SABC Inquiry Shows How GREAT SA Can Be When Ministers Put South Africa First

While the South African Broadcasting Commission (SABC) Inquiry has kept South Africans shocked and entertained this week as one revelation after the next piled up, it has been lauded as a brilliant example of how great the country can be when Ministers from different political parties put South Africa first.

Chairman Vincent Smith and the panel that made up the SABC parliamentary Ad Hoc committee have been commended for the manner in which they handled the inquiry; and the SABC 8 have been praised for defending ethical journalism.

The committee met over the past seven days for up to 12 hours a day to hear witness testimony over the alleged collapse of good governance at South Africa’s public broadcaster.

In a list on the Democratic Alliance’s site, they listed some of the many revelations as follows:

  • The SABC brought in the State Security Agency to investigate and intimidate staff;
  • The SABC 8 continued to receive death threats, with no action from the Minister of Communications, the SABC board and management;
  • The Gupta-owned New Age attempted to take over and “re-brand” the SABC’s news division;
  • The SABC paid for the New Age’s breakfast briefings, an effective laundering of public money for the benefit of the Guptas;
  • Hlaudi Motsoeneng appeared to have protection from President Jacob Zuma and threatened staff with an authority located in Pretoria;
  • The SABC Chairperson, Mbulaheni Maguvhe, appeared to be completely oblivious of the major issues facing the SABC;
  • Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi interfered in the coverage of news and in the affairs of the board; and
  • There was explicit and unprecedented bias in news coverage towards the ANC during the most recent local government elections.

DA Shadow Minister of Communications, Phumzile Van Damme says now the hard work must begin to gather the recommendations that will steer the SABC to “calm waters”. They will meet again on 10 January.

Governance specialist Judith February tweeted after the SABC Inquiry: “Imagine Parliament took the same approach on Nkandla, the nuclear deal and state capture? SA would be markedly different today”, and Twitter user Mduduzi Hadebe tweeted: “Can we get SAA and other SOE’s to go through the same inquiry so that we can understand where is our money going.”

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