Remove Icasa chair – Mbete

Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete PICTURE: ANN7.

FOLLOWING criticism over Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (Icasa) silence regarding digital TV supplier MultiChoice’s decision to terminate its contract with news station ANN7, National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete has asked a Parliamentary oversight committee to begin proceedings to remove the chairperson of Icasa from office.

In an announcement yesterday, Mbete said she had informed the communications portfolio committee that, according to information from Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Icasa chairperson Manyaba Rubben Mohlaloga was convicted of fraud and money laundering last month. According to the Icasa Act, Mbete said a person who has been convicted of fraud may not be appointed as a councillor of Icasa.

Meanwhile, the DA has welcomed the decision by the public service commission to launch an investigation into a possible abuse of office by Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi. DA MP Desiree van der Walt said the party wrote to the PSC earlier this month to ask for an investigation to test allegations that Muthambi had expanded her private office to a total of 40.

Family and friends are among those alleged to be on the payroll. “For far too long, Minister Muthambi has ‘got away with murder’ in her brazen attempt to turn the ministry into an employment agency for the politically connected few.

Money that could have been better spent creating a more accessible public service was diverted to hire excess food, aides, drivers and administration assistants,” Van der Walt said She said Muthambi’s behaviour was enabled by an “ineffectual leader of government business, Cyril Ramaphosa, who has turned a blind eye while the rot festered”. The DA looked forward to a timely conclusion of this investigation and appropriate sanction, Van der Walt said.