Communications collapse certain under Mokonyane – Phumzile Van Damme

DA MP says minister demonstrated utter failure at DWS

Communications collapse certain under Mokonyane

28 February 2018

If he intends to keep his promise to South Africa of a “New Dawn” President Cyril Ramaphosa will immediately reverse the appointment of Nomvula Mokonyane as Minister of Communications.

We commend and are in full agreement with Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) decision to take a firm stand against her appointment yesterday stating: “In reality, Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has left a department that has completely collapsed. It is worrying that she is now a Minister of Communications at a time when the South African Broadcasting Corporation is recovering.”

We challenge and encourage the Portfolio Committee on Communications to also voice their objection to her appointment. The committee can count on the DA’s support in taking a stand against Mokonyane.

Parliament has worked extremely hard to steer the Department of Communications and its entities, and in particular the SABC, to calm waters, we cannot allow actions that to be undone by a Minister who has demonstrated utter failure at managing a government department.

Mokonyane not suited to be Minister of Communications, or any other Cabinet position, as a matter of fact.

In addition to bringing the Department of Water and Sanitation to its knees and unable to manage South Africa’s national drought crisis, she has been implicated in a host of corruption and mismanagement scandals.

Some of the Minister’s controversies include, but are not limited to the following:

- During her tenure as Premier of Gauteng, over R3.25 million was spent to maintain her official residence, including R2.70 million on refurbishment of the main bedroom, en-suite bath room, kitchen, laundry, dressing room closet, curtains and bedding, and furniture. A further R570 000 was spent on fixing the swimming pool.

- Allegedly being in cahoots with Reggie Nkabinde, the national treasurer of the ANC Youth League to use Mabala Noise, his record label, as a front to launder millions received in tenders from Mokonyane’s Department.

- In 2004, during her tenure as Gauteng Housing MEC, three years after a R58-million tender was awarded to a company and not a single RDP house had been built. By the time Mokonyane was Premier in 2009, no official has been disciplined and not a single cent recovered from the company.

- She was reported to the Public Protector in 2016 after allegations emerged of her delaying South Africa’s Lesotho Highlands Water Project, allegedly in order to award contracts to a company she has a long-standing relationship with.

- Mokonyane also controversially merged two powerful water boards – Umgeni and Mhlathuze, in KwaZulu-Natal, and forced the appointment of the controversial Dudu Myeni as Chairperson, who was later removed by the courts.

These are but a few in a range of allegations of corruption, and mismanagement Mokonyane has been involved in. Not to mention her various bizarre and reckless utterances about “picking up the rand”, and defending Zuma “ka dibono”

ICASA, the SABC and the MDDA are all in deep in crises. The Department of Communications requires decisive leadership, and Mokonyane is simply not it.

The DA firmly rejects her appointment. She can be deployed elsewhere within the ANC if the party so please but, not in the Department of Communications, or anywhere else government.

Issued by Phumzile Van DammeDA Shadow Minister of Communications, 28 February 2018