Embattled South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board chairperson Mbulaheni Maguvhe has arrived in parliament ahead of his expected testimony before a parliamentary inquiry into his fitness to hold office.
MPs had to implore National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete to give instructions that a summons be served on Maguvhe, who last week led a walkout of SABC executives from the inquiry.
Maguvhe, the last remaining board member, remained defiant after he lost a high court bid trying to stop the inquiry, insisting he would not testify in the inquiry. He even told MPs he would launch an appeal of this ruling. He cited being treated unfairly, something rejected by MPs across the political divide sitting on the ad hoc committee conducting the inquiry.
As far as the committee was concerned, there was no court order stopping them from continuing. They insisted the situation at the broadcaster was dire, and they needed to step in and correct this.
Maguvhe’s appearance follows almost five days of harrowing accounts from journalists, former executives and former board members of how good governance practices were almost non-existent at the broadcaster.
A common thread in the testimony was the power SABC executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng wielded at the broadcaster, including what journalists called his “reign of terror” over the newsroom and his continued attempts to slant and censor the news.