Member’s Statement delivered by Gavin Davis MP, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, in the National Assembly, August 4 2015
SABC LOST HOPE BECAUSE OF TOO MUCH FAITH
On behalf of the Democratic Alliance, I would like to welcome Minister Faith Muthambi back from her study trip to China.
I am sure the House is interested to know what the Minister learned about media in a country ranked 177 out of 180 on the World Press Freedom Index; a country where 44 journalists are currently languishing in jail.
Perhaps Minister Muthambi went to learn more about the Chinese state broadcaster and how it is directly controlled by the Chinese Minister of Propaganda.
Because that it is exactly what Minister Muthambi is trying to replicate here in South Africa.
This much is clear from the letters written by former SABC Board Member Hope Zinde that were released last week.
Hope Zinde’s letters paint a picture of a Minister putting immense political pressure on independent Board Members.
For example, when Hope Zinde questioned the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng, Minister Muthambi said that Hlaudi must be supported because it is what President Zuma wants.
As the Minister apparently said, and I quote: “But baba loves Hlaudi, he loves him so much, we must support him.”
When Hope Zinde didn’t support Hlaudi, Minister Muthambi had her fired.
You could say that the SABC lost Hope because there was too much Faith.
We call on all members of this House to reject Minister Muthambi’s moves to turn our public broadcaster into a state broadcaster.