DA berates Pule
Communications minister Dina Pule has not answered any of the 29 questions posed to her in Parliament this year, claims the opposition.
The official opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), is set to write to National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu and government business leader Kgalema Motlanthe over communications minister Dina Pule's failure to answer questions in Parliament.
In a statement released by DA shadow minister of communications Marian Shinn, the party alleges Pule has not answered a single parliamentary question this year. "Minister Pule has repeatedly demonstrated her ineptitude as a Cabinet minister and her clear aversion of parliamentary oversight is further reason for president [Jacob] Zuma to fire her," says the opposition.
The questions posed by the DA include:
* The status of negotiations or legal challenges surrounding the removal of the head of South African Broadcasting Corporation's news and current affairs unit and the CFO.
* Whether a forensic investigation was commissioned into the financial mismanagement at the Universal Service and Access Agency.
* Whether bonuses were paid to senior officials in her department or any of the entities reporting to the department.
* How many companies or entities had approved operation licences issued by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) in 2012, how many are currently up to date with licence payment and how many are in arrears.
* The cost of her department's failed defence against etv's court challenge on the set-top box access control system.
* The outcome of the National Intelligence Agency's investigation into ICASA councillor William Stucke.
In addition, notes the DA, other questions that remain unanswered are:
* Whether her department has informed the International Telecommunications Union about the fact that South Africa would not meet the cut-off date for analogue transmissions.
* Whether progress has been made with the finalisation of the specifications for set-top box manufacturing and when manufacturing of decoders will commence.
"It is clear that minister Pule is trying to hide information from Parliament. This is unacceptable and an affront to Parliament's constitutionally enshrined mandate to hold the executive to account," says the statement.
The communications department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.