The "vigilant" opposition scored a rare victory against the ANC in Parliament when the ruling party agreed to fix the constitutionally flawed SABC bill to ensure a fair hearing before firing the broadcaster's board, writes Siyabonga Mkhwanazi in The Star.

Tabling the changes to the bill, ANC portfolio communications committee whip Khotso Khumalo on Thursday conceded that the National Assembly may dissolve the board after due inquiry had found that the board of directors had failed to "discharge their fiduciary duties" and had not carried out their duties as required by the law.

Khumalo admitted that it was the opposition that had insisted on the clause that would allow for a fair and proper hearing before the board could be dissolved.

Committee chairperson Ismail Vadi (ANC) said the fact that President Kgalema Motlanthe had returned the bill back to Parliament for reconsideration showed that there was a separation of powers between the executive and legislature.

Vadi said it was imperative that the executive exercised its independence when reviewing and scrutinising laws passed by Parliament.

"The president has explicitly said the bill is not unconstitutional. He expressed reservations with regard to (the absence of the) clause (on the dissolution of the board).

"The part he was mentioning is that there wasn't any procedure that was outlined by which the board could be removed by the House. It was important to make sure that – the right to administrative action is not denied to anybody particularly in a matter such as this.

"I want to thank the opposition parties that they were very vigilant on this matter. I didn't expect them to petition the president, but it's good for democracy. It's the only way to improve the legislation, ultimately. On a matter such as this it's important that you have good legislation in place," said Vadi.

Democratic Alliance MP Dene Smuts said although they welcomed the amendment, they opposed "the wholesale idea of the dissolution of the board".

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