Icasa chairperson Rubben Mohlaloga Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Independent Communications Authority of South Africa chairperson Rubben Mohlaloga refused to comment on Tuesday after Parliament demanded his immediate removal from the telecoms regulator.

This was after the portfolio committee on communications took a decision that Mohlaloga must not stay on as chairperson of Icasa following a court judgment that found him guilty of fraud.

Mohlaloga was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment.

The case relates to the defrauding of the Land Bank a few years ago when one of his co-accused was former Land Bank chief executive Phil Mohlahlane, who received a lesser sentence.

Mohlaloga said on Tuesday “the matter was handled by my lawyers.” He did not elaborate.

Mohlaloga was a member of the communications committee a few years ago before he went on to join Icasa as a councillor and later became its chairperson.

The committee said Mohlaloga’s removal was in line with the Icasa Act.

Committee chairperson ­Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize said the Icasa chairperson needed to go now.

“Having deliberated on the issue of the chairperson of Icasa, the committee has once more emphasised that he should be removed as a chairperson and also removed as council member of Icasa, as it is in the Act of Icasa that a person who is found guilty cannot hold the position of councillor,” said Mkhize.

She said the committee took this decision earlier but allowed him to stay pending his representations to the committee.

In the representations Mohlaloga said he was going to appeal the conviction.

But MPs said Mohlaloga had to go as the Icasa Act did not allow a convicted person to serve on the council.

The case had been dragging on for almost 10 years in the Special Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria, where Mohlaloga, Mohlahlane and another accused faced fraud charges.

However, last year they were convicted and sentenced to various jail terms.

The former ANC MP would now wait for the appeal of his conviction.

During the judgment it was found that the three men defrauded the Land Bank of R6million.

However, Mohlaloga on Tuesday did not indicate whether he would challenge the decision of the committee to remove him, or would immediately step down in compliance.

Icasa reports to the committee and other public entities in the communications sector, including the SABC.

Political Bureau