Communications minister Dina Pule has moved quickly to distance herself from comments made by her technical adviser, Roy Kruger, at a telecommunications conference in Cape Town on Tuesday, saying she “learnt with regret” of his remarks.
At the conference, Kruger described a proposal to sell 20% of Telkom’s equity to Korea’s KT Corp as “rubbish”, insinuated, without naming her, that outgoing Telkom CEO Nombulelo Moholi was part of the “problem” at the operator and slammed e.tv’s lawsuit against the minister, saying it was instated by the free-to-air broadcaster for “some stupid reason” and was holding up migration to digital terrestrial television.
In a statement issued late on Tuesday afternoon, Pule says she “learnt with regret about the utterances” attributed to Kruger and published on TechCentral.
“The minister would like to indicate categorically that at no stage had she, the ministry, or the department of communications espoused or held a view that what is happening with Telkom now is related to the fate of the KT deal,” Pule says in the statement. She says she “wishes to state clearly that the outgoing chief executive, Ms Pinky Moholi, was not a problem”.
“In fact,” the statement continues, “the minister knows that Telkom was introduced to [KT Corp] by the ministry and not the other way around.”
On Kruger’s comments on e.tv’s lawsuit, she says she “understands and accepts e.tv’s constitutional right to approach our nation’s courts in instances where they believe their rights are infringed”.
The statement says that, above all, the minister “respects the processes of the courts and holds in high regard the independence of the officers of the court”.
In addition, she “rejects the unfortunate use of language attributed to Roy Kruger” and this “can only raise people’s temperatures at a time where level heads would achieve more”. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media