Rubben Mohlaloga ‘on the way out’ as Icasa chairman after fraud conviction
Parliament would soon start the process to remove Rubben Mohlaloga from his post as chairman of the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa), DA communications spokeswoman Phumzile van Damme said.
Mohlaloga was convicted on charges of fraud and money laundering in mid-January, shortly after his appointment as council chairman was approved by former president Jacob Zuma. His appointment was effective from December.
Icasa rules stipulate that a person convicted of fraud is not allowed to be a councillor of the industry body.
Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said in a letter to Parliament in late January that the National Assembly should start the process of removing Mohlaloga from office. Parliament is the only body with the power to remove him.
The matter was referred to the portfolio committee on communications.
The process to remove Mohlaloga "hasn’t been scheduled yet by the committee, but there has been a commitment to ensure that we begin the process to remove him from the Icasa council. It’s definitely going to go ahead," Van Damme said.
An Icasa spokesman said Mohlaloga remained in his position for the time being. "In the interim and pending guidance from the responsible authorities, the status quo as regards the position of the Icasa chairperson remains unchanged," Icasa said.
The appointment and removal of Icasa councillors "lie outside of the jurisdiction of the authority", said Icasa.
The Hawks said in January that Mohlaloga and three others – including former Land Bank CEO Philemon Radichaba Mohlahlane – had been found guilty of defrauding the Land Bank of about R6m in 2008.
The cash was moved from an agricultural-focused broad-based black economic empowerment entity into a trust account of Masepule Dinga attorneys. The money was never used for the benefit of farm workers or emerging farmers, the Hawks said.
The group is due to be sentenced in April.
Mohlaloga did not respond to requests for comment.