A member of the Robben Island Museum (RIM) board resigned from his position citing outside interference in the board’s affairs. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency
Cape Town - A member of the Robben Island Museum (RIM) board resigned from his position on the eve of a meeting with Sports, Art and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Thursday, citing outside interference in the board’s affairs, to the extent where the board’s chairperson was barred from membership of any of the council sub-committees and ad hoc committees.

The resignation from the board of Dr Gregory Houston, a chief research specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council, came on the same day the the Ex-Political Prisoners Association (Eppa) asked Mthethwa to disband the board for failing to implement the findings of a report that implicated some members in corruption.

In his letter, Houston said: “Certain recent developments have made it difficult for me to continue. The most important of these are a decision taken at the special board meeting, held at the SC Hotel boardroom, in Cape Town, on August 21, 2019, in which the chairperson of the board was barred from membership of any of the board sub-committees and ad hoc committees. I objected to this decision on the grounds that it would deny the sub-committees and ad hoc committees any expertise that the chairperson possesses.”

The 1pm meeting between the minister and the board at his offices in Parliament was closed to journalists. However, sources said that among the topics that were discussed were Houston’s resignation and a number of accusations against RIM’s chief executive and members of the board mentioned in the report into the organisation, that remains under embargo.

Eppa secretary general Mpho Masemola said: “The Eppa has been advising the minister about this dysfunctional board led by the chief executive. We asked him where in the world a board was chaired by the chief executive, to the exclusion of the board chairperson.”

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