4 February 2014: SABC CEO, Lulama Mokhobo resigns for “personal reasons.”
5 February 2014: In an editorial Die Burger says that it’s no longer a question of whether the SABC serves the ANC but which faction of the SABC it serves.
6 February 2014: The PwC skills audit reveals that the qualification of one of the finance administrators at the SABC is a diplomahttp://www.channel24.co.za/TV/News/SABC-finance-administrator-has-a-diploma-in-beauty-therapy-20140206 in beauty therapy.
6 February 2014: Acting SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, address a news briefing about the PwC skills audit and says that university graduates are detrimental in the SABC workplace.
“Your degrees can’t work for you. You need experience to do the work. When these people come with their degrees, they drain the same people [who are skilled but don’t have degrees
10 February 2014: Zandile Tshabala, chairperson of the SABC board, blames apartheid in the wake of the scathing PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) skills audit report.
"There's competences (sic) like psychometric tests which has(sic) been dropped many years ago, because that was a system used in a racially divided society to marginalise certain people."
10 February 2014: MWASA lashes out at the SABC’s response to the PwC skills audit calling it “insulting and idiotic”. MWASA general secretary, Tuwani Gumani said: “Whilst there are many skilled individuals within the employ of the SABC, they are victimised, persecuted and prosecuted for their qualifications, demonstrable skills and insistence on the maintenance of professional and ethical standards.”
15 February 2014: Hlaudi Motsoeneng tells SANEF that Dali Mpofu was wrong to take the SABC out of SANEF in 2007. By re-joining SANEF, his message about positive news coverage can be better communicated.
17 February 2014: Preview of Public Protector’s report on Hlaudi Motsoeneng
17 February 2014: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela releases a damning report on Hlaudi Motsoeneng: “When Governance and Ethics fail”.
In the report she says that Motsoeneng wasted millions of rands in driving dissenting staff out of the SABC.
20 February 2014: SABC chairperson Ellen Zandile Tshabalala makes light of public protector Thuli Madonsela's findings of irregularities in Hlaudi Motsoeneng's salary and says he has the board’s full support.
20 February 2014: The Mail & Guardian in an editorial says HlaudiMotsoeneng is worse than Snuki Zikalala
“The new Zikalala is Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and his tenure as the SABC's acting chief operating officer has become a bad parody of the kind of transformation everyone wants to see take place there. The SABC board has had so many resignations and returns over the past few years that it is beginning to look like a very dour version of a bedroom farce. Round and round they go, and round and round the SABC goes, consuming itself; soon there will be nothing left for the state to bail out with more taxpayers' billions.”
21 February 2014: Mosibudi Mangena asks why successive SABC boards turned a blind eye to corruption at the SABC
23 February 2014: Sunday Times editorial
Survival of the unfittest in murky corridors of the SABC
THE SABC effectively gave the public protector’s office the middle finger this week. There is no other way of describing the insistence of SABC board chairwoman Ellen Zandile Tshabalala that acting chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s dictatorial reign at the public broadcaster will not be ending any time soon.
This was is in spite of the severely adverse findings by Thuli Madonsela’s office against Motsoeneng, who, she said, should be disciplined “for his dishonesty relating to the misrepresentation of his qualifications, abuse of power and improper conduct in the appointments and salary increments of Sully Motsweni, and for his role in the purging of senior staff members, resulting in numerous labour disputes and settlement awards against the SABC”.
Motsoeneng has already indicated that he will challenge Madonsela’s findings, which show that the public broadcaster was held hostage to his whims and desires.
That Motsoeneng has survived for so long — outliving many board members and senior executives — is perhaps the clearest indication of how the state-funded broadcaster has been hijacked and dumbed down by a few.
The Madonsela report arrives on the heels of an audit by PwC that found a dire lack of skills among senior executives at the SABC. In a bleak report released earlier this month, the auditing firm found an environment plagued by the “manipulative abuse of power”.
Furthermore, the audit found that 60% of executives and senior managers did not meet the minimum requirements for strategic thinking at an executive level.
Motsoeneng, with splendid myopia, was quoted as saying the broadcaster was doing well and had the right management team in place.
It appears that successive boards and CEOs have failed hopelessly in efforts to stop the rot in Auckland Park. Instead, they have found themselves pushed to the outside and quickly seen off by the likes of Motsoeneng.
The disdain with which the report has been met is of concern, and Tshabalala’s wholesale endorsement of Motsoeneng deserves close consideration. Why is it so important that he — who late last year imposed a 70% positive-stories quota at the broadcaster — must survive when others more skilled and deserving are shown the door?
Surely the public protector’s report must raise some discomfort in the corridors of the SABC over the fact that Motsoeneng irregularly increased the salaries of staff members at his discretion? It resulted in R29-million added to the salary bill, and this after the auditor-general placed a disclaimer of opinion on the broadcaster’s financial results last year. Then it was found that the SABC could not produce financial records for R1.5-billion spent on consultants, and that a further R1.6-billion had been spent irregularly without due tender processes.
The broadcaster’s history is littered with so many other incidences and events that it seems impossible that the government has not realised the crisis it finds itself in.
But a cynical observer might believe that it suits the government to keep the SABC in disarray.
23 February 2014: TV critic Thinus Ferreira reveals that the SABC’s Media Monitor programme has ignored the biggest media story of the week – the Public Protector’s report on Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
23 February 2014: Mondli Makhanya writes in City Press that the rot at the SABC starts at Luthuli House
25 February 2014: The Communication Workers Union (CWU) - which was started by Snuki Zikalala - supports Motsoeneng and attacks the Public Protector or, as Thinus Ferreira puts it ‘Confused trade union supports the SABC’s matricless liar, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
26 February 2014: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela reacts to the CWU attack on her by saying that she will raise the matter with parliament.
7 March 2014: the SOS Coalition holds a rally in Johannesburg to highlight the crisis at the SABC
9 March 2014: The Sunday Independentreveals that the SABC has, in a single year under Hlaudi Motsoeneng and Lulalama Mokhobo, seen its profits plummet from R329 million to R22 million – a difference of R306 million.
11 March 2014: Marian Shinn DA shadow MP for Communication reveals how the SABC refused to accept the findings of research which showed wide spread public concern about the veracity of the SABC news bulletins and the belief that these bulletins were biased towards the ANC and that ANC politicians controlled news dissemination at the SABC.
Project Kindle was commissioned by the SABC to analyse declining viewership since 2009. I am reliably informed that, because the research agency did not educate and inform research respondents "when their opinions and perceptions are wrong", it was rejected by the SABC's market intelligence department.
13 March 2014: The SABC carries a 1 minute:41 seconds news story on its channel 404 7 pm news bulletin about fringe churches attacking Public Protector for her report on Hlaudi Motsoeneng. They sought to exorcise the demons from Madonsela’s office and said that Madonsela was obsessed with vilifying him
19 March 2014: The SABC refuses to answer questions about what it is going to do to replace former CEO, Lulama Mokhobo
20 March 2014: The SABC does a somersault on a canned radio interview with Julius Malema suddenly agreeing to broadcast the interview after Malema’s complaint about about the interview being censored resulted in adverse media publicity.
Hours before the show was aired on Wednesday, SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago defended the move to can the interview - although the decision was later reversed.
“In as far as the recorded interview, we have recorded the interview and we will broadcast (it) at a later stage. It must be noted that (election-period broadcasts are) regulated and we have already given EFF more time than required.”
23 March 2014: In an interview with Charl Blignaut of City Press the dismissed Chief Financial Officer, Gugu Duda, lashed out at Hlaudi Motsoeneng: She described reporting for work at the SABC, where acting chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng “ran the show”.
She said he barged into meetings, personally dispatched news teams and hijacked wage negotiations.
Motsoeneng, she says, was wasting money on news and increases for himself and his “generals”.
Motsoeneng’s boss, former chief executive officer Lulama Mokhobo, was “a sleeping CEO” who let Motsoeneng act with impunity, even when she was made aware of his “highly irregular” increases, claims Duda.
24 March 2014: SABC chairperson Ellen Tshabalala, who is supposed to be apolitical in public, has been heard asking South Africans to vote for the ANC. Tshabalala was speaking at the handover of houses by the notorious Sbu and Shauwn Mpisane in KwaMashu north of Durban.
9 April 2014: The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) asks the Competition Commission to investigate the agreement between Multichoice and the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). ICASA said there was need to investigate a possible "restrictive horizontal practice" between the two organisations.
10 April 2014: Thinus Ferreira reveals that it is the second anniversary of former head of news, Phil Molefe, being suspended on full pay.
12 April 2014: The DA censures the SABC for banning radio advertisements as well.
City Press editorial 13/4/2014
SABC staff move away from the trough
For a long time, decision-makers at the SABC have come to regard the public broadcaster as their little fiefdom they run on behalf of Luthuli House. From the board level to senior news executives, they have, with little shame, taken orders from whoever is the master at Luthuli House.
It is a continuation of an old tradition inherited from the National Party, which exercised tight control over the public broadcaster since its inception. Despite condemnations from all corners of society, opposition parties and even negative rulings from the Broadcast Complaints Commission, nothing has deterred this agenda.
Civil society bodies even formed the Save Our SABC campaign to directly take up policy matters, with little consequence.
It seems each board that gets appointed simply picks up the baton from the old ones. We report elsewhere in this edition of ongoing efforts to suppress fair and proper coverage of opposition parties as we head to elections. But we are much heartened by senior editorial staff members, who have decided to fight back in the interest of protection of editorial independence and integrity.
The SABC editorial management team took on their bosses at an election workshop last month where they sought to take back editorial control of their newsrooms from politicians. Among other things, the resolution they adopted says they reject direct or indirect interference by any political party in editorial decisions.
It also says they will not allow commercial, political or personal Considerations to influence decisions. They commit to reflect our attitudes, opinions, values and artistic creativity, and offer a plurality of views and a variety of news and information. The staff have also commendably become whistle-blowers by exposing the rot.
17 April 2014: The SABC experiences a complete blackout on all its television channels
20 April 2014: City Press carries a damning editorial on the SABC and Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
8 May 2014: Anton Harber says the SABC is a key weapon in the ANC arsenal
25 May 2014: President Jacob Zuma announces that Faith Muthambi will replace Dina Pule as Communications Minister. He refuses to take questions.
8 June 2104: SABC bans City Press TV advertisement
8 June 2104: City Press provides a timeline of SABC censorship
13 June 2014: Hlaudi Motsoeneng is gifted a wife, a cow and a goat on a visit to Venda.
19 June 2014: Commission for Gender Equality agrees to investigate the apparent gift to Hlaudi Motsoeneng of a wife
24 June 2014: Cosatu says the SABC is not fulfilling its mandate
24 June 2014: Broadcast Minister Faith Muthambi gives the SABC board three months to find a new CEO.
“Don't be afraid of that the SABC is going to be a state propaganda. (sic) The SABC remains independent as it is but ours is to ensure it fulfil its public mandate.”
24 June 2014: SOS Coalition calls for the SABC to be “saved from its sorry state”.
25 June 2014: Editor Martin Williams reveals in the Citizen that Hlaudi Motsoeneng made no attempt to distance himself from the apparent gift of a wife.
In the Venda matter, which was first reported in The Sowetan on June 13, Motsoeneng, as a senior representative of the public broadcaster, should have immediately distanced himself from claims that he had chosen a wife from 10 women paraded for his benefit.
Instead he reportedly said in Sesotho on SABC2: “Ba mphile mofumahadi (they gave me a wife).”
1 July 2014: Thinus Ferreira, the most authoritative journalist on the television beat, reveals how the SABC marginalises Afrikaans viewers despite the fact that Afrikaans is the third most spoken language in the country after Zulu and Xhosa and is used as a lingua franca by more ethnic groups than any other. The Luthuli House selected SABC board has not included anyone representing Afrikaans viewers for years despite the fact that a significant percentage of its advertising revenue comes from Afrikaans companies.
2 July 2014: Speaking at the annual Joburg Radio Days at Wits University in Johannesburg Hlaudi Motsoeneng says journalists should be licensed and the only reason why the media expose corruption ( which the SABC religiously avoids doing) is because South Africa has a black government. He also said that in order to undo the "brainwashing" that South Africa's journalism students receive at university's journalism schools, the SABC will be starting its own school to train journalists.
2 July 2014: In response the DA Shadow Minister on Communication, Gavin Davis, says Motsoeneng has given the SABC board another reason to suspend him.
2 July 2014: In response SANEF says that Motsoeneng’s reveal ignorance. “It is unfortunate that the remarks come from a high-ranking official of the public broadcaster, one of the biggest media houses in the country. The proposal is at odds with freedom of speech which is enshrined in the Constitution.”
4 July 2014: Hlaudi Motsoeneng says the SABC is one of the best-run organisations in the country
4 July 2014: The Times, in an editorial, says Motsoeneng is “turning SA politics into a bad reality show.”
Editorial – The Times – 4/7/2014
Hlaudi is turning SA politics into a bad reality show
HLAUDI Motsoeneng has done it again, and he will continue to put his foot in his mouth as long as he presides as the head honcho of the public broadcaster.
Speaking at the annual Joburg Radio Days conference at Wits University, SABC acting chief operating officer Motsoeneng said the media should be more tightly regulated, even proposing that journalists should get licences. He apparently claimed that journalists only reported on corruption because black people govern the country.
This from a man who the public protector found had lied about his qualifications.
We fully agree with the opposition that Motsoeneng believes his duty is not to serve the public, but to protect the ruling party.
Motsoeneng forgets that governments come and go.
The National Party, and apartheid, disappeared — and so too, in time, will his ANC leaders.
Motsoeneng’s role is to objectively inform the public. We do not need a state censor deciding what news we can or cannot hear.
It is people like him who are taking this country backwards by thinking the ANC needs protection from its own citizens. The ANC is a big party — it can defend itself. It is disappointing to constantly read and hear negative things about Motsoeneng.
We hope he understands that journalists will always expose wrongdoing in society, and that politicians are accountable to the citizens.
Why should we not report about corrupt individuals?
We will only remain a vibrant democracy if there is vibrant debate based on the free flow of information, and the people are not silenced or cowed.
The SABC has a mandate to inform, educate and entertain the public. It does not exist to protect the state at all costs.
If we allow the likes of Motsoeneng to prevail, how can we claim today’s democracy is different from when the SABC was the National Party’s lapdog?
The time has come for the SABC board to review Motsoeneng’s contract.
4 July 2014: Tian Olivier, the SABC's acting CEO tells parliament that the SABC will eventually run out of money if it has to continually pay sports rights totalling R300 million to R500 million per year.
"The sports item puts us under pressure. If we have to continuously fund sport with R500 million or R300 million of our own cash year after year, eventually we will run out. It's not a difficult calculation to make,"
4 July 2014: SABC board chair Zandile Tshabalala tells MPs that there is no basis to suspend Motsoeneng and he chuckles.
7 July 2014: Justice Malala interviews Hlaudi Motsoeneng on eNCA
9 July 2014: Hlaudi Motsoeneng announced as the permanent COO of the SABC
9 July 2014: The FXI expresses concern about the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as SABC COO.
9 July 2014: SABC board chairperson Ellen Tshabala says the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as full time COO will “bring stability” to the SABC. The YouTube video clip shows that the camera operator did not use a tripod – the interview looks as though it was shot during an earthquake.
11 July 2014: Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says that Hlaudi Motsoeneng was cleared of all wrong doing before being permanently appointed as COO.
11 July 2014: Business Day reveals that as a result of the decision by the SABC board to appoint Hlaudi Motsoeneng as the full-time COO for three years without following due process and the endorsement of this decision by Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is going to investigate the matter. eNCA and ANN7 covers the story, the SABC censors it.
11 July 2014: The Presidency denies the Mail & Guardian story that Jacob Zuma played a role in the appointment in the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as COO.
11 July 2014: The Star reveals that a religious diploma which Hlaudi Motsoeneng obtained from the USA is not recognised in South Africa. The SABC which has given extensive coverage to Motsoeneng’s religious proclivities ignores the story.
12 July 2014: The Presidency issues a press statement saying Jacob Zuma played no role in the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng
13 July 2014: The Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) lodges a complaint with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) over the permanent appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as SABC chief operations officer.
13 July 2014: The Sunday Times claims in its front page lead that Communications Minister Faith Muthambi lied to the SABC board over the permanent appointment of the public broadcaster’s chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. It says Muthambi allegedly ignored the fact that no formal settlement had been reached with the previous chief operating officer (COO), Mvuzo Mbebe.
Tshabalala – who President Jacob Zuma appointed last October to head the public broadcaster’s board – claimed to have a commerce degree and a postgraduate diploma.
In her CV before the parliamentary portfolio committee on communications, which interviewed her for a board position, Tshabalala said she graduated from Unisa with a BCom and a postgraduate diploma in labour relations.
This claim was repeated in a statement by the presidency announcing her appointment.
But the university’s response to a Promotion of Access to Information Act application sent by City Press revealed she has neither of those qualifications.
Sikhumbuzo Kholwane, the former chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications and now an MEC in Mpumalanga, was in charge of the committee that interviewed Tshabalala for a board position last August.
Asked if he knew Tshabalala had lied about her qualifications, Kholwane said: “No, no, no. I didn’t know. “But when I think back, the question was raised at that time about certificates to prove her qualifications.
“As I recall, she made an indication she’d lost or misplaced the original certificates of the degrees. I recall her indicating she’d requested new certificates from the institutions and had made affidavits to this effect.”
Attempts to obtain comment from Tshabalala this week were unsuccessful.
14 July 2014: Business Day reveals that the ANC is concerned about the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng and its ramifications.
14 July 2014: Mwasa declares a dispute with the SABC over the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as permanent COO: The union’s general secretary, Tuwani Gumani, says the move was in response to the failure of the SABC to “follow established recruitment and placement procedures in the appointment of Mr Motsoeneng as the COO of the SABC”.
“It has been a case of crisis management that includes massive golden-handshakes and political back-patting. We have seen it all before but there seems to be no end to it. “However the latest instalment involving the Minister, the SABC board, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications, the Office of the Public Protector and others trumps all previous displays of ineptitude, incapacity, inefficiency, corruption and of abuse of privilege to serve,”
15 July 2014: An international media rights body, the Committee to Protect Journalists, expresses concern about Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s proposal to licence journalists.
15 July 2014: Muthambi says there are no plans to reverse Motsoeneng’s appointment
15 July 2014: The Communications Workers Union says it is shocked at the City Press revelation that the chairperson of the SABC board, Ellen Tshabalala’ falsified her CV
CWU is acutely mindful of the provision in the Broadcasting Act, No.4 of 1999 that “…members of the Board must, when viewed collectively- (a) be persons who are suited to serve on the Board by virtue of their qualifications, expertise and experience in the fields of broadcasting policy and technology,…”. However, a deliberate fabrication of a qualification is in our view a gross misrepresentation of facts by somebody who aspired to serve at a higher level and would imply she has misled parliament. If found to be true, this misrepresentation will without doubt further tarnish the image and reputation of the public broadcaster which is of late in the habit of being in the news for the wrong reasons and will worsen the existing poor public image of the SABC coming not so long after the PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ skills audit which found that 60% of SABC executives did not meet the minimum requirements for strategic thinking and leadership in their work.
16 July 2014: Thinus Ferreira reveals how the SABC’s decision to change Afrikaans programmes from SABC 2 to 3 will radically reduce the numbers of Afrikaans speaking people who can receive SABC Afrikaans broadcasts and how the SABC lied about this.
16 July 2014: Veronica van Dyk, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Communications calls on Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to explain why all Afrikaans programmes were moved to SABC3.
16 July 2014: Thinus Ferreira reproduces Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s matric certificate.
16 July 2014: Pieter Mulder of the FFP says the SABC’s approach to Afrikaans programming is illegal.
16 July 2014: Die Burger in an editorial says that there is no logic in moving the Afrikaans programmes to a channel which cannot be received by millions of Afrikaans-speaking people.
Thinus Ferreira translates the editorial and posts it on his website:
SABC forsakes its role as public broadcaster
The news that the SABC wants to move its Afrikaans television programmes and news bulletins to SABC3 from the current SABC2 channel - which far fewer people can access - creates understandable distress.
This beggars belief. It is not normally the case that an organisation that is being smothered by a tsunami of bad publicity chooses to exacerbate the problem.
In the past few days the SABC has been dealt two crushing blows.
The first was the public reaction to the permanent appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as chief operating officer (despite the damning indictment of him by the Public Protector); the second was the revelation that the chairperson of the SABC board, Ellen Tshabalala had enhanced her CV - just as Motsoeneng had done.
In itself this would have resulted in any organisation under competent management taking a decision not only to investigate those under a dark cloud of suspicion but to delay or negate any further controversial decisions.
But no, the SABC resolutely continues with its decision to move its Afrikaans television news bulletins to a channel which cannot be accessed by the majority of people in areas of South Africa where the dominant language is Afrikaans.
Who is the most detrimentally affected by this decision? Afrikaans speaking people in rural areas, coloured and white, who cannot afford to subscribe to DStv.
By taking such injudicious - or perhaps deliberately malicious - steps the SABC nullifies its duty as public broadcaster.
But more than that: the Corporation which should be creating unity, through this step, creates division. In so doing it negates its calling.
It is ironic that, in so doing, the SABC has turned its back on a potentially valuable audience and created a gap in the market which will quickly be filled by the market forces of demand and supply.
Other institutions will profit from this while the public broadcaster staggers under its growing debt.
The SABC's problems are far broader and deeper than just this poor decision. Its point of departure should be to remove Motsoeneng from his post and to thoroughly investigate Tshabalala. Only then can the question of reconstruction be considered."
17 July 2014: Chris Moerdyk says the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as COO was the logical thing for the ANC to do.
I don’t expect anything to change within the SABC in the years ahead. Yes, it might have to be continually propped up with injections of extra cash but 75% of the voting public won’t know that.
So, the only logical conclusion I can come to, given all the evidence, is that the ANC want the SABC totally under their control as a hedge against the majority if South Africans turn away from them.
17 July 2014: The DA files urgent court papers calling for the dismissal of Hlaudi Motsoeneng
17 July 2014: Lukhona Mnguni says that Pansy Tlakula and Hlaudi Motsoeneng are the same side of a bad coin.
17 July 2014: The SACP expresses reservations about the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng
18 July 2014: Tawana Kupe says that the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng is an assault on democracy which has united the nation.
20 July 2014: Jovial Ranteo, editor of the Sunday Independent, says Hlaudi Motsoeneng does not have the support of Jacob Zuma.
20 July 2014: The SABC announces a R42 million bonus for staff
20 July 2014: Mcebisi Ndletyana, head of the political economy faculty at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection, says Communications Minister Faith Muthambi would not have given Hlaudi Motsoeneng a permanent appointment without being instructed to do so by President Jacob Zuma.
Motsoeneng is superbly suited for his mandate at the public broadcaster.
He’s not been employed to improve the technical competence of the institution but to make it a mouthpiece of the ruling party.
And, he has already distinguished himself in that role.
That is why no one was in a hurry to make a permanent appointment.
The man acted in that post nearly three years. They all knew he was woefully inadequate.
But, President Jacob Zuma found Motsoeneng useful in his rivalry with Kgalema Motlanthe. This was especially so in the period leading up to the ANC’s 2012 Mangaung conference, when he needed to receive favourable coverage.
The ANC benefited from similar favours during this year’s election campaign.
So, Motsoeneng has performed superbly in his role as a party apparatchik. That’s what Muthambi based her decision on, not technical competence. That was never part of Motsoeneng’s key performance indicators.
And, what probably made her take even more of a liking to Motsoeneng was that the party still needs a mouthpiece.
Some in the party have even convinced themselves that the need is greater now than it has ever been.
The party, they argue, faces a counter-revolutionary force, led by the private media.
They need the public broadcaster to thwart the counter-revolution. Muthambi believes that Motsoeneng, based on an illustrious record, is the man to lead that offensive.
24 July 2014: Communications Minister Faith Muthambi opposes the DA’s interdict on the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
24 July 2014: The Democratic Alliance welcomes the news that the ANC is going to oppose its interdict against the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng saying it looked forward to the court case on 19 August
24 July 2014: Anton Harber, writing in Business day, says the Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s plan to licence journalists is the “antithesis of good journalism.”
27 July 2014: Rapport reveals that the aunt who raised Hlaudi Motsoeneng is living in penury.
30 July 2014: The SA Freelancers' Association (Safrea) said it would approach the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) regarding a proposal to "license" journalists. Safrea chairperson Clive Lotter said the statements made by SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng in this regard were "an assault on South African democracy"
4 August 2014: SABC loses rights to broadcast Bafana games live to new consortium Siyaya TV
6 August 2014: The Public Protector subpoenas Communications Minister Faith Muthambi who is refusing to be interviewed by her.
“Should she not come, I will proceed to the next stage which is to invoke the powers in terms of contempt of the public protector and [she] stands to get a fine of R40 000 or imprisonment or both.”
8 August 2014: The Times, in an editorial says that the refusal of Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to meet the Public Protector over the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng tests the strength of the country as a constitutional democracy.
Claims of respect for constitution about to be tested
Cabinet minister defies protector — Zuma says nothing
IT IS unprecedented and its outcome will show whether our power elite really respects the office of the public protector and the powers conferred on it by our constitution. Thuli Madonsela has, as a last resort, decided to take Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to court for refusing to meet her to discuss the minister’s decision to endorse the SABC board’s appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as the public broadcaster’s chief operations officer.
Muthambi is in contempt of Madonsela’s office by refusing to give clear answers about why she endorsed the appointment of Motsoeneng.
This legal battle will reveal whether President Jacob Zuma and his cabinet respect the constitutional powers Madonsela holds, as Zuma has repeatedly asserted, or whether he feels free to disregard them.
It is unprecedented for a cabinet minister to defy a constitutional structure — but the president has had not a word to say.
If Muthambi continues to defy the law the government will be sending out a powerful statement to the effect that the executive can flout the constitution whenever it suits it.
If the minister is confident about her decision to endorse the Motsoeneng appointment, why is she refusing to meet Madonsela? Is she following the orders of her principals?
Madonsela was clear in her report in February. She found that Motsoeneng had lied about having a matric qualification, and had abused his powers by increasing his salary three times in one year while acting COO.
She recommended that Motsoeneng’s appointment as COO not be made permanent and called for a qualified candidate to be appointed instead.
But then Muthambi asserted that Motsoeneng was the ideal man for the job.
As long as the minister refuses to share with us the lawyers’ report that, she says, clears Motsoeneng of wrongdoing, we are bound to side with Madonsela.
The minister should remember that the public has a stake in the SABC and she has no right to play factional games that suit her agenda and that of those pulling her strings.
9 August 2014: The SABC files opposing papers in the Cape High Court saying the DA’s application to have Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s permanent appointment as COO is not urgent and should be set aside
18 August 2014: Gavin Davis alleges that the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communication is not investigating allegations that SABC chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala falsified her CV
19 August 2014: The DA’s application in the Cape High Court to have Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s appointment as COO begins
20 August 2014: In response to Gavin Davis’s complaint parliament promises a response by the end of August.
21 August 2014: Business Tech publishes the SABC’s advertisement placed in the Sunday Times on 3 February 2013 which shows conclusively that “the first requirement is “A relevant degree/diploma and/or equivalent qualification”.
24 August 2014: Jovial Rantao, editor of the Sunday Independent writes that Faith Muthambi, in bringing in an independent law firm to contest the Public Protector’s report on Hlaudi Motsoeneng, contravened the Constitution – something that should not go unpunished.
26 August 2014: Gavin Davis of the DA slams Communications Minister Faith Muthambi on her evasive answers in parliament to the Hlaudi Motsoeneng question saying she was treating parliament with contempt.
29 August 2014: SABC board chairperson, Ellen Zandile Tshabalala, sends a letter to fellow board members saying they are being investigated for leaking of confidential information and non-disclosure of potential conflicts of interest.
2 September 2014: In response to a question from Gavin Davis, the DA Shadow Coomunication Minister, Faith Muthami reveals that Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s annual salary went from R334 167 in 2010 to R2.9 million in 2014 – an eightfold rise in three years. At R2.9 million, Motsoeneng is earning more than President Jacob Zuma.
5 September 2014: Gavin Davis reveals that 42 media institutions covered the story about Hlaudi Motsoeneng earning more than President Jacob Zuma but the SABC censored the story. He also reveals that Jimi Matthews acknowledged that it was an editorial decision not to cover the story
5 September 2014: Professor Anthony Butler of UCT says what is happening at the SABC is scarcely credible and likens it to a fictional “docudrama”.
8 September 2014: Changing the method of selecting the SABC board is imperative says Thato Mmereki, founder of the African Youth Secretariat.
9 September 2014: The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications resolves to expedite the inquiry into the academic record of SABC chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala
11 September 2014: President Jacob Zuma’s wives clash in the SABC studios
11 September 2014: Thinus Ferreira reveals that, more often than not, the lifts at the SABC do not work
12 September 2014: The Mail & Guardian speculates that Commmunications Minister Faith Muthambi has proved a failure and is being sidelined. (Two years later she was still there.)
13 September 2014: The Sowetan reveals that one of Jacob Zuma’s daughters is working on a soapie series to replace Generations.
19 September 2014: The SABC announces “minor changes” to its TV programming schedule – Generations, its most popular drama programme will be off air for an indeterminate period of several months. This follows the strike of the principal cast last month who were promptly fired by Mfundi Vundla and MMSV Productions with the permission of the SABC.
It follows months of unhappiness behind the scenes for the actors after the SABC’s controversial and famously matricless chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng in June 2013 promised the cast three year contracts. The actors banded together and demanded the promised contracts, better pay rates and better working conditions and were fired.
20 September 2014: Afriforum welcomes the return of the Afrikaans news bulletin to SABC2
23 September 2014: The Parliamentary Communication Portfolio Committee announces that it has postponed until 14 October a hearing into whether SABC board chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala, had lied about her qualifications. Business Day says: The SABC has been beset by personnel and management problems. Since 2007 it has had three boards, two interim boards, six CEOs, resignations by board members and has faced serious allegations of corruption.
23 September 2014: Gavin Davis, DA shadow communications minister, calls on SABC chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala, not to resign before parliament has investigated her alleged fraudulent CV claims.
25 September 2014: DA MP Gavin Davis reveals that Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, has failed to meet her own deadline for the appointment of a permanent Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the SABC.
26 September 2014: Leo Manne, the SABC's general manager for TV channels is suspended.
30 September 2014: US ambassador Patrick Gaspard, speaking at the Nieman Society AGM in Johannesburg, said South Africa had to be wary of attempts to censor the media and cited SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng's suggestion that journalists be licensed, as an example of what should be guarded against: "Governments around the world are looking to control any story they can. I was stunned that all of you weren't outside of the SABC headquarters the next morning,"
1 October 2014: Gavin Davis reveals that ‘unqualified and overpaid’ SABC chair, Ellen Tshabalala, had earned close on a million rand from the SABC in the past year - “not bad for a part-time job”, as he put it.
Former CEO Lulama Mokhobo was paid just over R8m for 11 months of service. She resigned in February 2014.
The amount included a basic salary of R5.3m and R2.2m for expenses and allowances.
Former executive Phil Molefe received a golden handshake of R4.8m, which includes a basic salary of R3.5m and R733 000 for travel and allowances.
The Democratic Alliance said it had asked Madonsela to probe whether controversial SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng played a role in purging both Mokhobo and Molefe, and whether this resulted in unnecessary financial losses for the broadcaster.
5 October 2014: City Press reveals that the SABC is set to lose more than R140 million after putting its biggest soapie, Generations, on ice for two months.
5 October 2014: The Sunday Times makes former CEO, Lulalama Mokhobo its Mampara of the Week: “When you are a millionaire mampara at Auckland Park’s Faulty Towers it’s hard to keep up with the salary increases.
Last year SABC CEO Lulama Mokhobo earned R4.69 million.
A year later this had almost doubled to a figure of R8.094 million
Except that the mamapara didn’t know that she had earned that much.
When Mokhobo resigned in February, she said she would not take a payout.
But this week all that lucre was revealed in the SABC’s annual report. And she was amazed.
“That number is wrong,” she first said
Then she called back to say: “I’ve not been paid out R8 million. I have been paid my salary.”
Salary? For what, Lulalama Mamapra, appointing Cloudy Motsoeneng?
6 October 2014: Gavin Davis, the DA’s shadow minister on communications writes to President Jacob Zuma asking why he had not responded to a memorandum from the communications portfolio committee that the SABC board chair, Ellen Tshabalala, be suspended.
6 October 2014: Thinus Ferreira reveals on his website that the second-biggest soapy, Muvhango is in turmoil because of the state broadcaster’s incompetence.
Following the destruction of Generations which saw South Africa's biggest TV show and most watched soap swept from the SABC schedule, turmoil has now engulfed the beleaguered public broadcaster's second most watched soap, Muvhango where actors are threatening to strike and walk off after not getting paid.
South Africa's second most watched soap after Generations,Muvhango which is produced by Word of Mouth Productions and which lured an average audience of 4 million viewers on weeknights on SABC2, is now in financial turmoil.
Muvhango actors are threatening to ditch the show if they're not paid this week, struggling with bounced debit orders and unable to buy food, and pay bills and pay school fees.
It's also not the first time Muvhango actors had not been paid, complaining several times in the past over issues of non-payments and late payments.
This time the production company blames the SABC which allegedly failed to pay the show, which in turn has been unable to pay the on-screen talent.
7 October 2014: Writing in The Times, Tom Eaton (“A look outside the box – the arts are best served in theatres, not in the haunted halls of the SABC”) describes the state broadcaster as “… the great sucking cesspit of despair that is the SABC”.
7 October 2014: The SABC does not know the cause of the second blackout of all television programmes which saw them all go dark for most of the weekend. The first occurred in April
14 October 2014: Email correspondence between SABC chairperson Zandile Tshabalala and the parliamentary communications portfolio committee chairperson Joyce Moloi-Moropa is published by various newspapers. The correspondence reveals that Tshabalala took the strongest exception to the committee’s decision to recommend her suspension to the National Assembly.
14 October 2014: SABC board chairperson Ellen Zandile Tshabalala arrives at parliament of the hearing on whether she lied about her education qualifications with her lawyer, Norman Arendse, who demands a postponement so that he can be briefed. The outrage across all parties is intense. The hearing is adjourned until October 23. The SABC carries the story on its main evening television news bulletins which is seen as an indication that she has lost the support of the ANC. Tshbalala says she will be liberated by the justice system.
15 October 2014: Cosatu and the SACP issue of joint statement condemning the delaying tactics by SABC board chairperson Ellen Tshabalala.
Johannesburg - SABC chairperson Ellen Tshabalala must produce proof of her qualifications or immediately step down, Cosatu and the SACP said on Wednesday.
"[She must] save our country and the SABC from this rather embarrassing and shameful spectacle," the two said in a joint statement.
"Universities have their records and it is very simple to establish facts in this regard."
The SACP and Cosatu also wishes to caution against use of legal representatives to substitute for individuals expected to appear in front of portfolio committees to basically answer questions about themselves and their conduct. We also hope that the costs of expensive lawyers will not be borne by the SABC. This a private personal matter where public resources cannot be abused.
15 October 2014: In a clear reference to SABC chairperson Ellen Tshabalala and COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng the SOS coalition issues a statement saying that parliament must not allow the SABC to be led by “liars and perjurers”.
19 October 2014: The Sunday Times carries an op-ed column by Gavin Davis of the Democratic Alliance on the ANC takeover of the SABC.
19 October 2014: City Press reveals that it takes just 48 hours to get a replacement UNISA degree certificate: but SABC chairperson Ellen Tshabala has been unable to produce her claimed UNISA degree certificate in four months.
20 October 2014: Gareth van Onselen in a Business Day article uses the SABC as a case study of how cadre deployment is destroying good governance at every level where the party has influence
22 October 2014: Communications Minister Faith Muthambi is attacked by her own party in parliament for her failure to appoint a CEO.
22 October 2014: The SABC reports an irregular expenditure of a R3.3-billion in the financial year that ended in March 2014, up from the R100-million that the public broadcaster reported in the previous financial year. The irregular expenditure of R3.3-billion is almost half of the corporation’s overall spend of R6.6-billion over the period.
22 October 2014: SABC chairperson Ellen Tshabalala approaches the Cape Hight Court for an interdict to halt the investigation in parliamentof her false CV claims.
24 October 2014: Corruption Watch says when the SABC appeared before the communications portfolio committee this week, it wasn’t just the public broadcaster’s whopping R3.3-billion in irregular expenditure, but also the reason for this financial fiasco that boggled their minds.
James Aguma, the SABC’s CFO, admitted that not all of the R3.3-billion was spent in the financial year ending in March, but that it had actually been spent over the two years prior as well. Some R1.36-billion was incurred in 2013 and a further R1-billion in 2012. These amounts were only disclosed in the last financial year.
“While MPs were outraged by the irregular expenditure,” reported the M&G Online on the matter, “the explanation from the public broadcaster left them even more baffled.”
24 October 2014: Judge Ashton Schippers rules in the Cape High Court that the SABC must institute disciplinary proceedings against its Chief Operating Officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and to suspend him pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.
The SABC board must, within 14 days, serve Motsoeneng with a notice of charges for alleged dishonesty relating to his qualifications, the abuse of power, improper conduct and his role in the alleged suspension and dismissal of senior SABC staff members.
24 October 2014: The Mail & Guardian reveals that SABC hairperson Ellen Tshabalala cannot havea degree because she failed all her UNISA modules badly.
26 October 2014: City Press columnist Mondli Makhanya says the fates of Hlaudi Motsoeneng and Ellen Tshabalala are linked by the ruling by Judge Ashton Scippers in the Cape High Court because each fraudulently misrepresented their educational qualifications.
26 October 2014: Mcebisi Ndletyana, head of the political economy faculty at Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection, says the machinations of SABC board chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala, are making a mockery of parliament.
26 October 2014: The Sunday Independent reveals that Communications Minister Faith Muthambi has appointed Jimmy Manyi as special advisor.
26 October 2014: Sunday Independent editor, Jovial Ranteo, says that with the latest chapters in the Hlaudi Motsoeneng and Ellen Tshabalala farce the SABC has descended into madness.
26 October 2014: In an editorial the Sunday Independent says that the SABC has become a “never-ending tragicomedy” that will only return to normality when Ellen Tshabalala and Hlaudi Motsoeneng are relived of their positions.
Sunday Independent 26/10/2014
The circus must end if the SABC is to fulfil its role.
South Africans were this week treated to yet another episode of the never-ending tragicomedy that is the goings on at the SABC. Both the chairperson of the board, Ellen Tshabalala, and the chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, were in court, fighting tooth and nail to hang on to their positions.
Tshabalala disdainfully rushed to court to stop the Parliamentary Communication Portfolio Committee from proceeding with the disciplinary hearing into allegations that she had lied about her qualifications.
She has claimed a degree and a postgraduate diploma from Unisa. And on Friday, the Western Cape High Court ordered that Motsoeneng be suspended from his position for dishonesty about his qualifications. This after the Public Protector found that he had lied about finishing high school. Bizarrely, Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi had stood by Motsoeneng and made his position permanent.
And President Jaco Zuma has not acted on recommendations by the portfolio committee to suspend Tshabalala.
The circus at the SABC will never end as long as its root cause remains unaddressed.
Tshabalala and Motsoeneng have become, respectively, the poster girl and boy of bad appointments. They have brought embarrassment to an institution that is the most important source of news for the vast majority of South Africans, especially those in rural areas who are a key focus for the government’s transformation policies.
Tshabalala and Motsoeneng need to go if the SABC is to fulfil its all-important informational role in our democracy.
28 October 2014: Hlaudi Motsoeneng calls a press conference to announce his appeal against a Cape High Court ruling that he be suspended. He says there are 27 reasons why he should be retained in his position
29 October 2014: Sources close to the SABC suggest that the court order against Hlaudi Motsoeneng will not be discussed at a scheduled board meeting but rather submitted to to a sub-committee which will obviate the need for minutes to be kept.
1 November 2014: Gavin Davis, shadow communication minister with the DA posts an article ‘The Zumafication of the SABC’
2 November 2014: Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande slams under-fire SABC chairwoman Zandile Tshabalala for misrepresenting her academic qualifications, saying her conduct has the potential to discredit the country’s qualifications integrity abroad.
4 November 2014: Joyce Moloi-Moropa, chairperson of the Parliamentary Communication Portfolio Committee says she is unaware of any ANC deployed cadres at the SABC.
5 November 2014: Parliament describes as a red herring the court challenge by SABC chairwoman Zandile Tshabalala, who is insisting that a planned Parliamentary inquiry into allegations that she lied about her qualifications is actually a disciplinary hearing.
5 November 2014: The Media Workers Association of South Africa (Mwasa) files court papers with the Labour Court in Johannesburg claiming the SABC's acting CEO Anton Heunis is in contempt of court. This is because of the SABC's failure to act on, and comply with the order handed down in May 2013 by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
In terms of its own policy the SABC must review the commission paid to its sales representatives every two years but it has failed to do so for more than a decade.
6 November 2014: The SOS: Support Public Coalition (SOS), Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) and the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) lodge their application to the North Gauteng High Court against the SABC, the Minister of Communications, The Hon. Faith Muthambi and, Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng, respectively. The application challenges the process followed in the appointment of three executive directors of the SABC, namely, the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), the Group Chief Operations Officer (GCOO) and the Group Chief Financial Officer (GCFO).
They are challenging the process followed in the appointment of the SABC's CEO, COO and chief financial officer (CFO).
9 November 2014: City Press alleges that Hlaudi Motsoeneng offered an SABC colleague a R2m bribe to lie about his lack of matric.
12 November 2014: The SACP welcomes the Cape High Court ruling on Ellen Tshabalala “with enthuisiasm”.
13 November 2014: Communications MinisterFaith Muthambi declines to comment on Ellen Tshabalala’s failed court bid saying she has not been briefed.
13 November 2014: Only the SABC of the three major TV news channels fails to carry live coverage of the the Nkandla debate in parliament.
16 November 2014: City Press reveals that Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been appointed as the SABC’s acting group CEO because the incumbent, Anton Heunis, is ill.
16 November 2014: The Sunday Sun claims that SABC chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala is having an affair with Jacob Zuma
21 November 2014: Carol Paton reveals in Business Day that President Jacob Zuma “… personally added Ellen Tshabalala to the ANC communications committee’s list of candidates for the board, which was submitted to the ANC caucus in Parliament.”
21 November 2014: The Parliamentary Communications Portfolio Committee sends a new memorandum to the Speaker of the National Assembly calling for the immediate suspension of Ellen Tshabalala as SABC Chairperson.
22 November 2014: Beeld provides visual documentary proof that SABC chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala, has not passed her UNISA exams as claimed.
23 November 2014: The SABC confirms reports that its group head of technology Sipho Masinga has been suspended, but declined to detail the reasons behind this. This came after City Press reported that Masinga was suspended allegedly following a report he wrote in which he blamed outdated and broken infrastructure for interruptions to the national broadcaster's service.
26 November 2014: SABC board chairwoman Ellen Tshabalala extends chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s power to act as chief executive officer of the public broadcaster until the end of December.
27 November 2014: The SABC announces that Jimi Matthews who has been acting in the position of group executive: news and current affairs and will now get the position permanently.
30 November 2014: Hlaudi Motsoeneng writes to the Democratic Alliance and accuses it of publishing illegally obtained information from internal documents which are not meant for public consumption. Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis responds by calling on SABC whistleblowers to leak still more informtion
3 December 2014: University of South Africa executive director for legal services Jan van Wyk tells Parliament’s communications portfolio committee inquiry into whether or not SABC chair Ellen Tshabalala lied about her academic qualifications on her CV that she failed so badly – 13 % for Human Resources – that she was not allowed to re-write the subject
3 December 2014: The Democratic Alliance publishes a timeline of the Ellen Tshabalala saga
3 December 2014: The SOS coalition welcomes the findings against Ellen Tshabalala
3 December 2014: SABC board chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala, claims through her lawyer that the UNISA records have been doctored to remove her name from the list of graduates.
4 December 2014: The Democratic Alliance lays a charge of perjury against Ellen Tshabalala
5 December 2014: SABC chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala calls a news conference and tells reporters that she won’t step down. She says that Unisa’s computer system is at fault and that her results have been manipulated.
The Democratic Alliance then accuses her of trying to avoid suspension and says it is “problematic” that the only person who can legally suspend her, President Jacob Zuma is known to have a close personal relationship with her. In his media statement, Democratic Alliance shadow minister of commuinicatio, Gavin Davis, said: “It is a weakness in our law that only the President can suspend an SABC Board Member. This is particularly problematic if these two individuals are known to have a close relationship.”
Unisa then issues a statement saying that its record were reliable and accurate and that its conduct in relation to Ellen Tshabalala had been both ethical and legal.
7 December 2014: City Press reveals that Communications Minister Faith Muthambi unilaterally amended the articles of association of the SABC to ensure board members were not consulted in connection with the recent high-profile appointments.
The SABC announced the appointments of Jimi Mathews as group executive of news, Bessie Tugwana as head of sport, Sully Motsweni as group executive of stakeholder relations and provinces, Nothando Maseko as head of television news and Sebolelo Ditlhakanyane as head of radio news.
Muthambi’s office refused to say why she had instituted the changes and if there were going to be any more changes. It referred all questions to the SABC.
SABC board sources suspect that Muthambi only made the amendments after the executive board members led by Hlaudi Motsoeneng had decided on the appointments without consulting nonexecutive board members.
7 December 2014: City Press reveals that the SABC has again centralised and tightened its control of political coverage, instructing that no radio stations should speak to any political party without consulting their political editor.
On November 19, the general manager of radio, Leuba Ramakgolo, sent an email to SABC staff members informing them that permission was necessary before bringing any political guests on to news platforms.
“Stations must ensure they discuss the topics of a political nature and the angles they intend following in tackling those topics with Mr Simon Tebele, the political editor, before they finalise their preparations. Stations must not engage politicians before agreeing with Mr Tebele,” reads the email.
Tebele is the newly appointed political editor who was selected after a two-year stint in special projects at the SABC.
7 December 2014: City Press reveals that, at a meeting of the ANC’s National Executice Committee, a decision was taken that SABC chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala, be asked to steop down.
9 December 2014: Natasha Michael, the DA Shadow Minister Public Enterprises calls for Ellen Tshabalala to be removed from the Transnet board.
9 December 2014: Social media users use Twitter to call on SABC chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala to produce her graduation photos.
11 December 2014: Fin 24 reveals that Ellen Tshabalala has been left off the Transnet board
14 December 2014: Sunday Times columnist, Redi Tlabi, suggests that if Ellen Tshabalala cannot produce the degree certificates which she claims were stolen, then the indications are that she is mentally ill.
15 December 2014: Presidential spokesman, Mac Maharaj confirms that President Jacob Zuma has received a request from parliament to suspend Ellen Tshabalala and is considering the request.
17 December 2014: Embattled SABC chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala, resigns.
SOS Coalition statement on the resignationof Ellen Tshabalala
Liars Never Prosper
17 December 2014
The SOS Coalition welcomes the resignation of Ellen Tshabalala from the SABC Board.
Tshabalala was, on 3 December 2014, found guilty by Parliament of wilfully or negligently and under oath misrepresenting her qualifications to Parliament as well as perjuring herself under oath.
Pleased as we are to see her exit from our public broadcaster, we are, nevertheless, dismayed and saddened that she chose to drag this matter for as long as she did, bringing an SABC Board that has for years been mired in controversy and scandal into further disrepute. Indeed, she continues to claim, and without evidence, that she holds these qualifications and that it is UNISA’s integrity and not hers that is so severely compromised.
What Tshabalala teaches us is that liars and perjurers will never proposer.
She reminds us that Parliament must exercise greater care and scrutiny in ensuring that only the best candidates of the utmost integrity are allowed to lead our public institutions. She further shows us that by taking ownership of our SABC and remaining committed to visionary and accountable public broadcasting in South Africa, the people of this country can begin turning this ship around, however long it might take.
Tshabalala’s resignation is not the end of the road for this matter. Indeed, several things remain outstanding in realising the accountable SABC we deserve.
Having been found guilty of misconduct, we call on the Portfolio Committee on Communications to require Tshabalala to pay back all sitting fees that were accrued in her role as SABC chairperson.
We further call on the President of the Republic of South Africa to direct the National Prosecutions Authority to initiate a criminal investigation into her contravention of the Justices of the Peace and Commissioners of Oaths Act.
A clear example must be made of Tshabalala that liars will never prosper in the SABC or any other public institution, because the people of South Africa deserve an SABC that works.
The SOS Coalition represents a broad spectrum of civil society stakeholders committed to the broadcasting of quality, diverse, citizen-orientated publicinterest programming aligned to the goals of the South African 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:
Sekoetlane Jacob Phamodi
Coordinator: SOS Coalition
076 084 8077
17 December 2014: Political parties welcome the resignation of Ellen Tshabalala
17 December 2014: Michael Schmidt of the Professional Journalists Association of SA expresses his anger at the praise of Ellen Tshabalala by the Presidency:
On 17 Dec 2014, at 6:12 PM, Michael Schmidt <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Personally, I'm outraged that Mac Maharaj went on radio thanking Tshabalala for her service and wishing her well in future! By not taking a hard line - he really *should* have said "we won't tolerate this sort of lying and fraudulent behaviour by public servants of any rank and will now be filing fraud charges against Tshabalala for lying to our democratic Parliament, and for the recovery to the benefit of the fiscus of the executive salary that she gained by her illicit behavour" - the Zuma presidency continues to, in effect, endorse and encourage such behaviour at all levels of their administration. And you can quote me on that!
Professional Journalists' Association of South Africa
A member of the Alliance of Language & Media Practitioners (LAMP): www.lamp.wozaonline.co.za/
Street: Ground Floor, 1 Richmond Forum, Cedar Street, Richmond, Johannesburg Post: PO Box 2544 Houghton, South Africa, 2041 Tel: +27(0)11-482-4990/1/2/3 Fax: +27(0)11-482-8216 Mobile: +27(0)82-334-6665 Twitter: @ProJourn Skype: chernoznamentsi Web: http://projourn.yolasite.com
17 December 2014: Media Monitoring Africa welcomes Ellen Tshabalala’s resignation but calls on parliament to more rigorously monitor the qualifications of future applicants for opositions at the SABC
17 December 2014: Ellen Tshabalala vows to fight on but offers not a word of apology, saying only that family pressure caused her to resign. "I resigned on the 11th (of December) ... the reason being pressure from my family. I hope I will be given my peace going forward," Ms Tshabalala said on Wednesday. She did not respond to further questions.
18 December 2014: Judge Ashton Schippers reserves judgement in the Cape High Court in the legal battle over the appointment of SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
The matter could soon go to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) - and the DA has made a bid for him to be suspended pending the outcome.
In October, Schippers ordered that the public broadcaster commence disciplinary proceedings against Motsoeneng.
He was to be suspended with full pay, pending the finalisation of the proceedings.
But Motsoeneng filed for leave to appeal just a couple of days after the judgment was delivered.
This suspended the effect of the order, pending the outcome of the appeal process, said his attorney Zola Majavu, meaning Motsoeneng had been carrying out his duties as usual.
Judge Schippers heard arguments today in a bid for leave to appeal by Motsoeneng, the SABC, Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi and Public Protector Thuli Mandonsela.
19 December 2014: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela finds that the SABC has violated the copyright of a song writer Tloledi Makudubela. In 2006 she had submitted a music video of her album Goboima Lefaaseng to Auckland Park.
The SABC refused to play her title track, despite her protests.
But later, to Makudubela’s surprise, the SABC played a remixed version of her video on one of its channels.
In her findings Madonsela said: “The SABC had no right to change the complainant’s sound as that violated her copyright to her music. By failing to consult with the complainant before making substantial changes to her music video, the SABC can be said to have technically violated the complainant’s right in terms of the Copyright Act.
“The conduct of the SABC constituted maladministration.”
Madonsela ordered that the SABC CEO apologise in writing to Makudubela, and the board adopt policies that would guide its interaction with artists and prevent the exploitation of their intellectual property.
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said: “Our legal team has to look at the report. Once that is done we will be able to comment.”
Times Live 19/12/2014
21 December 2014: The Sunday Times makes Ellen Tshabalala its Mampara of the week and reveals that a decision was taken at the highest levsls of the ANC to remove Ellen Tshabalala from office because she had become an embarrassment to the party. The article was headlined: ANC top brass ‘pushed Zuma to ditch Ellen’
THE ANC’s hand in the resignation of Ellen Tshabalala from the SABC is shown in minutes of a meeting of the party’s top decision-making body.
The ANC national executive committee last month resolved that Tshabalala should leave to save the image of the public broadcaster.
The decision was taken after a long debate in which committee members expressed concern about the way state-owned enterprises such as the SABC and Eskom were being run.
The committee’s decision strengthened the hand of ANC MPs in the communications portfolio committee who were to meet a few days later to consider a complaint about Tshabalala having lied about her qualifications.
It also meant that once the committee had decided to have Tshabalala suspended, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete — the ANC’s national chairwoman — could write to President Jacob Zuma asking that Tshabalala be suspended, knowing that she had the backing of her party.
Zuma reacted to Mbete’s letter by announcing last week that he was considering the request. Presidential sources say the president was due to suspend Tshabalala this past Friday, but that she avoided that by resigning days earlier. UNREPENTANT: Ellen Tshabalala denies allegations
Despite all indications pointing to the ANC’s involvement in her decision, Tshabalala continued to deny it this week, saying that she had only walked away because the “negative publicity” had affected her family.
21 December 2014: City Press devotes an entire page to an article on the SABC in what it calls the soap opera of the year.
21 December 2014: Gavin Davis, Democratic Alliance shadow MP for communication says that Ellen Tshabalala must pay her own R1 million legal fee.
23 December 2014: According to Sunday World, former SABC board chairperson, Ellen Tshabalala, is hoping to claim more than R1 million in legal fees – which she says she incurred in her recent court appeals – from the Corporation.
"I resigned because the media wanted me to. I did not want to resign. Worse is that these obsessive calls and attacks were made by my fellow black journalists attacking one of their own. They were following Indian and white people's agenda."
24 December 2014: According to The Times, minutes of the the ANC’s National Executive Committee meeting in November reveal that a decision was taken that Ellen Tshabalala should leave the SABC in order to save the image of the Corporation
28 December 2014: City Press reveals that the SABC has banned the use of the footage of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs chanting “Pay back the money” at President Jacob Zuma during a tumultuous question-and-answer session in Parliament in August.
Senior SABC journalists have told City Press that they have been barred from using the visuals when they write stories about the EFF for TV news.