Opposition political parties claimed yesterday that interference by the
African National Congress (ANC) was one of the reasons for the deep
crisis at the SABC. writes Linda Ensor in Business Day.

They were speaking in a National Assembly debate on a resolution by the communications committee for the SABC board to be dissolved and for an interim board to be nominated as soon as possible.

Only the DA objected to the motion — on the technical ground that it had not seen a final written version of it beforehand.

The resolution flowed from an inquiry by the committee in terms of section 15A of the Broadcasting Act as to whether the board could continue to perform its fiduciary duties. All but one board member resigned.

Opposition parties called for the interim board to be politically independent. DA communications spokesman Niekie van den Berg said the SABC’s problems were of long standing. If the ANC had the political will it could have done a lot more, months ago.

If the ANC dominated the new board it would be “the beginning of the end of media freedom and objective news coverage. If this government does not appoint a credible, competent and independent board, our national broadcaster will lose the last remnants of public acceptability,” Van den Berg said.

However, ANC committee chairman Ismail Vadi said the quintessential problem of the “dreadful debacle” at the SABC was a “meltdown in corporate governance”.

The committee has asked auditor- general Terence Nombembe to investigate allegations of corruption and other irregularities at the SABC.

Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Day's website.

Click here to read another report on thetimes.co.za: ANC has fine names for new SABC board.