SABC board candidate grilled over Gupta-owned company

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File: The SABC has denied that there was any ulterior motive to canning the Sunday morning show, The Editors.

CAPE TOWN - Former Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) councillor Nomvuyiso Batyi categorically denied to MPs she was offered the post of chairwoman of the regulatory body in exchange for giving a Gupta-owned company a free-to-air TV licence.

Batyi was being interviewed as a candidate for the board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) by Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications when an MP put it to her that she was corrupt.

“I am not corrupt, I will never be corrupt. I hold myself highly,” she responded.

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She explained that she had received a letter from then Communications Minister Faith Muthambi’s office offering her the position of chairwoman, but insisted there were no conditions attached.

“When i received the letter…it was December [2015] and at that point I didn’t know who was bidding for Icasa licence,” Batyi said.

She denied threatening the minister, saying she had sought to take legal action over the offer of chairwoman never materialising.

However, she had to abandon her court bid because she could not afford the legal fees which was quoted at R250,000.

Last year, the Sunday Times reported that Batyi refused to licence the Gupta-owned Infinity Media Network, which jeopardised her career advancement.