End of the Road for Tshabalala’s Deception
On 3rd December, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Commuications conducted an formal inquiry into allegations that SABC Board Chairperson, Ellen Zandile Tshabalala, had willfully or negligently and under oath misrepresented her qualifications to Parliament – which conduct constitutes a serious offence.
After five months of:
- • her failure to use the multiple opportunities she was given to present her qualifications;
- • her obdurate refusal to appear before the committee and make things right; and
- • the lengths at which she went to stall the inquiry,
the Committee has found her guilty of misrepresenting herself before Parliament as well as of perjuring herself on the matter of her phantom qualifications.
SOS heartily welcomes this outcome although it came at great cost to the reputation and integrity of Parliament, the SABC and, most importantly, the people of South Africa. Further we are deeply disappointed by and take no satisfaction in Tshabalala dragging this process to the extent where she has been so publicly humiliated in this regard. Most especially after our repeated calls for her to do the honourable thing and resign.
Having found her guilty of misconduct, we call on the Portfolio Committee on Communications to require her 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.
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 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
076 084 8077