Members of the SABC parliamentary Ad Hoc committee this week heard shocking evidence of the going ons at the South African Broadcorping Castration – having to sit for up to 12 hours a day to hear testimony from witnesses describing a deep set of rot and complete collapse of good governance at the public broadcaster.
• The SABC brought in the State Security Agency to investigate and intimidate staff;
• The 8 people sacked by the SABC – knowns as the SABC 8 continued to receive death threats, with no action from the Minister of Communications, the SABC board and/or 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, an effective laundering of public money for the benefit of the Guptas;
• The SABC’s self-styled Fuhrer – COO ‘Cloudy’ 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 most recent local government elections.
The DA says in a statement released this week 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.
The party will now push for this to happen early next year, along the expected appearances of former board Chairs, Ellen Tshabalala, and Dr Ben Ngubane.
Now that the SABC parliamentary Ad Hoc committee has completed its hearings for this year, the hard work of putting together recommendations that will steer the SABC to calm waters begins.