SABC Board: Maghuve rewarded for loyalty to Muthambi and Motsoeneng
19 June 2015
By appointing Professor Mbulaheni Obert Maghuve as Chairperson of the SABC Board, President Zuma has hastened the decline of the SABC’s independence.
Maghuve is a known acolyte of Minister Muthambi and SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng. It was Maghuve, along with his new Deputy, Leah Khumalo, who voted in favour of Motsoeneng’s appointment as COO in July last year. This was in direct contravention of the Public Protector’s directive that Motsoeneng be suspended and disciplined for lying about his matric certificate and other acts of fraud and corruption.
Maghuve proved his political usefulness further this year when, as Acting Chairperson of the SABC Board, Maghuve illegally removed Hope Zinde, Rachel Kalidass and Ronnie Lubisi from the SABC Board. At the time, when questioned on Zinde's removal in Parliament, Maghuve said: “She’s removed. Once we remove... she’s removed.”
It has since been confirmed by Parliament’s legal advisors that Maghuve’s decision to remove these Board Members was unlawful. It is not clear whether the President applied his mind to this aspect of Maghuve's track record when he made the decision to appoint him.
As far as Muthambi and Motsoeneng is concerned, Maghuve has shown himself to be a pliant and loyal Acting Chairperson. He is now being rewarded for getting rid of excellent and independently-minded Board Members, and protecting Hlaudi Motsoeneng when he should have been fired.
Maghuve’s appointment is bad news for all South Africans who want the SABC to be the independent public broadcaster envisaged in our Constitution.
Statement issued by Gavin Davis MP, DA Shadow Minister Communications, June 19 2015