Prof Maguvhe faces SABC bill
MPs want to charge those who lied to Parliament
CAPE TOWN — P arliament has instructed the state law adviser to recover money from former SABC board chair P rofessor Mbulaheni Maguvhe for his failed last ditch effort to stop the ad hoc committee investigation into the public broadcaster.
This is the lat est s tep ag ainst those deemed r esponsible for the governance f ailures at the S ABC that has led to the broadcaster facing a financial crisis.
Parliament’s legal services advocate Anthea Gor don y esterday briefed the communications portfolio committee on the lat est, following recommendations by the ad hoc committee.
Maguvhe, who was labelled “the last man standing” for refusing to step down, lost his c ourt application, w hich w as dismis sed with costs. T he ad hoc c ommittee warned him at the time that he would be held personally liable, as there was no quorate board to take any decisions. He resigned shortly afterwards.
The committee also heard there is a pos sibility that M aguvhe, former c ommunications minis ter Faith Muthambi and former SABC board chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane (now Eskom board chair), could be referred to the National Prosecuting A uthority (NPA) f or l ying to Parliament, which is a criminal offence similar t o per jury.
Last week, the SABC instituted disciplinary steps against CFO and acting CEO J ames A guma, w hile former COO Hlaudi M otsoeneng is facing a disciplinary inquiry .
The Democratic Alliance (DA) is intent on holding Muthambi to account. T he ad hoc c ommittee found Muthambi to be “incompetent” in it s r eport, w hich w as adopted by Parliament, and recommended that President Jacob Zuma consider firing her as communications minister. This was before Zuma had r eshuffled his C abinet.
DA MP Veronica van Dyk asked which s teps the c ommittee could take against Muthambi for her contravention of the memorandum of incorporation of the S ABC.
Gordon said the r eality is that the minister is ac countable to the president. The matter can, however, be referred to the privileges committee.
Gordon said Muthambi launched an application in the Western Cape High C ourt to set aside the recommendations related to her . She cit ed P arliament and ANC MP V incent Smith, w ho chaired the ad hoc c ommittee, as respondents. In her legal bid, Muthambi que stions P arliament’s competency to make recommendations against her.
Despite the fact that Parliament — with her own party as the majority — found her “incompetent”, Zuma moved Muthambi to the public service and administration portfolio in his dramatic latenight Cabinet reshuffle on M arch 31.
Ayanda Dlodlo r eplaced her as minister of c ommunications.
Gordon said Muthambi’s court application was signed bef ore the Cabinet reshuffle.
Meanwhile, parliamentary legal team services and ad hoc committee evidence leader Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara is looking into witnesses who have misled the c ommittee.
Gordon said she c ouldn’t pr ovide the names as yet, but by June 5 the in vestigation w ould be c omplete and a report will be issued to the committee.
The report will be handed o ver to the NP A.
DA MP Phumzile v an Damme said it w as openly discussed who might have lied to Parliament, and these include Muthambi, Ngubane and Maguvhe.
“I didn’t think the identification is a top secret,” said Van Damme.
Van Dy k and C ongress of the People (Cope) MP Willie Madisha expressed their concern about the alleged bugging of SABC employees b y the St ate Securit y A gency (SSA).
“The spying issue, that is wrong, we can’t allow that,” said Madisha.
Van Dyk wanted to know what the c ommittee c ould do on this matter.
ANC MP Humphrey Maxegwana, chairper son of the portf olio committee, said the inspectorgeneral of intelligence, Dr Sethlomamaru Dintwe, will be called t o the committee. — N ews24.