Finally, the SABC parliamentary Ad Hoc committee has completed its hearings for the year.
Members of the committee had been meeting for about 12 hours each day over the last seven day.
What have they been doing? They’ve been hearing testimony from witnesses concerning the evils plaguing the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
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Below are some of the shocking revelations the committee heard:
- The SABC brought in the State Security Agency to investigate and intimidate staff;
- The SABC 8 continued to receive death threats, with no action from the Minister of Communications, the SABC board and management;
- The Gupta-owned New Age attempted to take over and ‘re-brand’ the SABC’s news division;
- The SABC paid for the New Age’s breakfast briefings (DA described this as “an effective laundering of public money for the benefit of the Guptas.”);
- Hlaudi Motsoeneng appeared to have protection from President Jacob Zuma and threatened staff with an authority located in Pretoria;
- The SABC Chairperson, Mbulaheni Maguvhe, appeared to be completely oblivious of the major issues facing the SABC;
- Minister Muthambi interfered in the coverage of news and in the affairs of the board; and
- There was explicit and unprecedented bias in news coverage towards the ANC during the recent local government elections.
With the Above, the DA charged that the hard work of putting together recommendations that will restore the dignity of SABC must begin immediately.
Nonetheless, the said:
“It is disappointing that despite being given the opportunity to refute all claims, the SABC’s current executive team, under the leadership of Acting GCEO, James Aguma, elected not to present itself to the committee to tell its side of the story, and explain to the public how their license fees have been spent.
We will push for this to happen early next year, along the expected appearances of former board Chairs, Ellen Tshabalala, and Dr Ben Ngubane.