DoC has been dysfunctional for decades: DA

DA shadow minister of communications, Marian Shinn, says that the communications director-general (DG), Rosey Sekese, being placed on “special leave” is not surprising, further accusing the department for being dysfunctional for decades.

Sekese has been placed on “special leave” by Communications Minister Dina Pule, after she misled the Portfolio Committee about her performance contract on two separate occasions in 2012.

“While there has been no official statement on the reasons for Ms Sekese’s leave – and this action comes as no surprise – it is puzzling that, as the meetings took place in October and November 2012, it has taken the Minister so long to act,” Shinn said.

“Misleading Parliament is a criminal offence and the committee recommended that the Minister consider the options to deal conclusively with this matter of the unsigned contract,” the shadow minister said.

The DA said that the legal advice the DG offered also indicates a fairly basic misunderstanding of what constitutes a legal contract and therefore cast serious doubt on her abilities to carry out her responsibilities.

The political party also accused Sekese of an unwillingness to be held accountable after she initially failed to appear, when called, before the Standing Committee on Appropriations to explain serious under-spending on the Department’s budget.

“She did later appear, but with a lame excuse,” Shinn said.

The shadow minister also took a swipe at the DoC.

“The unfortunate thing about another potential change of guard at the Department of Communications (DoC) is that this department has been dysfunctional for decades and the forever changing leadership perpetually hampers a department that battles to focus on key communications issues, deliver on its targets and appropriately spend its budget.”

Shinn said that the DoC is not capable of delivering an affordable, widespread, technologically advanced communications system because of its lack of focus on core issues, appropriately skilled and experienced management.

“This latest turmoil just exacerbates that,” she said.

The DA also alluded to Sekese’s effectiveness in her role as director general:

“Ms Sekese has not been that effective as DG. The strategic plans for the department showed a lack of focus with, initially, far too many programmes and unachievable targets.

“There was little understanding of the resources and skills needed to deliver on so much activity. In response to the committee’s concern on this, the plan was, last year, pruned of much superfluous activity but, by year end, the DoC was behind on targets.”

Deputy director general, Gift Buthelezi, has been appointed as acting director general until 15 February 2013, the DoC said.

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DoC has been dysfunctional for decades: DA