In a scathing letter to the committee Joyce Moloi-Moropa, Davis has described the committee’s praise of Muthambi’s management of the SABC as “laughable”.
The committee’s report states that the SABC is R1bn in the black, with net profit expected to grow from R19m in 2015/2016 to R179m in the 2017/2018 financial year. The committee expressed its “confidence in the leadership of the minster and that of the SABC”.
But Davis has taken strong exception to the report, saying it “paints a rosy picture of the SABC when we know that this is very far from the truth”.
In his letter, Davis quoted a Sunday Times report that said the SABC is facing a loss of R501m for the 2014/2015 financial year, with a senior executive from the corporation claiming “that this loss was likely to double to R1bn in the next financial year”.
The SABC has not disputed the article, said Davis.
He said it is “laughable” that the committee commended the minister for her leadership of the SABC, while at the same time requesting legal opinion into the lawfulness of her removal of SABC board members.
The committee has requested legal opinion on the removal of board members Hope Zinde, Ronnie Lubisi and Rachel Kalidass.
Davis said the removal of these three members and the three vacancies on the board mean the board is not quorate.
“There are only six nonexecutive board members at the SABC … [so] the board is no longer quorate since the Broadcasting Act requires nine board members to form a quorum at board meetings.”
Davis also berated the committee for not making recommendations on the SABC, government’s communication arm GCIS, communications regulator Icasa and marketing agency Brand South Africa.
He further stated that the committee had received “plaudits last year because it demonstrated a willingness to hold people to account despite their links to powerful politicians”.
The committee was responsible for bringing pressure to bear on former SABC chair Zandile Tshabalala in the wake of her falsifying her qualifications. Tshabalala resigned in disgrace in December last year.
Davis warned that he hoped that the report was not “a sign of things to come”.
Muthambi is scheduled to present her budget vote speech to parliament on Wednesday. — © 2015 NewsCentral Media