It was revealed on Tuesday that the President of the Republic, Jacob Zuma, may have to fire the current chairperson of the South African broadcasting Cooperation amid revelations that she had not been entirely truthful about her qualifications when she was originally appointed.
A unanimous motion to establish an enquiry into the conduct of the chairperson of the SABC board, Zanele Ellen Tshabalala, was carried by the portfolio committee on communications. She is being accused of misrepresenting the level of her qualifications when she was appointed. In her academic qualifications, Tshabalala makes mention of a B Comm degree as well as a Labour Relations Diploma, both of which she claims to have obtained from the University of South Africa. However, DA MP Gavin Davies said on Tuesday that he had received confirmation from the renowned university that Tshabalala received neither a bachelor’s degree nor a diploma from the institution.
Speaking on the enquiry, the chairperson of the portfolio committee, Joyce Moloi Moropa, said the matter would be dealt with as guided by the principles enshrined in the Broadcasting Act. Also speaking to the committee on the issue, the senior legal adviser to Parliament, Ntuthuzelo Vanara, told the committee that Tshabalala should be given a full week in which to make a response. Adding a word of caution, the Deputy Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams advised the committee that the chairperson of the SABC Board could only be appointed by the President while parliament only recommended. To this, the chairperson announced that the committee would get parliament to approve the committee’s recommendations to President Zuma to suspend Tshabalala. In addition, Moloi Moropa said that the committee would meet next week to finalize the terms of reference of the enquiry to enable the matter to be concluded speedily.
In a rare support of actions of this nature, two ANC MPs agreed that there was a need to deal with this issue and get Tshabalala suspended as early as next week. Mziwamadoda Kalako and Ezekiel Kekana said that the committee needed to be set up and the matter concluded as a matter of urgency as it had been dragging on for too long.