Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Nominations: shortlist

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Communications

20 February 2004
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Meeting report

COMMUNICATIONS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
20 February 2004
INDEPENDENT COMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY OF SOUTH AFRICA (ICASA) NOMINATIONS: SHORTLIST

Chairperson

: Mr M Lekgoro (ANC)

Documents handed out

ICASA Nominations 2004
Letter from Chairperson of the SABC Board

SUMMARY
In response to a call to the public to provide nominations for persons to fill the three vacancies arising in the ICASA Council, the Committee had received 39 nominations. The Committee shortlisted the nominations to ten nominees:
Adv C Mahlati, Dr T Cohen, Mr A Nkomo, Adv Z Masiza, Mr P Mashile, Adv F Kathree-Setiloane, Mr G Petrick and Mr K Herold, Adv V van Zyl, and Mr G Parr.

The interviews of the shortlisted nominees will take place on the 24 February 2004 and the Committee will make its recommendations on whom to appoint on 25 February 2004.

The Committee accepted the SABC Board response that there had been no conflict of interest when a company of which Mr Msomi, an SABC Board member, was the managing director, had placed an ANC advert with the SABC. The DA outlined an additional complaint that the advert placement was in conflict with the standing rules governing the election campaign.


MINUTES
ICASA Nomination 2004

The Chair noted that Parliament would adjourn for this term on 27 February 2004 so as to allow the members to prepare for the forthcoming elections on 14 April 2004. Thus the Committee would have to tailor its programme so as to meet the deadline of 27 February.

He called on the members to deliver their parties' position on which nominees for the ICASA Council should be shortlisted for interviews.

Ms N Mtsweni (ANC) noted that the ANC shortlisted these eight nominees in this order:
Adv C Mahlati, Dr T Cohen, Mr A Nkomo, Adv Z Masiza, Mr P Mashile, Adv F Kathree-Setiloane, Mr G Petrick and Mr K Herold.

Ms D Smuts (DA) noted that she had been given a proxy by Ms S Vos (IFP) who is in Spain with another parliamentary delegation on the request of the Speaker. Therefore she read the Democratic Alliance's shortlist and noted that this shortlist was also supported by the IFP:
Mr G Petrick, Adv F Kathree-Setiloane, Adv V van Zyl, Adv Z Masiza, Dr T Cohen and Mr G Parr.

She noted that the DA and IFP do not object to the names of Mr P Mashile and Mr K Herold proposed by the ANC. However they do object to the name of Mr A Nkomo as he does not possess the required skills.

The Chair noted that there was not complete consensus.

Mr R Pieterse (ANC) proposed that the Committee should accept all the suggested shortlisted nominees for interviews.

The Committee thus agreed to that the following would be interviewed on 24 February 2004:
Adv C Mahlati, Dr T Cohen, Mr A Nkomo, Adv Z Masiza, Mr P Mashile, Adv F Kathree-Setiloane, Mr G Petrick and Mr K Herold, Adv V van Zyl, and Mr G Parr.

The Chair noting that the nominees were highly skilled and that it was not necessary that they be given a 45 minutes interview. He suggested that a 30 minute one would be appropriate in the circumstances. The Committee agreed.

Letter from Chairperson of the SABC Board
The Chair noted that the Committee had received a letter from Mr E Funde the Chairperson of the SABC Board responding to the allegation made by the IFP that Mr C Msomi, a member of the Board, had allowed his personal interest to conflict with the position he holds and there was a conflict of interest. He called on the members to comment on the Board's response which stated that there was no conflict of interest.

Ms Smuts noted that the DA and the IFP have different positions on this matter and she did not have a proxy to represent the latter on this matter. The Democratic Alliance position was that it was not at all pleased that Mr Msomi was responsible for placing ANC Election launch adverts pretending that they were adverts for ANC birthday party celebrations. She had written to the SABC as she felt that these adverts were in contravention of the prohibition against political parties advertising outside election time.

Mr Pieterse said that the SABC Board was in a better position to consider the matter. The Board had considered the allegation and the fact that no one has been able to prove any misconduct on the part of Mr Msomi. Thus the Board's response should be accepted.

Ms Mtsweni agreed and said that Mr Msomi had declared to the Committee the nature of his work and had also outlined to the Board the nature of his business.

The Chair said that the Committee should accept the Board's response and any member who is not content with the response should be at liberty to take up the matter with the Board itself.

Ms Smuts said that since the company which Mr Msomi is a Managing Director of directly benefited on the transaction, the DA thus disputed the correctness of the statement made in bullet number 4. Furthermore she asked the Committee to noted with contempt the statement made in the last paragraph of the letter as it is a clear sign of arrogance which should not be accepted.

The Chair noted that he had called the Chair of the Board regarding the statement made in the last paragraph and the latter explained the reasoning behind the statement. However although from a practical point of view he agrees with him, he also felt that Members of Parliament should not be prevented from performing their oversight duties in terms of the law.

The Committee accepted the Board's explanation on the concern raised.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

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