Par­ties say the ANC is reneg­ing on SABC

Last-minute climb­down, pre­vent­ing MPs prob­ing the pub­lic broad­caster

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

OP­PO­SI­TION par­ties have ac­cused the ANC of get­ting cold feet at the 11th hour by re­fus­ing to fi­nalise rec­om­men­da­tions on the probe into the SABC.

The ad hoc com­mit­tee on the SABC was yes­ter­day sup­posed to fi­nalise dis­cus­sions on the rec­om­men­da­tions into the draft re­port. But the ANC changed its po­si­tion.

The DA, EFF, IFP and Na­tional Free­dom Party ac­cused the ANC of reneg­ing on its ear­lier po­si­tion to con­clude the rec­om­men­da­tions.

The ANC pro­posed to the com­mit­tee that it must fi­nalise the draft re­port with­out rec­om­men­da­tions and deal with them at a later stage, but that pro­posal was re­jected out­right by op­po­si­tion par­ties, who said the rul­ing party was now reneg­ing on its po­si­tion.

DA MP Phumzile van Damme said of the ANC: “Why are we get­ting cold feet now? I don’t sup­port the po­si­tion that we do half our work and sud­denly we get cold feet. We can­not send the re­port with­out rec­om­men­da­tions.”

She said this was stan­dard prac­tice with all the re­ports, even when the pub­lic pro­tec­tor sends out her draft re­port with rec­om­men­da­tions.

The African Chris­tian Demo­cratic Party’s Steve Swart also said they would in the draft re­port em­pha­sise that the rec­om­men­da­tions are not fi­nal and may be sub­ject to amend­ments.

The EFF’s Fana Mokoena warned that the en­tire process would be null and void if the draft re­port went out to af­fected par­ties with­out rec­om­men­da­tions. “We stand to self-sab­o­tage if we stop such a glo­ri­ous process so far. At the last minute, to re­nege and hold back on rec­om­men­da­tions… it’s the one thing that will sab­o­tage this com­mit­tee,” he said.

“Let us not sab­o­tage this process on a tra­jec­tory we have taken so far.”

How­ever, Makhosi Khoza of the ANC said they were not get­ting cold feet. She said the ANC would be de­ci­sive in the draft re­port and action that needed to be taken. “We can­not com­pare this ad hoc com­mit­tee to the pub­lic pro­tec­tor. Our rec­om­men­da­tions are rec­om­men­da­tions to Par­lia­ment, and it will take a de­ci­sion on those,” she said.

“Let us not com­pare ap­ples with moun­tains, let us com­pare ap­ples with ap­ples,” said Khoza.

An­other ANC MP, Hlo­mane Chauke, said there was still a lot of work that needed to be done and that the com­mit­tee would need time to work on the rec­om­men­da­tions and could not rush the process.

He said they needed to clean up the mess they had found at the SABC and that the ANC was com­mit­ted to a clean and trans­par­ent process.

“No one is run­ning away from deal­ing with the rec­om­men­da­tions. The is­sue is, let us put flesh here, let us spend time on the rec­om­men­da­tions so that when they go out, they bite,” said Chauke.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Faith Muthambi’s role in the SABC board mat­ters has been ques­tioned af­ter the ad hoc com­mit­tee said she had been in­ter­fer­ing with the board.

The com­mit­tee said her mem­o­ran­dum of in­cor­po­ra­tion and del­e­ga­tion of au­thor­ity frame­work had a di­rect bear­ing on the al­leged il­le­gal ap­point­ments and flout­ing of procedures. It said Muthambi was di­rectly in­ter­fer­ing with the run­ning of the SABC.

See Page 10

Com­pare ap­ples with ap­ples, not with moun­tains

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