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Minister withdraws USAASA administrator’s appointment

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Communications and digital technologies minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
Communications and digital technologies minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has withdrawn the appointment of Newyear Ntuli as administrator of the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA) following inquiries by Eyewitness News on allegations of sexual misconduct.

Eyewitness News says current and former Post Office staff told EWN that they were shocked that Ntuli, who left the SOE following allegations of sexual misconduct, had been appointed by Ndabeni-Abrahams.

It says the minister said she wasn't aware of the allegations and Ntuli’s departure was recorded as a resignation even though both USAASA and the Post Office fell under her department.

Ntuli was to serve as the administrator at USAASA also for a period of 24 months.

USAASA, which falls under the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, was established to help roll out universal connectivity with government and private sector partnerships. It is also in charge of overseeing SA's multibillion-rand digital TV set-top box rollout.

The state entity has, over the years, come under fire for failing to deliver, abuse of funds and low staff morale.

In 2018, public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane issued a damning report against the board of directors at USAASA following a complaint related to governance, abuse of power and malpractice.

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