Muthambi eyes return to top post

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Former communications minister Faith Muthambi.
Former communications minister Faith Muthambi.

Faith Muthambi is likely to be seen making a comeback to Parliament as the new chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, according to a report.

Rapport has reported the ANC’s parliamentary caucus has nominated the former communications minister as its preferred candidate to head up the portfolio committee.

The final say, however, will still need to be determined by the ANC’s top six, notes the newspaper.

Muthambi was named minister of communications in 2014, when former president Jacob Zuma decided to form a new Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services and a ‘reconfigured’ Department of Communications (DOC).

At the time, Zuma said the new DOC would be responsible for overarching communication policy and strategy, information dissemination and publicity, as well as the branding of the country abroad. However, critics labelled the new communications ministry as the ‘department of propaganda’.

During her tenure, Muthambi faced criticism for wanting journalists to report so-called ‘sunshine journalism’, the way she had managed the digital migration process and the production of set-top boxes. She was also reportedly at odds with minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, who served in a deputy capacity at the time.

During one of his infamous Cabinet reshuffles, Zuma moved Muthambi to the Department of Public Service and Administration. However, when president Cyril Ramaphosa took office last year, Muthambi was given the boot.

Prior to becoming a member of the national executive of the fifth administration, Muthambi had served on the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications.

Muthambi hails from Limpopo and studied at the University of Venda, where she did a BProc degree. She was previously municipal manager of Makhado and manager of labour relations in the Limpopo premier's office, according to her LinkedIn profile.

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