Politics / 1 March 2019, 08:05am / MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA
Cape Town - Parliamentarians are making fresh calls for the removal of convicted chairperson of the Independent Authority of South Africa (Icasa) Rubben Mohlaloga from the board.
On Thursday, MPs from across the political spectrum called for the drafting of a resolution that would recommend to the National Assembly that Mohlaloga be booted out.
They said the conviction of Mohlaloga was enough grounds for his removal as an Icasa councillor. The matter was brought up by the DA’s Phumzile van Damme at the meeting of the communications portfolio committee following last week’s decision to consider it this week.
Van Damme said the committee had previously decided to draft a resolution that Mohlaloga no longer qualified to be a member of the board.
“Can we finalise it for the National Assembly? The matter has (been) delayed for too long and we focused on other issues,” she said.
“If we can agree on the wording of the resolution now, and finish up and put it to the National Assembly,” Van Damme said.
Committee chairperson Hlengiwe Mkhize confirmed that the committee was unambiguous in wanting to ensure the resolution was developed and implemented as soon as possible.
“The secretariat has to engage the legal services section of Parliament so as to ensure we don’t delay further,” Mkhize said.
ANC’s Mziwamadoda Kalako said as the secretariat was to develop the resolution, the committee has taken a clear decision that Mohlaloga should be removed.
“They must develop it for submission to the presiding officers to avoid it coming back and delays. We were clear that the chairperson must be removed so that the processes of Icasa must not continue having a threat of being challenged,” Kalako said.
Committee secretary Thembinkosi Ngoma recalled that a decision was previously taken on his removal only to be returned by the presiding officers to request a decision be made on his suspension. Ngoma said after Mohlaloga’s conviction, consultation was undertaken with the legal services, which was now ascertaining what the Icasa chairperson was appealing.
“We should have feedback very soon,” he said.
But, the EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said all they wanted was the removal of Mohlaloga.
“We want a resolution that says he is removed We don’t want consultation with his lawyers. Whether he is appealing or not, it matters not to us,” Ndlozi said.
“We want a draft resolution which says he is no longer the Icasa chairperson,” he said, adding parliamentary process to remove Mohlaloga should kick in.
He insisted that when the court took a decision, parliamentarians did not care whether there was an appeal or not. “The institution of Icasa can’t be held at ransom like that. Can you give us a resolution or we must decide it ourselves or take a decision that it is the first item on Tuesday before the (SABC) interviews,” Ndlozi said.
Van Damme said Mohlaloga was found guilty a long time ago, and that he was appealing the sentence not the conviction. “In terms of Icasa Act conviction means you are disqualified. It is sufficient. Please draft the resolution,” she said.