Ben Ngubane. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Ben Ngubane. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

Education qualifications are likely to be one of the biggest talking points as the ad hoc committee on the SABC inquiry resumes it work on Friday.

Appearing before the committee‚ which was set up to probe the fitness of the board to hold office and other issues at the public broadcaster‚ will be two former board chairpersons‚ Dr Ben Ngubane and Ellen Tshabalala.

Committee chairperson Vincent Smith said on Thursday that “it will deliberate on the draft report next week and that the committee is on course to finalise its work by the 15 February deadline”.

Ngubane is likely to be quizzed on why he ordered that the revision of qualification requirements for the appointment to the position of chief operating officer‚ a move said to be aimed at suiting controversial executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng‚ who has been widely blamed for the crisis at the SABC.

Motsoeneng lied about his matric qualifications when he originally applied for the job.

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report When Governance and Ethics Fail suggested Ngubane’s conduct was improper and could constitute maladministration‚ abuse or an unjustifiable exercise of power.

Tshabalala resigned in December 2014 because of the controversy around her qualifications. She claimed to have a BCom degree and a post-graduate diploma in labour relations from the University of South Africa.

The Congress of the People this week complained that‚ after laying fraud charges against Tshabalala for misrepresenting her education qualifications in July last year‚ the SAPS told the party it was still busy with the investigation and will hand over the docket to the National Prosecutor Authority for a decision.

“Cope wants to reiterate that misrepresentation of education qualifications is a serious offence and believes that sufficient evidence exists to charge Ellen Tshabalala - we cannot understand why the police are dragging their feet with this investigation‚” Cope’s spokesman Dennis Bloem said.

In mid-December‚ the most recent SABC board chairperson‚ Mbulaheni Maghuve quit.

Maguvhe‚ until then the sole remaining member of the board‚ had defended the board’s decision to appoint Motsoeneng‚ at a sitting of the parliamentary committee.

When pressed on why the board took the decision to appoint Motsoeneng despite former 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.

On Thursday‚ the EFF called “on members of the public to submit to the EFF names of individuals who are seasoned and available to serve in the SABC interim board”.

“We further call on experienced individuals to not stay away from nominations in this regard but to avail themselves in order to serve the country and restore public trust in the SABC.” – TMG Digital


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