Gavin Davis' criticism of Faith Muthambi spurious - Ministry of Communications

Minister working hard to stabilize the management team and the board of directors of the SABC


14 January 2015

The Ministry of Communications take note of the spurious allegations leveled against the Minister by the Democratic Alliance regarding the suspicious intention to purge certain members of the SABC Board.

We wish to bring to the attention of the DA, that in terms of the signed Memorandum of Incorporation (MoI), the Minister is the sole shareholder in the Corporation acting on behalf of the South African Government. The Minister therefore has the responsibility to ensure effective and efficient functioning of the Board and ultimately the Corporation as a whole in her capacity as the Executive Authority.

The Minister believes that the communication from her to any of the entities under her political oversight is private and confidential and therefore cannot be a subject of discussion through the media. The Minister is working hard to stabilize the management team and the board of directors of the corporation, and a great stability has been achieved in respect of the corporation management team. 

The success and failure of the Corporation is accounted for by the Minister of Communications. As a result the Minister through her political oversight role has the responsibility to ensure implementation of good corporate governance at all times. Such a responsibility is delegated to the Board of Directors of the Corporation who from time to time is expected to provide reports to the Minister.

Section 16 of the MoI dictates that a "Director must perform his or her functions at all times with the utmost good faith, honesty and integrity, care and diligence and, in furtherance of his or her functions, without limiting his or her fiduciary duties". In the event of any breach of fiduciary duties by any director or directors, the Minister as a shareholder's representative has to take appropriate steps to remedy the situation without fear or favour. 

This therefore empowers the Minister to play an oversight role including the conduct of Board members in order to protect the image and reputation of the Corporation. As a matter of exercising her oversight responsibilities the Minister has the duty to interrogate the conduct of Board members, processes and systems on the governance of the Corporation.

Furthermore, the Minister's actions at all times are geared towards mitigating any possible risks to efficient functioning of the Corporation and assist the Board to fulfil its mandate successfully.

For the DA to insinuate that the Minister's actions are unlawful and represent interference raises a question about the interest of the DA to the efficient functioning of the SABC and their understanding of the governance of State Owned entities and wanting to achieve one of its narrow political objectives. The Minister will not entertain speculations and political gossip and therefore such do not worth her comments.  

The Minister assures the public that she will act decisively in the event of any breach of fiduciary duties by any director of the corporation and such actions will always be within the parameters of the Constitution, Broadcasting Act, Company Act of 2008 and other related legislations. 

The Minister will continue to perform her political oversight role as a shareholder and a government representative in the interest of the Corporation in the sense that the efficient functioning of the Corporation benefits all South African citizens.

Statement issued by the Ministry of Communications, January 14 2015

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