SOS Calls for the Immediate Investigation of the SABC Chair’s Qualifications

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SOS Calls for the Immediate Investigation of the SABC Chair’s Qualifications


The SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition notes the ongoing leadership crises at the SABC. Further, to the saga around the permanent appointment of the Chief Operating Officer, Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng, there are now serious allegations levelled against the Chair of the SABC, Ms. Zandile Ellen Tshabalala. According to media reports, the Chair falsified her qualifications claiming she has a commerce degree and a post-graduate diploma in labour relations from the University of South Africa (UNISA). UNISA however has stated that it has no record of these qualifications. This is a very serious allegation. If proved correct it indicates that Ms Tshabalala lied to Parliament.

The Coalition calls on Parliament to immediately investigate these allegations. Further, Coalition members believe that if these allegations are correct and there is strong evidence to back this up, the Chair must step down from her position with immediate effect.

The Coalition notes our new Minster’s calls for the importance of bringing stability to the SABC. However, the Coalition notes the ongoing turmoil at our public broadcaster. In order to begin to make stability a possibility, SOS believes that:

 Parliament must fulfil its duties to hold the SABC to account by immediately investigating the allegations against the Chair and take action.
 Parliament must implement new measures for transparency as regards appointments by publishing SABC board members’ CVs, qualifications and certificates on the Parliamentary website. Please note that SOS has been calling for this measure to be implemented since 2008.
 The Minister must withdraw her support for the appointment of Mr Motsoeneng and refrain from intervening in all future processes as regards the appointment of executives at the SABC. SOS notes the importance of the non-executive board members making appointments alone with no ministerial interference.
 The SABC Board must re-open the appointment process re: the appointment of a new Chief Operating Officer (COO) and follow a transparent and open process.

The SOS Coalition represents a broad spectrum of civil society stakeholders committed to the broadcasting of quality, diverse, citizen-orientated public-interest programming aligned to the goals of the SA Constitution. The Coalition includes a number of trade union federations including COSATU and FEDUSA, a number of independent unions including BEMAWU and MWASA; independent film and TV production sector organisations including the South African Screen Federation (SASFED); a host of NGOs and CBOs including the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI), Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), SECTION27 and a number of academics and freedom of expression activists.

For more information contact:
Kate Skinner
SOS working group member
082 926 6404