DA wants Speaker to discipline Ndabeni-Abrahams over Icasa
Cape Town - Parliament should take disciplinary steps against Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams for defying the National Assembly by not appointing the full list of nominees for the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) council, the Democratic Alliance said on Monday.
Ndabeni-Abrahams on Friday gazetted the appointment of five Icasa councillors but excluded the sixth, Kgosi Matthews, on the list of people recommended by Parliament's portfolio committee on communications.
Matthews has several years of experience in the postal sector and the minister's decision not to appoint him has reportedly also raised eyebrows within the ruling party.
DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone said the minister's stance marked her "latest decision to ignore Parliament" as she had been instructed to appoint six councillors.
"While this may seem a minor infraction, it is not. It is now the second time the minister has decided to override the power of the National Assembly regarding appointments to the Icasa council."
Mazzone was referring to a stand-off last month when the minister wrote to Speaker Thandi Modise to signal her reluctance to appoint all six nominees for the Icasa council put forward by the committee.
"By doing so, she not only violated the Icasa Act, but the constitutional principle of the separation of powers."
The committee stood its ground and refused to alter the nominations or the recommended skill set for appointments.
"That the minister has now only appointed five, and not the six as per the decision of the National Assembly, is a brazen middle finger at Parliament and must be dealt with harshly," Mazzone said.
"Ndabeni-Abrahams has not only violated the principles of the Constitution, the Icasa Act but also two additional laws governing the conduct of ministers – the Executive Members’ Ethics Code and the Powers and Privileges Act."
African News Agency/ANA