are being kept in the dark - deliberately - as to where the appointed SABC CEO is, why exactly he has been suspended, and what is happening with him and the case.

"The issue of the CEO; it's still sub judice. The charges are misconduct from the SABC board level," Dr. Aaron Tshidzumba told parliament in response to a question.