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THE DA is putting pressure on Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies to decide on the fate of National Consumer Commissioner Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi after a protracted legal battle over the extension of her contract, set to expire next month.
DA spokesman on trade and industry Wilmot James called on the minister yesterday to take a stance on Mohlala-Mulaudzi’s contract, which expires on September 3.
Davies is yet to announce whether her contract will be extended or not after the Labour Court ruled he was within his rights to do so. Mohlala-Mulaudzi initially lodged a case with the Labour Court against the minister in May, when she argued against notification from Davies that her contract would not be extended. She has since lost two further appeals in the Labour Court, which ruled that the minister was not bound to extend her term of employment.
Trade and industry spokesman Sidwell Medupe said Davies had written Mohlala-Mulaudzi a letter last week which included issues related to her contract. Medupe – who could not reveal the contents of the letter – said Mohlala-Mulaudzi had replied to the letter on Wednesday, but the minister had not yet responded.
James said Medupe’s inability to divulge the contents of the minister’s letter to Mohlala-Mulaudzi had “only served to further muddy the waters”.
“The ongoing disputes between the commissioner and the Department of Trade and Industry are undermining the effectiveness of the National Consumer Commission which is already struggling under the weight of a drastically inadequate budget allocation of R50 million,” said James.
“Ultimately, the court determined that her fixed-term contract expires on September 3 and that it is up to the minister to decide whether or not to renew it. Unfortunately, the minister has failed to step up to the plate,” he added.
Medupe said yesterday Mohlala-Mulaudzi would appear before Parliament today, alongside the department’s director-general, when MPs were expected to enquire on the status of the possible contract extension.
Mohlala-Mulaudzi could not be reached for comment yesterday after initially asking to be called back later.
James said his party would be writing to Davies “calling for decisive action”.
“It is time for the minister to show decisive leadership to get the commission back on track by resolving the disputes around its top job,” said James.