Rubben Mohlaloga. File photo: Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency/ANA.

JOHANNESBURG - Parliament's communications committee on Friday said it noted the sentencing of Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) board chairman Rubben Mohlaloga to 20 years in prison for defrauding the Land Bank back in 2012.

Committee chairwoman Hlengiwe Mkhize said a meeting with Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams is scheduled to take place in the next two weeks.

“The Icasa Act of 2014 is clear on what constitute disqualification to persons serving on the Icasa Council. Accordingly, the committee will play its oversight role on Icasa in line with the legislation in order to restore stability and ethical leadership at the entity. The committee will in the next two weeks meet with the Minister of Communications,Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, to be updated on the state of the department and its entities, including Icasa," Mkhize said in a statement.

Mohlaloga was on Thursday, sentenced to 20 years in jail by the commercial crimes court in Pretoria for defrauding the Land Bank of R6 million in a case dating back to 2012. 

Business Day reported that his lawyers successfully applied for leave to appeal the sentence in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria.  

Mohlaloga, who was then an ANC legislator and chairperson of parliament's portfolio committee on agriculture, was found guilty of  conspiring with then Land Bank CEO Philemon Radichaba Mohlahlane and Dinga Rammy Nkhwashu of law firm Masepula Dinga Attorneys to transfer R6 million into the law firm's trust account from the bank in 2008.  

Mohlahlane was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in the scam, while Nkhwashu received a 24-year sentence. His law firm was ordered to pay a fine of R50,000.

Both Mohlahlane and Nkhwashu were also granted leave to appeal their sentences and released on bail. All were arrested by elite police department the Hawks’ serious corruption crime unit in October 2012 after a case was opened in Pretoria. 

African News Agency (ANA)