SABC board members don’t want ‘prejudiced’ communications committee to carry out inquiry.

The National Assembly’s Chair of Chairs will consider a letter of objection against an inquiry into the fitness to hold office of the remaining three non-executive members of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board.

They cited “prejudice as the main reason‚ and requested that another committee be appointed to carry out the inquiry”‚ a statement from the Portfolio Committee on Communications said on Thursday.

Chairperson Humphrey Maxegwana referred the issue to the National Assembly’s Chair of Chairs “for guidance”‚ but‚ the statement noted‚ the communications committee “is empowered to investigate or inquire into and make recommendations concerning executive organs of state‚ constitutional institutions‚ and other bodies or institutions”.

Maxegwana commented: “The decision to institute an inquiry into the board of the SABC was taken in the public interest‚ in order to establish facts regarding the state of affairs at the public broadcaster and ascertain the fitness of the current members of the board to hold office.”

“The committee is confident that the Chair of Chairs will make a decision in the best interests of the rule of natural justice‚ and the Committee will co-operate accordingly‚” the statement added.

The committee had‚ a month ago‚ agreed to hold an inquiry into the SABC board.

“In principle we have taken a decision for the inquiry (to take place). Parliamentary processes will have to be followed properly‚” said Maxegwana at the time.

The decision was taken after the committee quizzed the board on controversial executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s new appointment‚ following the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissal of his challenge to a judgment which ruled that his earlier appointment as chief operating officer was unlawful.

Committee members lambasted SABC executives for Motsoeneng’s appointment as group executive for corporate affairs. Earlier that day‚ SABC board members Vusi Mavuso and Krish Naidoo dropped a bombshell when they resigned.