Prof Magu­vhe faces SABC bill

MPs want to charge those who lied to Par­lia­ment

The Witness - - NEWS -

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.

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