A parliamentary ad hoc committee, which will investigate instability at the SABC and its board, will be established in the near future, following a motion put forward by ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu on Thursday.
In a plenary session in the national assembly, Mthembu moved that such a committee should consist of 11 MPs, made up of six people from the ANC, two from the Democratic Alliance, one from the Economic Freedom Fighters and two MPs from other parties.
He further recommended that the committee look into the ability of the SABC board to fulfil its duties and the SABC’s response to the public protector’s report into former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
Mthembu also wants the committee to study the broadcaster’s inaction on ruling by communications regulator Icasa over a controversial SABC policy to not broadcast violent protests.
Motsoeneng was dismissed from his position as COO when the supreme court of appeal dismissed his application for leave to appeal against a ruling by the high court in Cape Town which set aside his permanent appointment.
The SABC then announced that it had reappointed Motsoeneng to his previous post as group executive for corporate affairs.
This week, Icasa said in a parliamentary committee meeting that the SABC has not provided it with any proof that it has complied with its ruling to unban the airing of violent protests.
Icasa ruled in July that the public broadcaster was in contravention of the Broadcasting Act when it implemented an editorial policy to ban the airing of violent protests in May.
Mthembu moved on Thursday that the ad hoc committee looking into matters at the SABC should report back to parliament by no later than the end of February 2017.
Opposition parties agreed with Mthembu’s motion, but asked that the committee should expedite its work since the current SABC board does not have a quorum to function.
Early in October, two nonexecutive SABC board members announced their resignations in parliament. Krish Naidoo and Vusi Mavuso both called for the dissolving of the board, as it was in their view amateurish and dysfunctional.
The SABC board must have nine members for a quorum to be able to make crucial decisions. Recently another board member Thabisile Khumalo also tendered her resignation, which leaves the board with three members.
The three remaining board members — chairman Mbulaheni Maguvhe, Aaron Tshidzumba and Nomvuyo Mhlakaza — have not voluntarily resigned yet and insist they can continue their duties as they have a “memorandum of understanding”.