The SABC Parliament inquiry committee, on Wednesday proceeded to hear evidence from the auditor general’s office, Independent Communications Authority of SA officials and the public protector’s office against all odds.
This was after South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board chairman Prof Mbulaheni Maguvhe and his legal team‚ and SABC executives including acting CEO James Aguma and Hlaudi Motsoeneng‚ defiantly walked out of the parliamentary committee this morning.
Prior to the walkout, the public broadcaster refused to hand over ten of 15 requested documents to Parliament’s ad hoc committee looking into the fitness of its board.
Ad hoc committee chairperson Vincent Smith told the committee the SABC arrogantly submitted over five of the requested documents, claiming that the broadcaster’s commercial interest would be “jeopardized” if it submits seven of those documents.
The SABC claimed that three of the required documents were no longer in its possession.
The said documents are; the appointment documents of group executive for corporate affairs Hlaudi Motsoeneng, SABC management’s response to the auditor general’s 2015/16 findings, and internal audit committee meeting minutes.
In a bid to cripple today’s inquiry, SABC board chairman and the only surviving member, Maguvhe on Tuesday launched a fresh court bid to appeal a decision by the Western Cape High Court. Last week, the WC Hight Court flung away Maguvhe’s request to block the inquiry.
Maguvhe, who is partially blind, also laid a complaint with the special parliamentary committee regarding reports it would use from the Auditor-General and Public Protector. He argued that the reports were not in Braille and would “jeopardise” him.
However, since he was unable to pull through using legal actions, the committee insisted that the inquiry must go on today.
“There is no court order as we speak that prevents this committee from continuing its work and so shall it be. We will continue today,” announced Vincent Smith, chairman of Parliament’s ad hoc committee conducting the inquiry,” Smith told MPs.
DA MPs Mike Waters and Phumzile van Damme called on the committee to start off as soon as possible, as there was no court order to halt the inquiry.