Mahambehlala would support inquiry into MDDA board’s fitness

Employees of MDDA have complained that board chairperson Phelisa Nkomo was interfering in day-to-day running of the entity.

FILE: Communications Deputy Minister Tandi Mahambehlala. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Deputy Communications Minister Tandi Mahambehlala's office says she would support a parliamentary inquiry into the fitness of the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) board to hold office.

Employees of MDDA have written to the department complaining that board chairperson Phelisa Nkomo was interfering in the day-to-day running of the state-owned entity.

The agency's problems were laid bare during a parliamentary portfolio committee meeting last week during which some Members of Parliament proposed they launch an inquiry into the matter.

Last week, acting CEO Donald Liphoko told MPs the board had instilled a "culture of intimidation," contributing to low morale and high staff turnover.

Liphoko, who's been in the position since May, told lawmakers security guards were instructed by the board to lock him out of his office.

The board says it decided to terminate Liphoko's contract because he had signed off on documents without authorisation and missed crucial meetings.

However, the deputy minister's spokesperson Chrispin Phiri says staff have rallied behind the acting CEO.

“We keep getting reports and complaints from numerous anonymous sources complaining about the conduct of the board.”

Due to vacancies, there are only four members serving on the board when there should be nine.

Lawmakers have yet to decide whether or not to hold an inquiry into the board's fitness to hold office.