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Judge Masipa to head ICASA’s complaints committee

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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has appointed Judge Thokozile Masipa as chairperson of the new five-member Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC).

Masipa was presiding judge in the 2014 trial of Oscar Pistorius for the killing of Reeva Steenkamp.

In her new role at ICASA, she will head a committee that is responsible for investigating, adjudicating, hearing and recommending appropriate sanctions on complaints from stakeholders (licensees and the general public).

The new team − consisting of Masipa, Paris Mashile, Ngwako Molewa, Peter Hlapolosa and Thato Mahapa − assumed duty on Friday, replacing the previous team whose term ended in December 2020.

The CCC is an independent tribunal established in terms of section 17A of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act, 2000 (Act No13 of 2000) to, among others, investigate and hear, if appropriate, and make a finding on all matters referred to it by the authority; complaints received by it; and allegations of non-compliance with the Act or underlying statutes.

Furthermore, the CCC may make recommendations to ICASA to assist the regulator to achieve the objects of the ICASA Act and the underlying statutes.

“The CCC plays a critical role within ICASA in that when we receive complaints from stakeholders (licensees and the general public), we need an independent body that will investigate, adjudicate, hear and recommend appropriate sanctions to council for the defaulting licensees. It is equally important in entrenching ICASA’s role as a sector regulator, in our pursuit for sound compliance and enforcement around prevailing laws governing the broader communications sector,” says ICASA chairperson Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng.

“I have no doubt that the appointees, with their experience and knowledge of the sector, will assist ICASA in reaching solutions that are indeed in the public interest for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

Masipa, who will serve as CCC chairperson, previously served as member of the Broadcasting Monitoring and Complaints Committee – predecessor of the CCC – and is a former chairperson of a complaints committee of the Civil Aviation Authority.

Similarly, the other team members have a wealth of experience in the regulatory space.

ICASA chairperson, Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng.
ICASA chairperson, Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng.

Mashile is a former ICASA councillor and chairperson, former board member of Sentech, and founding CEO of Vunani Electronic Communications and Vunani Capital.

Molewa is a former ICASA regulatory and legislative drafting specialist, licensing officer and special advisor to council, while Hlapolosa is Vodacom’s former executive head of competition regulation.

Mahapa, the last member of the committee, previously served as ICASA manager of ECS/ECNS and licensing officer, and is a former board member of the South African Communications Forum.

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