Saturday, June 20, 2015

Appointment of Prof Obert Mbulaheni Maguvhe as SABC chairperson condemned by South African political parties, IFP, DA and COPE.

The political appointment of Prof Obert Mbulaheni Maguvhe as new permanent SABC chairperson by president Jacob Zuma on Friday has been swiftly condemned by South African opposition parties like the IFP and the Democratic Alliance (DA), saying Maguvhe is being rewarded for getting rid of independently-minded SABC board members and protecting the SABC's controversial and famously matricless chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

On Friday president Jacob Zuma announced that Prof Obert Mbulaheni Maguvhe, who happens to be blind and who had been the acting SABC chairperson, has been appointed to the position permanently and that SABC board member Leah Khumalo has been appointed as new deputy SABC chairperson.

Prof Obert Mbulaheni Maguvhe took over as acting SABC chairperson at the beginning of 2015 after the scandalous exit of the disgraced and shamed Ellen Tshabalala who left in December 2014 after she was exposed for lying about tertiary qualifications she didn't have.

Prof. Obert Mbulaheni Maguvhe then presided over the purging of the SABC board members Hope Zinde, Rachel Kalidass and Ronnie Lubisi, leaving the unstable and gutted SABC board without a quorum.

"Prof Obert Mbulaheni Maguvhe proved his political usefulness further this year when, as acting chairperson of the SABC board, he illegally removed Hope Zinde, Rachel Kalidass and Ronnie Lubisi," says the DA member of parliament and member of the portfolio committee on communications, Gavin Davis.

"It has since been confirmed by parliament's legal advisors that Maghuve's decision to remove these SABC board members was unlawful."

"He is now being rewarded for getting rid of excellent and independently-minded SABC board members and protecting Hlaudi Motsoeneng when he should have been fired."

"Obert Mbulaheni Maguvhe's appointment is bad news for all South Africans who want the SABC to be the independent public broadcaster envisaged in our Constitution," says Gavin Davis.

The IFP said it rejected the political appointment of Prof Obert Mbulaheni Maguvhe and that the SABC and the SABC board will only become credible and effective when the struggling public broadcaster is separated from politics.

"For as long as it is treated as a cadre-deployment division of the ANC, it will not be able to fully and independently executive its mandate in the public interest," says the IFP member of parliament Liezl van der Merwe.

The IFP called Prof Obert Mbulaheni Maguvhe and Leah Khumalo "loyalists" of the minister of communications, Faith Muthambi and of Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

The IFP says it rejects Prof Obert Mbulaheni Maguvhe appointment as new permanent SABC chairperson "because he must still be held to account for the unlawful and illegal removal of three independent-minded board members - Hope Zinde, Rachel Kalidass and Ronnie Lubisi earlier this year."

The Congress of People (COPE called Prof Pbert Mbulaheni and Leah Khumalo "praise singers" and said "Luthuli House will in effect control the SABC," in a statement.

"The SABC, like the ruling party in parliament, will continue with whitewashing misdemeanours and continue to regard all us fools."