Parliament must investigate SABC Board Chairperson's claims about her qualifications
13 July 2014
It was reported today that SABC Board Chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala, lied about her qualifications when she submitted her application for the position to Parliament last year (see City Press report).
I will be writing to the Chairperson of the Communications Portfolio Committee, Joyce Moloi-Moropa, to request that the Committee exercises its powers in terms of Section 15 of the Broadcasting Act to conduct an inquiry into this serious allegation.
If Ms. Tshabalala is found guilty of misconduct, she could be dismissed from her post. If it is found that she lied to Parliament, she could be guilty of perjury, which is a criminal offence.
According to the report in City Press, Ms. Tshabalala holds neither a BCom nor a postgraduate diploma in labour relations on her Curriculum Vitae.
Section 13 of the Broadcasting Act lists "business practice and finance" and "labour issues" as some of the key skills that Board Members should hold. Ms. Tshabalala therefore had a strong motive to claim that she had commerce and labour relations qualifications.
This allegation is uncannily similar to the Public Protector's finding that SABC Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng lied about his qualifications in his job application.
Like Mr. Motsoeneng, Ms. Tshabalala is close to President Zuma, serving as his adviser on the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council. During the 2014 elections, Ms. Tshabalala reportedly told residents in KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal to vote for the ANC.
There is something rotten at the heart of the SABC. This evidence suggests that Zuma-loyalists are able to secure executive and non-executive positions on the Board by lying about their qualifications.
An investigation into Ms. Tshabalala's alleged misconduct could help arrest the decline of the SABC. We trust that the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee will seize the opportunity.
Statement issued by Gavin Davis, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, July 13 2014
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