Muthambi heading to court to contest SABC inquiry report

Minister describes report as "irrational and unlawful" in letter to Speaker

Cape Town – Communications Minister Faith Muthambi will go to court to contest Parliament's SABC inquiry report, the ministry has said.

"I can confirm that the ministry intends to take the ad hoc committee report for a judicial review," ministry spokesperson Mish Molakeng told News24 on Friday.

Molakeng did not want to comment further on the matter, saying the minister's reasons would be made known once the process officially got underway.

The Star reported on Friday that Muthambi had written an explosive letter to Speaker Baleka Mbete to say she was taking the "irrational and unlawful" ad hoc committee report on review.

Muthambi reportedly wrote that she felt "ambushed" by the process, and that her constitutional rights had been violated.

She wanted the implementation of the inquiry's recommendations halted until the court makes a ruling, the report read.

Ad hoc committee chairperson Vincent Smith told News24 that he was not aware of the letter, or Muthambi's intentions.

He said that the ad hoc committee had now been dissolved, and thus only the Speaker had the authority to speak on the matter.

Parliament's spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said they had been alerted to the reported letter through the media, but could not confirm if Parliament had received it officially.

He said it would be made public if it was received, and when the Speaker's office had processed it.

On Tuesday, Parliament formally adopted the report of the ad hoc committee looking into the SABC board.

The report referred Muthambi to Parliament's ethics committee to investigate her role in amending the SABC board's memorandum of incorporation, as well as in the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng to then-chief operating officer in July 2014.

It also recommended to President Jacob Zuma that he reconsider Muthambi's desirability to continue leading the department.

Only the United Democratic Movement opposed its adoption, citing the committee's decision not to invite Motsoeneng to provide evidence as its reason.