Cape Town – Deputy Minister of Communications Tandi Mahambehlala has condemned the alleged threats against the acting CEO of the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), Donald Liphoko.
Liphoko told News24 on Saturday that he reported a “very unusual event” at his house on Friday to the police.
He arrived at his house at around 14:30 on Friday, 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 gate tampering had been timed so that it wouldn't be spotted by his security company’s patrols.
“I’m being careful,” he added.
This was three days after he blew the lid on alleged mismanagement at the agency he was seconded to in May by Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo.
He said the staff were intimidated, and likened what happened at the agency to events at the SABC.
On Sunday morning, Mahambehlala released a statement saying she had “noted with deep concern the alleged acts of intimidation against Mr Donald Liphoko and his family”.
“The Deputy Minister will approach the security cluster to ensure that Mr Liphoko and his family’s safety is sufficiently secured,” her spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said in the statement.
“In addition, the Deputy Minister has noted that these alleged acts of intimidation have been attributed to Mr Liphoko’s courageous stand in the Parliamentary Committee on Communications meeting on Tuesday, wherein he spoke out against the victimisation and corporate governance concerns at the MDDA.
“To this end, the Deputy Minister is committed to appraising the Parliamentary Committee on Communications on the state of the MDDA, at its earliest convenience.”
At Tuesday’s meeting, the committee resolved to meet with the MDDA again, with Dlodlo and Mahambehlala present, and a parliamentary inquiry into the MDDA has been mooted.