Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says the SABC remains "dysfunctional" and the government, as a shareholder, has to take urgent action.
Why is someone who lied about their qualifications still in the SABC?
During a joint meeting of Parliament's portfolio committees on communications, telecommunications and postal services on Friday evening, Muthambi assured MPs that all the governance issues raised in the public protector's report would be dealt with.
In a damning report this year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela criticised the SABC's acting chief operations officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, for fraudulently misrepresenting his qualifications, including claiming that he had passed matric, when he applied for employment.
Further, Madonsela found that Motsoeneng had irregularly raised the salaries of various staff members, increasing the salary bill by R29m. She urged the SABC to fill the "long-outstanding vacant post" of chief operations officer with a qualified permanent appointment within 90 days.
SABC officials were in Parliament on Friday to brief MPs on the broadcaster's budget and annual performance plan. Opposition MPs called for the sacking of Motsoeneng, who sat calmly through the meeting.The SABC... Acting independnetly from government?
Muthambi told the MPs that she had instructed the SABC to respond fully to the issues the public protector had raised. "They will be submitting a report to me on July 20 so that I can satisfy myself that there is full compliance with the public protector's report," she said.
"The SABC remains dysfunctional and requires urgent attention from me as a shareholder ... (but) whatever the intervention is, it must recognise that the SABC is a public broadcaster and must act independently from government.
"We need a balanced approach to deal with this problem. We want an SABC that performs on its mandate - this task is urgent."
SABC board chairwoman Zandile Tshabalala told MPs there had been consistent efforts to deal with the public protector's report. But there was no basis for suspending Motsoeneng as "he performs".
"He has even gone to a role which is not his role of raising funding for the SABC," Tshabalala said.He lied - why is he still there?
Earlier, Economic Freedom Fighters MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi had said Motsoeneng should not even be in Parliament. "The findings of the public protector were damning.
"Most of us are losing confidence in the leadership of the SABC. What kind of an institution goes on with a person who has admitted to have lied about his qualifications for so long?
"The SABC is not taking us seriously. When is Motsoeneng being fired?"
Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis questioned Motsoeneng's remarks last week that journalists need to be licensed and that the media reported on corruption because a "black government" was in charge. He asked if the remarks signalled a shift in policy at the SABC.
"Can we expect the SABC not to report on corruption or is it just going to be 70% happy news that he would like to see coming out of the media?" Davis asked.
Muthambi said the SABC would continue to report on the "good work government" did and on any maladministration.
SABC acting CEO Tian Olivier told MPs the broadcaster had put in a lot of effort to clear up the concerns the auditor general had raised, including a disclaimer of opinion for 2012-13 - the worst audit opinion, from the auditor-general. The SABC was targeting R25m in advertising revenue from the new 24-hour news channel for this financial year.
Source: Business Day
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