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24 June 2009

MEDIA ALERT UPDATE South Africa SABC’s Future Debated in Parliament

Three members of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board could learn their fate today – June 18th. The remains of the board appeared before Parliament’s Communications Portfolio Committee on June 17th. Members of Parliament (MPs) indicated they could explore various options including taking steps to dissolve the board. News of an eighth member of the board resigning had MPs calling for decisive action to stabilise operations at the public broadcaster.

Opposition party MPs were quick to call for an establishment of a commission of inquiry to get to the root of the financial and management problems at the SABC. ANC MPs on the other hand have indicated they would push to use the new Broadcasting Amendment Act to dissolve the board. Opposition MPs said even if the board is dissolved, an investigation should be conducted to ensure there is no repeat of the financial mismanagement at the broadcaster.

The Communications Ministry confirmed acting SABC chair Ashwin Trikamjee has resigned. He sent a letter to Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda on June 17th. The move meant there are only three board members left of the 12 appointed by former president Thabo Mbeki in December 2007. “The minister has received the letter of resignation from Mr Ashwin Trikamjee as a member of the board of the public broadcaster and the minister has accepted it,” said the Communications Ministry’s Tiyani Rikhotso. Nyanda announced an interim board is to be established as soon as possible.

SOURCE: Radio 702

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