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Last board member jumps from scandal-hit South African broadcaster
December 19, 2016 / 12:46 PM / a year ago

Last board member jumps from scandal-hit South African broadcaster

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 19 (Reuters) - The last board member at South Africa’s state broadcaster, the SABC, has quit after a parliamentary investigation into the board’s failure to look into allegations of misspending and censorship, the presidency said on Monday.

Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe, who was subjected to stiff questioning by a cross-party panel of MPs last week, had been the sole board member following the resignation of his colleagues this year in the wake of a string of scandals.

The SABC is the primary news source for South Africa’s 54 million people but has been mired in controversy throughout most of President Jacob Zuma’s seven years in office.

At the parliamentary inquiry, journalists spoke of an unofficial SABC focus on “sunshine news” that included a ban on airing footage of the violent protests that still rock poor black townships two decades after the end of apartheid.

A court ruled this month that former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who introduced the ban on airing violent protest footage, should not hold any position at the SABC and barred him from entering the premises.

The court ruling was one of the latest examples of an ally of Zuma being called to account for allegations of mismanagement of South African public bodies.

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi denied last week that she had tried to get the SABC to suppress news of protests and discontent, when she testified to the investigation.

The parliamentary inquiry into the SABC is due to deliver its findings at the end of February. (Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Ed Cropley)

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