Thuli Madonsela, Faith Muthambi on SABC inquiry witness list

The parliamentary ad hoc committee tasked with investigating the SABC will begin its hearings on November 29. The committee met on Tuesday and elected the ANC’s Vincent Smith as its chairperson.

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi were among the 30 people named on a witness list to give testimony at the hearings. Madonsela was included in the witness list because of her 2014 report, When Governance and Ethics Fail. 

Former SABC staff and board members were also added to the list.

Calls for an inquiry into the public broadcaster were made after the SABC’s controversial policy decisions — which included no longer broadcasting images of violent and destructive protests — and after questions were raised about the SABC’s board, particularly former chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that President Jacob Zuma had accepted the resignations of two SABC board members, Nomvuyo Mhlakaza and Aaron Tshidzumba, earlier this week.This leaves chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe as the last remaining non-executive member of the board.

The ad hoc committee has been given a deadline of February 28 to conclude the inquiry, and has resolved to work through the December break while Parliament is closed, if necessary.

A draft report is expected to be ready on January 24, with a presentation to be made to the National Assembly on February 15 that will include comments from the board.

This will be the first inquiry into the SABC’s conduct following a year of concerns around the state of the public broadcaster.

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