Despite pressure from the ruling ANC party, South African President Kgalema Motlanthe last week showed his mettle by refusing to sign the controversial SABC Bill on the grounds that it was unconstitutional. The Bill would have given parliament the power to fire SABC board members at will.
On 13 February the parliamentary portfolio committee announced that it had amended the bill. Meanwhile, the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) is lobbying for more amendments and to remove all government interference in the SABC.
The FXI has sent a letter of demand to Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, SABC Board chairwoman Khanyi Mkonza and acting group CE Gab Mampone asking the SABC to amend its articles of association. The articles were last amended in 2006 and, according to the FXI, conflict with provisions of the Broadcasting Act and Section 16 of the Constitution. (Source: Business Day)