21 September 2017

South Africa: Zuma Appoints Two New Members to Embattled MDDA Board

President Jacob Zuma has appointed two people to the board of the embattled Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA).

On Thursday, the Presidency announced that Zuma had appointed Nkgakga Monare and Tasneem Carrim as non-executive members of the MDDA board.

Monare is deputy managing director in the Tiso Blackstar Group, formerly Times Media Group, and Carrim is the current acting deputy director-general of content processing and dissemination in the Government Communication and Information System.

"President Zuma wishes Mr Monare and Ms Carrim all the best in their new responsibility," the Presidency's statement reads.

This brings the board to its legislatively required nine members.

In terms of the MDDA Act, the agency's board consists of six members appointed by the president on the recommendation of the National Assembly, and three members appointed by the president, of whom one must be from the commercial print media and another from the commercial broadcast media.

Two weeks ago, Parliament recommended Ronald Lamola, Martina Della Togna and Nombeko Mbava to Zuma to fill three vacancies for non-executive members on the MDDA board.

Lamola is a former leader of the ANC Youth League, and the ANC's insistence on appointing him to the board was met with disdain from most opposition parties.

MDDA 'rotten'

Last week, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo told the portfolio committee on communications that Carrim was her nomination for the board. Monare was nominated by the print media.

At the same meeting, Dlodlo and her deputy, Tandi Mahambehlala, addressed the portfolio committee on the recent turmoil at the MDDA, following a meeting between three of the four members of the inquorate MDDA board and the portfolio committee on August 29.

At this meeting, the board, led by its chairperson Phelisa Nkomo, put much of the blame for the agency's woes on acting CEO Donald Liphoko.

After Nkomo's presentation, the committee gave Liphoko a chance to speak, and he blamed the board for mismanagement at the entity and said workers were being intimidated. The committee rejected the MDDA board's presentation.

Dlodlo expressed her unhappiness at what had transpired at the August 29 meeting, adding that the report the board had presented to the committee on that day was not sanctioned by her.

Mahambehlala said she didn't think that filling the vacancies on the board would address the issue, and described the MDDA as "rotten".

All the members of the committee expressed an appetite for some form of inquiry into the MDDA, but chairperson Humphrey Maxegwana made it clear that such a decision would only be taken after the committee had deliberated on the matter after receiving more reports at its next meeting on October 6.

Source: News24

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