Zuma urged to in­ter­vene to end SABC chaos

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

FOR­MER com­mu­ni­ca­tions port­fo­lio chair­per­son Joyce Moloi-Moropa this week said the best op­tion to re­solve the SABC chaos was for Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma to in­ter­vene.

Moloi-Moropa said Zuma could solve the prob­lem faster than any in­quiry into the fit­ness of the SABC board, as pro­posed this week by the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Four mem­bers of the board de­fi­antly vowed to con­tinue with their work, even af­ter two board mem­bers re­signed, and af­ter they were called upon to re­sign as well.

Moloi-Moropa said Zuma should step in and re­store or­der be­cause as head of state it was his pre­rog­a­tive to ap­point board mem­bers of state-owned en­ti­ties af­ter rec­om­men­da­tions by Par­lia­ment.

“We should not al­low a sit­u­a­tion where peo­ple can chal­lenge Par­lia­ment when it is do­ing its duty. An in­quiry might take too long. My opin­ion is to use a short­cut — go straight to Zuma — for the sake of the coun­try,” she said.

More mem­bers of the ANC com­mu­ni­ca­tions sub­com­mit­tee, in­clud­ing Moloi-Moropa, were ex­pected to make pro­pos­als dur­ing a meet­ing this week.

In an in­ter­view with City Press on Fri­day, Moloi-Moropa said Na­tional Assem­bly Speaker Baleka Mbete could be asked by the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee to write a let­ter re­quest­ing Zuma to crack the whip by forc­ing the mem­bers of the board to re­sign, or even fire them.

She said the cal­i­bre of the re­main­ing board mem­bers was em­bar­rass­ing and sug­gested that, mov­ing for­ward, a much more strin­gent process must be ex­er­cised when choos­ing peo­ple for an as­set such as the pub­lic broad­caster.

Re­garded as one of the more com­pe­tent port­fo­lio com­mit­tee chair­per­sons, Moloi-Moropa — who is also SA Com­mu­nist Party treasurer — re­signed from Par­lia­ment in Fe­bru­ary over frus­tra­tions that prin­ci­ples of the ANC were be­ing un­der­mined.

She has in the past fa­mously clashed with axed SABC chair­per­son Ellen Tsha­bal­ala and has fought with Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Faith Muthambi over the SABC.

Al­though she played down any ten­sions this week, MoloiMoropa and Muthambi have had frosty re­la­tions over the past two years.

The last straw for Moloi-Moropa was when the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee was forced to back­track on a le­gal opin­ion over the pow­ers of the min­is­ter to re­move SABC board mem­bers.

This was in re­la­tion to the re­moval of the late Hope Zinde, Rachel Kal­i­dass and Ron­nie Lu­bisi.

ANC mem­bers in the com­mit­tee had ear­lier backed Par­lia­ment’s le­gal opin­ion that their fir­ing by Muthambi us­ing the Com­pa­nies Act was il­le­gal, but, to the chair­per­sons’ shock, had later back­tracked.

Now serv­ing full time at the SACP, Moloi-Moropa was re­luc­tant to di­rectly re­fer to her ten­ure in the hot seat, but em­pha­sised that squab­bles in com­mit­tees weak­ened the work of Par­lia­ment.

Ex­er­cis­ing proper over­sight would rep­u­ta­tion of Par­lia­ment.

“If over­sight is not done prop­erly, in­clud­ing re­spect­ing the Broad­cast­ing Act in as far as the SABC is con­cerned, it leads to a lot of prob­lems.”

Moloi-Moropa was chair­per­son of the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee strengthen the on pub­lic ser­vice and ad­min­is­tra­tion be­fore she was de­ployed to head the com­mu­ni­ca­tions com­mit­tee in 2014.

In a let­ter ex­plain­ing her res­ig­na­tion last Oc­to­ber, she stated: “I met se­ri­ous chal­lenges be­yond what I can carry and there­fore can­not suc­cess­fully de­liver the man­date vested in me to the best of my abil­i­ties.”

“I do need to in­di­cate that in the course of my du­ties as chair­per­son of the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on com­mu­ni­ca­tions, I was in­creas­ingly placed in a po­si­tion of hav­ing to ac­cede to pur­su­ing poli­cies I un­der­stood to be, at worst, in con­flict with those of the ANC or, at best, at vari­ance with those poli­cies.”

This was be­lieved to have also been linked to Muthambi’s de­ci­sion on dig­i­tal mi­gra­tion.

This week, Moloi-Moropa said she would never com­pro­mise on the prin­ci­ples of the ANC just to have pap and meat on her ta­ble.

“I wish the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee well in deal­ing with this task. The short­est process is for the pres­i­dent to get mem­bers of the board to step down and then con­sti­tute an in­terim board. — Sapa

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