Marian Shinn, Shadow Minister of Communications, has called on the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to reverse the appointment of a man charged with defrauding to the tune of R6 million (US$690,000).
Rubben Mohlaloga was recently appointed at ICASA but Democratic Alliance (DA) policitian Shinn has requested Communications Minister Dina Pule should “take whatever legal steps necessary” to withdraw his appointment.
Mohlaloga was arrested in October charged with defrauding the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) and released on bail. He is due to start work as an ICASA councillor in January with two others chosen by Pule from a shortlist of five. The appointments were approved by the National Assembly in November.
On the DA’s website, Shinn said Mohlaloga “should not be considered for a position of responsibility in a Chapter Nine entity until he has been cleared of wrongdoing.”
A Chapter Nine entity is described by the South African Government Informationwebsite as a state institution supporting constitutional democracy.
Shinn added: “ICASA councillors, because of the value placed on their independence and integrity, must be above reproach and it is untenable that a candidate councillor who has not yet taken up tenure should start his highly paid career with a criminal charge hanging over his head.”
At the time of Mohlaloga’s interview with the Portfolio Committee on Communications in September, he had not been charged with any crimes thus there was no criminal record or conflict of interest that would serve to nullify his appointment.
The DA stated their opposition to Mohlaloga’s inclusion into the shortlist for the ICASA positions.
“We felt he was inadequately qualified for the position and had not proved himself capable in his current post of Chief Director of e-Content Policy Development at the Department of Communications, where one of his responsibilities was the development of the set-top-box manufacturing support strategy,” explains Shinn.