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To: President Jacob Zuma

Probe the SABC now! Hon Pres Zuma sign the SIU proclamation

Honourable President Zuma, we call on you as a matter of urgency to sign the proclamation allowing the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to probe the SABC.* This probe must begin immediately before the new permanent board is put in place.

Why is this important?

The proclamation, which has been ready since May, will enable the interim board to begin to unpack the extent of fraud, irregularities, and wasteful, fruitless expenditure at the SABC. The SIU investigation is a critical component in the process of restoring the SABC, holding wrongdoers accountable and recovering monies due to the public broadcaster.

According to the ad hoc committee report [1] on the inquiry of the SABC released in February this year, the SABC has deviated from its mandate as the public broadcaster. During his tenure as the SABC’s GCOO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng flouted several governance rules, codes and laws, including judgments from the courts and ICASA. Hlaudi’s mismanagement and abuse of power has resulted in a public broadcaster that is financially unsustainable and has compromised the editorial integrity of the SABC. Furthermore, in 2013 the SABC and MultiChoice signed a R533m contract to give the pay-TV company the right to air two of the public broadcaster’s channels. In December 2016, it was revealed that, after the deal was contract in 2014, the SABC’s Hlaudi Motsoeneng scored an alleged R33m bonus, R11.4m of which he has already been paid [2].

As it stands, the interim board only has two months left before the end of its tenure, and this SIU investigation is central to the work that it has been commissioned to do. It is unacceptable that at this stage in the process, the President still hasn’t signed the proclamation.

The need for a reliable and accurate public broadcaster cannot be overstated in a country like South Africa, where a substantial number of people receive their information primarily through the broadcast media. This means that broadcast news may be the only media which is accessible for the majority of South Africans. A dysfunctional SABC, therefore, prevents us from truly protecting and enhancing the fundamental rights of all citizens to freedom of information.

[2] SABC, Multichoice deal must be probed - leaked Parliamentary inquiry document, Thulani Gqirana for News24. 18 January 2017.


2017-09-19 12:48:24 +0200

Petition is successful with 880 signatures

2017-07-18 20:02:13 +0200

500 signatures reached

2017-07-18 10:51:32 +0200

100 signatures reached

2017-07-18 10:26:29 +0200

50 signatures reached

2017-07-18 10:03:41 +0200

25 signatures reached

2017-07-18 09:50:13 +0200

10 signatures reached