Editorial: A fighting chance for SABC

For a good long while, it seemed that normal rules did not apply to SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, nor to Communications Minister Faith Muthambi. Motsoeneng lied to the SABC, and the SABC promoted him. Muthambi defied the ANC on important policy matters, and the ANC retreated. Individually, they defied political gravity. Together, joined in ensuring their firm control of the SABC, they seemed unstoppable.

Then, all of a sudden, their immunity evaporated.

Muthambi is still in charge of her ministry, but last week she finally pushed the ANC too far, which will make her life a lot harder in both Cabinet and Parliament. Though he’s suspended, Motsoeneng technically still holds the top SABC job, but all the dubious deeds that were committed to secure him that post are unravelling.

As we report this week, the courts are fairly brimming with allegations of irregularities and illegalities from those shouldered aside as Motsoeneng rocketed to the top and got cosy with competitor MultiChoice. It will be some time before we have findings from those courts, to be sure, but the actions brought by dismissed board members and a suspended executive demand answers. And that will force Muthambi to explain herself fully, something she has refused to do to the public, to Parliament or to her own party.

Likewise, Motsoeneng may find himself explaining – and making public the details of – the SABC’s hugely controversial agreement with MultiChoice. Even with what limited information has leaked out of boardrooms and backrooms, these events seem suspicious. If the sunlight comes streaming in, as is now likely, it is improbable that Muthambi or Motsoeneng will remain unscathed. Surely the time of reckoning is upon them.

That still leaves the SABC without top executive leaders or a stable board. The trouble at the public broadcaster will not vanish when Muthambi’s and Motsoeneng’s immunity evaporates; in fact, things are likely to get worse before they get better. But, with the laws of physics re-established, the SABC may at least stand a chance, which is more than it has right now.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Sabotage and corruption at Eskom’s worst power plant goes unpunished

A forensic report details how Tutuka power station is being crippled by current and former employees

Champions League final preview: A tale of revenge for Liverpool

The Reds are the favourites this time around, but they must not let emotions of the past cloud their heads when they face Real Madrid on Saturday

Stellenbosch Mafia mindset plays out in racist incidents at Maties

A white student urinating on a black student’s property has brought into focus a strong undercurrent of racism

PODCAST | After the ANC

We need to reimagine South Africa without the ANC and if we do not, we will either live with false hope or the country’s crisis will intensify
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×