Acting MDDA CEO says he was intimidated after opening can of worms

2017-09-02 18:57
Donald Liphoko (GCIS)

Donald Liphoko (GCIS)

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Cape Town – A few days after the acting CEO of a government entity blew the lid off alleged mismanagement at the entity during a portfolio committee meeting, he has been subjected to what is believed to be intimidation.

On Tuesday Donald Liphoko, acting CEO of the Media Diversity and Development Agency (MDDA) likened the events at the agency to that of the SABC, with the intimidation of staff one of the issues he highlighted.

Liphoko told News24 on Saturday that he reported a “very unusual event” at his house on Friday to the police.

He came to his house on Friday at around 14:30, much earlier than usual, to find his gate’s motor disabled. According to the security assessment which has since been done, the modus operandi of the intruders was to have him get out of his vehicle.

“I guess I’m lucky,” he said, as he mostly works until late, and it seems that the tampering with the gate has been timed so that it won’t be spotted by his security company’s patrols.

“I’m being careful.”  

At Tuesday’s meeting, the MDDA board’s chairperson Phelisa Nkomo put much of the blame for the agency’s woes on Liphoko, who was seconded to act as the MDDA’s CEO from May 8 by Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo after the agency had been without top executives for quite some time.

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After Nkomo’s presentation, the committee gave Liphoko a chance to speak.

He said the MDDA’s staff were intimidated.

Currently, there are only four non-executive MDDA board members, meaning its inquorate. According to Liphoko the three board members present are “institutionalising a culture of victimisation”.

‘Wounded organisation’

He said most of the agency’s litigation is against employees, adding that bursaries are awarded as a way to reward employees or are withheld to punish them.

Six people had been the agency’s CEO since 2014. “They work no longer than four months,” Liphoko said.

He said he “inherited a wounded organisation” and his biggest gripe is with corporate governance issues.

Liphoko further revealed that the board prevented him from entering the premises to do his work. "The board chose to trample my rights by locking me out."

He said there is a breakdown of the relationship between the board and Deputy Minister of Communications Tandi Mahambehlala, who oversees the MDDA, because of Nkomo’s leadership style.

He also said the board “wilfully misled” the committee.

The committee decided that it should meet with the MDDA and Dlodlo and Mahambehlala present, with the possibility of a parliamentary inquiry mooted by some members.

Read more on:    mdda

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