CAPE TOWN, Former Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and at least three former senior officers of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) may face criminal charges for misleading Parliament during the 2016 inquiry into the SABC Board.

The Parliamentary Committee on Communications is seeking legal advice on the matter. Meanwhile, Members of Parliament on Tuesday gave members of the board of the Media Diversity and Development Agency a thorough dressing down, following contrary reports on the entity’s affairs.

The committee was probing the SABC Board and that testimony could come back to haunt Muthambi. Parliament suspects that she and former SABC board chairpersons Ben Ngubane and Mbulaheni Maguvhe, as well as former Company Secretary Theresa Geldenhuys, might have misled the House.

They could all be criminally charged for their omitted information.

Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Phumzile van Damme said: “This report has now identified who those individuals are, which are Muthambi, Geldenhuys, Maguvhe and Ngubane. The action which is now required by Parliament is to lay criminal charges for violation of the Powers and Privileges Act.”

However, another opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and the ruling African National Congress (ANC), have urged a more cautious approach.

EFF MP Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said: “I would want the indulgence of our honourable members, let us hear what the legal advice to us is and then take a decision whether we take it to the police station.”

ANC MP Modli Gungubele said: “All that we need is for the legal officers to analyse it and tell us if it meets the requirement. Having so met the requirements, what is the line?”

Meanwhile, the briefing by the Board of the MDDA left MPs stunned. Board Chairperson Phelisa Nkomo and her acting chief executive officer Donald Liphoko gave the committee two different versions of the ailing state of the entity.

Nkomo said: “Our observation as the board is that there is a divide and rule leadership style that is really being employed by the entity.”

The Parliamentary Committee eventually rejected the report, with some MPs calling instead for an inquiry into the board members’ fitness to hold office.


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