The battle for control of the SABC took a stunning turn on Wednesday
when MPs passed an unprecedented vote of no confidence in the
corporation's entire management board, writes Deon de Lange in the Pretoria News.

The motion was muscled through the National Assembly's Communications Committee by the ANC despite strong objections from the DA. This followed a relentless verbal onslaught of more than three hours in which ANC MPs slammed SABC board members over a number of issues, but primarily over the fact that a confidential memorandum – which is highly critical of SABC CEO Dali Mpofu – was leaked to the media two weeks ago.

ANC MPs emerged after a 30-minute recess with the following position, as stated by ANC MP Eric Kholwane: "It is clear for us that between the board and the management of the SABC there are serious problems … which have not been resolved. We are also of the view that a corporation like the SABC can not afford any fallout between the board and management – that is totally unacceptable.

"Given that, we are convinced … that clearly this board is not in a position to execute their fiduciary duties and responsibilities and we therefore accordingly want to pass a vote of no confidence in this board."

This finally brought the meeting to an abrupt end.

The visibly shocked board members declined to comment after the meeting, while DA MP Dene Smuts accused the ANC of abusing parliamentary processes to settle political scores.

"There is no basis for what you (ANC) are doing – not in law, not in the rules (of parliament). What you are doing has no effect. It is obviously the opening salvo in an attempt to unseat the entire board," she said.

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