Former ANCYL leader Ronald Lamola deployed to MDDA board

2017-09-07 22:40
Ronald Lamola (Facebook)

Ronald Lamola (Facebook)

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Cape Town – Amid concerns about the Media Development and Diversity Agency's (MDDA) management, opposition complaints about cadre deployment and a DA walkout, the National Assembly adopted the communications committee's recommendation of three new board members for positions at the agency.

The National Assembly recommended Ronald Lamola, Martina Della-Togna and Nombeko Mbava to President Jacob Zuma for appointment to fill three vacancies of non-executive members on the MDDA board.

It was the name of former ANC Youth League leader Lamola that got most of the opposition parties' backs up.

Like the party did on the day before, when the SABC board recommendations were in question, the DA expressed its disappointment that the ANC flexed its majority muscle on the portfolio committee of communications to recommend a candidate with strong ANC ties.

DA MP Veronica van Dyk said the ANC had once again shown how deeply embedded cadre deployment was. She said the DA had laid a charge of hate speech against Lamola in 2012. 

The EFF, Cope, IFP, UDM and Agang voiced their opposition to Lamola's recommendation, with Agang MP Andries Tlouamma describing Lamola as "damaged goods".

"We can't use Parliament to feed hungry stomachs," said Tlouamma. "Including Lamola is institutionalising theft."

'We won't hesitate to use our numbers'

Of all the opposition MPs who stood up to speak, the NFP's Munzoor Shaik-Emam was the only one who did not oppose Lamola's recommendation. 

While he was speaking, IFP MP Liezl van der Merwe rose to ask the ANC to give Shaik-Emam a job to "release us from this torture".

ANC MP Moses Tseli said the three recommended candidates, including Lamola, had "vast experience in the communications sector".

"We [the ANC] won't hesitate to use our numbers when members [of the opposition] continue their stubbornness," he said.

He said Lamola held no leadership position in the ANC and nothing prevented him from being on the board.

Last week three current members of the MDDA board attended a dramatic meeting of the portfolio committee of communications, where acting CEO Donald Liphoko levelled several allegations of mismanagement against the board, including the intimidation of staff. On Tuesday, the committee heard that the Auditor-General had several concerns with the agency, including misstatements in its financial reports and irregular expenditure.

'SABC crisis-in-waiting'

Van Dyk said she looked forward to Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and her deputy Tandi Mahambehlala's inputs on these matters. 

"The DA still insists on an investigation into the entity," she said.

Cope MP Willie Madisha concurred and expressed his concern about Liphoko's statements.

IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa said the Auditor-General's report "spells out clearly that the MDDA is an SABC crisis-in-waiting".

"The bigger responsibility before the board is to clean up the mess," he said, noting that the agency last had a permanent CEO in 2014.

With the ANC benches sparsely populated, most of the DA MPs left the House and their chief whip, John Steenhuisen, asked House chairperson Grace Boroto to determine if the 134 MPs required for a quorum were present before voting commenced.

There were 137 MPs present, with 118 MPs voting to support the recommendations, 17 abstentions and four no votes.

Read more on:    mdda  |  ancyl  |  ronald lamola  |  parliament

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