The manner by which the ANC handled SABC situation has been condemned by the Democratic Alliance (DA) as being done “with much scepticism”.
“The summoning of Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and the SABC board to Luthuli House will not solve the public broadcaster’s problems‚” said the DA’s Phumzile Van Damme.
“It is likely to result in another whitewash as evidenced by Gwede Mantashe’s ‘Gupta probe’.
She added that if the SABC situation is of any concern to ANC‚ “it would have at its press conference yesterday‚ called on the government to take steps that would set the SABC on a path to recovery.”
Van Damme pointed out that inviting the board to Luthuli house to resolve the SABC situtaion goes against the principle of separation of party and state “board does not report to Luthuli House‚ it accounts to Parliament,” she said
The DA went as far as compiling a list of all the things that must be done to bring SABC to it’s former glory.
16 Things to Set the SABC on a Path to Recovery
1. Suspend COO‚ Hlaudi Motsoeneng‚ and institute an independent and impartial disciplinary inquiry into his fitness to hold office;
2. Suspend the SABC’s non-executive board members and chairperson Mbulayeni Maguvhe for failing in their duties to hold the SABC’s management accountable;
3. Suspended acting CEO‚ and CFO of the SABC‚ James Aguma for providing financial backing for Motsoeneng’s censorship project;
4. Drop the disciplinary charges against the SABC staffers suspended for speaking out against Motsoeneng;
5. Advertise the positions of SABC COO and CFO requiring suitably qualified and impartial broadcasting professionals to head the SABC;
6. Allow the Portfolio Committee on Communications to interview candidates to serve as an interim board until a new board is appointed;
7. Provide full disclosure for the reasons for the suspension of SABC CEO Frans Matlala in November 2015;
8. Reverse the approval of the SABC’s revised editorial policy – which gives SABC COO total control over the public broadcaster – and conduct public consultation;
9. Drop the Supreme Court of Appeal petition appealing the Western Cape High Court’s decision that found that Motsoeneng’s appointment as COO was irrational and unlawful and thus set it aside;
10. Implement the remedial action required by the public protector;
11. Reverse the ban on the airing of footage of violent protests;
12. Reverse the ban on the reading of newspaper headlines on SABC radio and TV stations;
13. Reverse the canning of “The Editors” on SAFM;
14. Reverse the canning of “Kommentaar” on RSG;
15. Commit to providing equitable and fair coverage of all political parties on SABC stations ahead of the local government election; and
16. Fire Faith Muthambi for failing to conduct proper oversight over the SABC.
She added that not implementing the aforementioned would undermine the words of Jackson Mthembu‚ who held Tuesday’s ANC briefing.
She described the ANC’s sudden awakening to the SABC situation as bizarre and doubtful.