The Democratic Alliance has called for the department of communications, the new portfolio created after last year’s general election — when President Jacob Zuma split the old communications department in two — to be disbanded.
Citing “rumours” that government’s communication arm, GCIS, is to be moved away from the new department, DA MP Gavin Davis says Zuma should consider “just doing away with the department altogether”.
“Shifting GCIS away from the department of communications would be a massive vote of no confidence in [communications] minister Faith Muthambi. It would also see her role in government reduced to practically nothing,” Davis said.
Muthambi and Davis have become embroiled in a war of words in recent days over the level of government advertising spend directed at the Gupta-owned New Age newspaper. The two have also clashed publicly over the minister’s alleged undue interference at the SABC, which falls in the minister’s portfolio.
Now Davis wants Zuma to “admit the creation of the new department of communications was a mistake and to quietly disband it”.
“Muthambi has not had a role as a cabinet spokesperson since she was unceremoniously dumped after just a few months. Even the media training course she was sent on — at a cost of R12 000/session — was not enough to save her,” Davis said.
“The impending removal of GCIS from her purview explains Muthambi’s recent unlawful threats to remove SABC board members from office. She is trying to extend her tentacles into the SABC because it is all she has left,” he said.
“But South Africa doesn’t want and doesn’t need a ‘minister of the SABC’. An independent public broadcaster should operate at arm’s length from a minister to ensure that it is free from political interference.”
TechCentral has asked Muthambi’s spokesman, Ayanda Hollow, for comment. — © 2015 NewsCentral Media