DA wants new SABC Chair’s appointment withdrawn

BY CHARL BOSCH - JUNE 22, 2015

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on President Jacob Zuma to withdraw the appointment of Obert Maghuve as the new Chairperson of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), pending the outcome of a legal opinion.

On Friday, the Presidency announced that Maghuve, who had been the broadcaster’s Acting Chairperson, would fill the position left vacant by the resignation of Ellen Tshabalala in December last year.

Speaking in a statement, party Shadow Minister of Communications, Gavin Davis, said that Maghuve had been directly involved in the dismissing of board members Hope Zinde, Rachel Kalidass and Ronnie Lubisi in March, and that Zuma should have delayed the appointment until Parliament could lodge a proper investigation into the claims.

“It was irrational for the President to appoint Professor Maghuve when the Portfolio Committee is still considering the legal opinion and the next steps to take in this regard,” Davis said.

“These next steps may well include legal action against Professor Maghuve for his role in the illegal removal of these board members. In the meantime, President Zuma should rescind the appointment of Professor Maghuve until we have much-needed clarity on the next steps to take”.

Davis also stated that Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, who is alleged to have close ties with Maghuve, should provide clarity as to why she considered the removal of Zinde, Kalidass and Lubisi to be legal, when a parliamentary opinion found it represented the opposite.