Unlawful removal of SABC Board Members fuels perception of purge
27 March 2015
I have written to the Chairperson of the Communications Portfolio Committee, Joyce Moloi-Moropa, to request a legal opinion on the SABC Board's removal of two more SABC Board Members yesterday.
The removal of Ronnie Lubisi and Rachel Kalidass is patently unlawful. The Broadcasting Act is very clear that Board Members can only be removed, after due inquiry, by the President on the advice of the National Assembly.
In other words, the SABC Board has no legal authority to pronounce, as it did yesterday, that these Board Members are removed with immediate effect.
Parliament's legal and constitutional unit is already looking into the legality of the SABC Board's removal of Hope Zinde from the Board last week. The DA believes the scope of that legal opinion should now be expanded to include the removal of Rachel Kalidass and Ronnie Lubisi yesterday.
The unlawful removal of these Board Members strengthens the perception that they are being purged for voting against Minister Muthambi's appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as SABC Chief Operating Officer.
The only way to undo the perception of a purge is for the Communications Portfolio Committee to assess the allegations against these Board Members and, if there is prima facie evidence of wrongdoing, conduct an open and fair inquiry.
This is the process that resulted in the removal of former SABC Chairperson Ellen Tshabalala last year. It is the process the DA will push for should Parliament's legal opinion confirm that the SABC Board acted unlawfully in removing these Board Members.
Statement issued by Gavin Davis MP, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, March 27 2015
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