Probe into SABC rot is wel­comed

‘Re­port must be made pub­lic’

The Sunday Independent - - NEWS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

PAR­LIA­MENT and unions have backed the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the SABC af­ter Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma signed a procla­ma­tion for the Spe­cial In­ves­ti­gat­ing Unit to probe cor­rup­tion at the pub­lic broad­caster.

Chair­man of the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Humphrey Max­eg­wana, said yes­ter­day the SIU will dig into the rot at the SABC.

The Broad­cast­ing, Elec­tronic and Me­dia Work­ers’ Union (Be­mawu) also wel­comed the SIU probe, but warned that its rec­om­men­da­tions must be fully im­ple­mented by the SABC Board.

Par­ties in Par­lia­ment and the unions have been call­ing for Zuma to sign the procla­ma­tion or­der­ing the probe into the SABC.

In his procla­ma­tion, Zuma said the SIU will in­ves­ti­gate cor­rup­tion and wrong­do­ing at the pub­lic broad­caster.

Max­eg­wana said that this is what the com­mit­tee has been wait­ing for.

“It’s paving the way for the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to be done around the SABC, be­cause what we wanted from the SABC board is to dig into cor­rup­tion at the pub­lic broad­caster,” said Max­eg­wana.

He said they were hop­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion would be done with speed and noted that they also wanted a re­port from the in­terim SABC board on what they would do, now that the procla­ma­tion had been signed and the SIU would be­gin its probe.

They wanted the re­port soon, also be­cause the term of the in­terim board was com­ing to an end.

“We still need a full re­port from the in­terim board.

“Now that there is a procla­ma­tion, what are their plans? We want it soon. The sooner the bet­ter,” said Max­eg­wana.

Be­mawu pres­i­dent Hannes du Buis­son said the union wel­comed the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but cau­tioned that in the past there had been a sim­i­lar probe by the SIU but noth­ing was done at the SABC.

He said that in­ves­ti­ga­tion cost money, but the rec­om­men­da­tions of the SIU were not im­ple­mented.

“There is no guar­an­tee the in­ves­ti­ga­tion will not fol­low the same route. We can hope (that) the re­port will be made pub­lic, and we should in­sist that it be made pub­lic, so that the rec­om­men­da­tions can be im­ple­mented,” added Du Buis­son.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the SABC comes a few days af­ter Par­lia­ment also asked the com­mit­tee to in­ves­ti­gate state cap­ture.

This brings to five the num­ber of com­mit­tees in Par­lia­ment in­ves­ti­gat­ing state cap­ture since the first four com­mit­tees were asked a few months ago.

The SABC has been lurch­ing from one scan­dal to an­other and has run into fi­nan­cial prob­lems. It has not reg­is­tered a profit in the past few years and now re­quires a bailout from the govern­ment.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Ayanda Dlodlo has con­sis­tently re­fused to say how much they have re­quested from the Na­tional Trea­sury to res­cue the SABC.

AF­TER A SIM­I­LAR PROBE BY THE SIU, NOTH­ING WAS DONE.

Pic­ture: EPA/Nic Bothma

SIGNED PROCLA­MA­TION: Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma told the SIU to in­ves­ti­gate.

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