Newly appointed Democratic Alliance shadow communications minister Natasha Michael has slammed communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda, criticising his leadership style and saying he ought to be “removed from his cabinet position” if the cabinet is reshuffled.
“Attempts by the minister to conceal his department’s failings beneath the veneer of good governance are misleading and not supported by the facts,” she says.
According to Michael, there are six “fundamental problems” the department is facing and Nyanda needs to explain to the SA public what has gone wrong.
Among the troubles she lists are the financial and management woes of the SABC; poor management of Sentech; various scandals concerning the minister himself; the department’s poor annual report; and Nyanda’s deteriorating relationship with his former director-general, Mamodupi Mohlala.
The department presented its annual report to parliament’s portfolio committee on communications last week, detailing R24m in irregular expenditure. It is the first time in five years the department has received a qualified audit report.
Michael says the dismissal of Mohlala also needs to be investigated as the reasons for her dismissal are “still not clear, since the case was resolved out of court”.
She says the department has also failed in its core mandate, noting its failure to complete SA’s digital television migration process. “The minister has yet to indicate which standard will be adopted, with the 2011 deadline for digital migration fast approaching,” she says.
“The DA believes that if the cabinet is reshuffled Nyanda needs to be removed from his position,” Michael says. “He also needs to account to the SA public for the mismanagement of the department.”
She says the party will use the next portfolio committee meeting to put the DA’s concerns to Nyanda directly. — Staff reporter, TechCentral