Zuma’s SABC appointments to face scrutiny

Communications minister Faith Muthambi will face questions on President Jacob Zuma’s appointment of Professor Mbulaheni Obert Maguvhe as chairperson of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) when she appears before Parliament’s Communications Portfolio Committee on Tuesday.

The Presidency made the announcement of Maguvhe’s assignment and that of Leah Khumalo as the deputy chairperson in a terse statement on Friday.

While Zuma wished the pair “all the best in their new responsibilities”‚ the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Gavin Davis on Monday called on the president “to rescind Maghuve’s appointment until legal opinion is dealt with”.

“Maghuve was the acting chairperson of the SABC board when it removed Hope Zinde‚ Rachel Kalidass and Ronnie Lubisi from the Board‚” Davis said.

“A legal opinion drafted by Parliament’s legal unit has since found that the board’s removal of these three members was illegal.”

Davis said it was “irrational” to appoint the chairperson while the portfolio committee is still considering the legal opinion‚ “which may well include legal action against Maghuve for his role in the illegal removal of these board members”.

When Muthambi appears before the committee on Tuesday‚ the DA wants her “to tell us why she believes the unilateral removal of three SABC board members was lawful”.

The Congress of the People (Cope)‚ however‚ took a more political tack‚ saying Maguvhe and Khumalo “are poor choices indeed” as “Luthuli House will in effect control the SABC”‚ which will sacrifice news for “sunshine journalism”.

Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said of the “unlawful removal” of Zinde‚ Kalidas and Lubisi: “Their crime was not to take instructions from Luthuli House.

“They were too independent-minded for the SABC and the ruling party.

“It’s an open secret that the new appointees are known praise singers of Muthambi and of COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng.”

Source: RDM News Wire.

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Zuma’s SABC appointments to face scrutiny