The ruling African National Congress (ANC) party says it will urge Parliament to look into the legal ramifications of the conduct of the Chairman of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Mbulaheni Maguvhe, in Parliament this week.

On Wednesday, Mbulaheni Maguvhe walked out of a hearing by an ad-hoc committee of the National Assembly set up to probe the fitness of the SABC board to hold office and on Thursday he failed to turn up to give testimony.

The committee has decided to issue him with a summons under section 56 (A) and (C) of the Constitution which deals with evidence and information before the National Assembly and which says that “the National Assembly or any of its committee may summon any person to appear before it, to give evidence under oath or affirmation or to produce documents”.

It also compels any person or institution to comply with the summons.

The Ad-hoc Committee also agreed to call more witnesses — former SABC chairpersons Ben Ngubane and Ellen Tshabalala — as suggested by the inquiry’s Evidence Leader, Skhumbuzo Vanara.

This comes after former SABC board members Ronny Lubisi, Vusi Mavuso and former chief executive officer Lulama Mokhobo implicated Ngubane and Tshabalala when they gave evidence before the Adhoc Committee.

The ANC spokesperson in Parliament, Moloto Mothapo, said Thursday: “We are dismayed by the conduct of the chairperson and his entourage to show contempt to the institution of Parliament but also to show disrespect.

“The excuse given was very irrational given that the ad-hoc committee sent a communication two weeks ago requesting them to indicate whether they will require assistance with any translation of any document that will be used and the professor is on the record to say he will not be needing any service; he will do that himself.”

Meanwhile, Maguvhe says while he is not against the inquiry, he wants committee members to respect his rights. In a statement, Maguvhe described the inquiry as a miscarriage of Justice.

He says he supports the inquiry but wants Parliament to respect his rights to access information in advance. Maguvhe says he also wants to be respected by members of the Ad-hoc Committee and that his legal representatives should be allowed to address the committee on his behalf.

He says he is currently taking legal advice on how he can vindicate his rights and the rights of the SABC board.


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