SABC News - Parliament to call Bemawu, SABC 8 to appear before it:Tuesday 10 October 2017

Parliament to call Bemawu, SABC 8 to appear before it

Tuesday 10 October 2017 17:59

Mercedes Besent

Committee Chairperson Humfrey Maxegwana addressed the committee on the way forward.

Committee Chairperson Humfrey Maxegwana addressed the committee on the way forward.(SABC)

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Communications says it will call both the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) and the so-called SABC 8 to appear before it.  

This comes after the chairperson and some political parties received two open letters from the union and the group about the state of affairs at the SABC in the absence of a permanent board. The SABC's finances and President Jacob Zuma's delay in appointing the board also were raised during the committee meeting.

Committee Chairperson Humfrey Maxegwana addressed the committee on the way forward: “People who wrote to us, they must come to Parliament so that we have them, but also the Bemawu leadership, I here we must call all of them and listen to them whatever decision we take, we will take after we have listened to them. But again we are saying as political parties as they were copied, they have the right to talk to them if they want to as parties but not as the committee.”

During deliberations on the open letters, African National Congress (ANC) Whip in Parliament's Communication Committee , Lerumo Kalako said the so-called SABC 8 journalists should be discouraged from operating like a parallel organisation and a clique within the SABC.

“There is nothing wrong with raising matters, their issues were dealt with, we are still dealing with those issues, but where it is wrong is when they persist and say we are this group of these journalists, then that gives another impression. I think we should actually discourage them from acting like that. They have all the right to come to the committee and raise issues with Parliament, whatever issue. But once they continue saying we are this bloc of journalist within the SABC, that is going to give us problem. They can continue to raise whatever they want to raise but they must not form themselves in an organisation as a clique.”

On issues around the delay in appointing the board, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo faced pressing questions on allegations that only some SABC board candidates were allegedly vetted for a second time. The question was raised by the Democratic Alliance's (DA) Phumzile van Damme . 

“In terms  of some of the reports that I read is that there were some members that were requested to submit additional  documentation. I don't know if I read correctly. Was it some or were all recommended candidates vetted a second time or was it just some and if it was just some, how was that decision taken to vet some of them and not all of them and on what basis were those some candidates vetted.”

Dlodlo has denied that only certain SABC board candidates were vetted:  "I know that all candidates, it was not some candidates it was all candidates. We couldn't have asked for further information from people and discriminate against others. Everybody was asked to provide further information.”

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