Crack­down on broad­caster’s lawyers


PAR­LIA­MENT has taken a hard line against SABC lawyers who penned a let­ter de­mand­ing an­swers from the ad hoc com­mit­tee into the pub­lic broad­caster.

The com­mit­tee yes­ter­day also in­sisted that for­mer SABC board chair­per­son Mbu­la­heni Magu­vhe must pay le­gal costs for his case last year, where he chal­lenged the in­quiry into the broad­caster.

Chair­per­son of the com­mit­tee Vin­cent Smith said this was in line with the judg­ment of Judge Si­raj De­sai of the Western Cape High Court.

It was re­ported last year that Magu­vhe’s bill was ex­pected to to­tal R2 mil­lion.

Turn­ing to the lawyers who ad­vised Magu­vhe and the SABC not to hand over doc­u­ments, Smith said they would deal with the lawyers.

He asked lawyers for Par­lia­ment to deal with the let­ter from the lawyers, ex­plain­ing that they were act­ing on the in­struc­tions of the SABC.

The com­mit­tee has crit­i­cised the lawyers for giv­ing the SABC bad ad­vice. Smith said they would not be dic­tated to by the lawyers on what to do.

The SABC lawyers were last week ac­cused of the bad le­gal ad­vice after the pub­lic broad­caster re­fused to hand over “com­mer­cially sen­si­tive” doc­u­ments.

This led to the SABC stag­ing a walk­out. The lawyers also rep­re­sented Magu­vhe in his case against Par­lia­ment.

The ad hoc com­mit­tee in­sisted that the judg­ment was clear that he must pay le­gal costs from his own pocket.

The board dis­in­te­grated after in­fight­ing that lasted about three years.

Magu­vhe was the last board mem­ber to go after he lost his court chal­lenge last month.

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