IFP: “national embarrassment” SABC faces revolt

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said a board and management is needed at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) capable of exclusively working on rebuilding the organisation.

If this is not achieved, “the SABC will move beyond redemption and South Africans will no longer believe that it is still ‘the right thing to do’ to pay for TV licenses,” said Liezl van der Merwe, a member of parliament for the IFP.

“This requires dramatic, fast-moving and bold leadership on the part of [communications] minister Dina Pule,” said van der Merwe following the joint resignations of Ben Ngubane , chairperson of the SABC and his deputy Thami ka Plaatjie.

According to van der Merwe, the move is in the SABC’s best interests. “We hope that the remainder of the board will stay and recommit their resolve toward building a strong stable SABC,” he said.

“South Africans deserve a stable SABC they can be proud of, not an SABC that is routinely labelled a national embarrassment, and a sinking ship stranded in a sea of incompetence.”

Ngubane and Plaatjie’s resignations are apparently the result of renewed tension within the SABC, following the falling out between Ngubane and the board about the releasing of former acting COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng from his duties.

Following Motsoeneng’s dismissal, Ngubane was quoted by the New Age newspaper as saying Motsoeneng had been reinstated as COO and said Plaatjie made the decision. The SABC board then issued a statement confirming the contrary, saying neither the deputy nor the chairman himself had the authority to “change a board resolution.”

Pule has since said she hopes the two men withdraw their resignations, while the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communication (PCC) seeks answers from the SABC board.

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