Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has dared the DA to bring her to book if the party feels that she has broken the law.
Ndabeni-Abrahams was responding to calls by the DA for her to face disciplinary action for ignoring Parliament on her appointment of the council board for the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa).
“The DA has a right to say whatever it wants to say. I continue to do my work. If there is any information that I have breached the law or the Constitution, people of this country are free to go to law enforcement agencies. Otherwise, I have nothing to say on what the DA says,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams.
On Tuesday the minister was in the Eastern Cape, where she distributed 40 iPads to Olisiwinga College, an independent high school in Mbizana in the Amadiba administrative area.
Ndabeni-Abrahams said her department, with the assistance of mobile telecommunications giant MTN, had managed to source information and communications technology equipment which would help the school, which is mainly a maths and science education centre.
She said the initiative to start the school came from private individuals who saw the need to develop a school with the aim to uplift the community using technology as its cornerstone.
The minister also visited Amadiba Clinic to monitor how frontline essential services workers were dealing with the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Ndabeni-Abrahams, along with Eastern Cape deputy speaker Mlibo Qoboshiyana and Alfred Nzo District Municipality Mayor Sixolile Mehlomakhulu delivered personal protective equipment to the healthcare facility.
Meanwhile, News24 recently reported that DA MP and spokesperson on communications Phumzile van Damme wanted action taken against the minister.
Van Damme said this was the second time that Ndabeni-Abrahams had decided to override the powers of National Assembly regarding appointments to the Icasa council.
She said when the minister wrote to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise seeking to reject the proposed list of candidates to serve on the council, she not only violated the Icasa Act but the constitutional principle of the separation of powers.
“That the minister has now only appointed five, not six [candidates] as per the decision of the National Assembly, is a brazen middle finger to Parliament and must be dealt with harshly.”
Van Damme said Ndabeni-Abrahams could also have violated the Executive Members’ Ethics Act as well as the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliaments and Provincial Legislatures Act.
“A violation of the Powers and Privileges Act by a minister, who is also an MP, is contempt of Parliament, and the House has the power to institute disciplinary action. If an MP is found guilty, she could be removed as an MP, among other sanctions.”
Van Damme said her chief whip, Natasha Mazzone, would raise the matter with Modise.
“Throughout her term, minister Ndabeni-Abrahams has, on repeated occasions, demonstrated that she does not believe that the law applies to her by illegally interfering in the work of the [boards of the] SABC and the Post Office, by contravening lockdown regulations and now, for the second time, by ignoring a decision of Parliament,” she said.