David Mahlobo. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
David Mahlobo. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

The parliamentary committee investigating the SABC has not called State Security Minister David Mahlobo to appear before it.

The ad hoc committee investigating the board’s fitness to hold office said on Tuesday that it "would like to place on record that it has not taken a resolution to add the minister of state security to its witness list".

It made this statement after "the Daily Maverick has published an article today titled SABC/Motsoeneng coup: ad hoc committee wants minister of state security".

"The committee considers the headline of this article ... misleading‚" it added‚ before quoting committee chairperson Vincent Smith as saying: "The decision to add witnesses on the list can only be taken upon deliberations by all committee members on who should be added and what value they will add to the process."

The Daily Maverick had reported that the testimony of the State Security Agency’s (SSA’s) "apparently irregular involvement in spying on staff‚ including journalists‚ shocked committee members who have called for minister of state security‚ David Mahlobo, to account".

"Committee members heard how ‘people at the SABC spoke in parables’ and were paranoid that the SSA were eavesdropping on their conversations and were tapping their phones‚" the website reported.

Wednesday will see the appearance before the committee of Communications Minister Faith Muthambi‚ who will be probed over her appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as the SABC’s chief operating officer.

On Tuesday‚ SABC board chairman Prof Mbulaheni Maguvhe defended the board’s decision to appoint Motsoeneng‚ and said he had supported it.

"If my memory serves me well‚ I voted ‘for’‚" he said.

When pressed on why the board took the decision to appoint Motsoeneng despite former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s findings and recommendations‚ Maguvhe said the board was not aware that those recommendations were binding.

"Most of us were not aware that the recommendations by the public protector were binding.

"It was only after the Constitutional Court ruling that they mentioned that they were binding‚" he said‚ a reference to the Nkandla case.

Madonsela found that Motsoeneng had lied about his matric qualification‚ had increased his salary irregularly from R1.5m to R2.4m and had purged employees.

She ruled that a replacement for Motsoeneng should be found within 90 days. But‚ in July 2014‚ Muthambi appointed him permanent chief operating officer.

When a court ruling set aside this appointment‚ Motsoeneng was controversially appointed to the position of group executive of corporate affairs. That appointment was set aside by a High Court in Cape Town judgment this week.

TMG Digital

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