Gungubele again avoids accountability, appoints cadre as Post Bank administrator

Issued by Natasha Mazzone MP – DA Shadow Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies
15 Sep 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Natasha Mazzone MP

Yesterday, we learned that the Minister of Communications & Digital Technologies, Mondli Gungubele, invoked Section 71 of the Companies Act (No. 71 of 2008), removing the non-Executive Board of Directors of the South African Postbank. This after the Board resigned en masse, alleging a “hostile and oppressive” work relationship with the Minister.

This week, we witnessed disheartening scenes of SASSA recipients being turned away, travelling long distances, and standing in queues for days on end. Despite a media campaign from Gungubele and the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, the matter still has not been resolved.

In a joint press briefing yesterday, Gungubele alleged that the Postbank Board had preemptively resigned, following the outcome of a KPMG audit on an irregular R140 million contract. This was Gungubele’s first public utterance of a R140 million irregular contract or a KPMG audit. This is a Minister that also does not appear before the Portfolio Committee, which he is accountable to. Members of the Committee were unaware, until yesterday, of a R140 million irregular contract.

Further, after invoking Section 71, Gungubele announced that he has appointed Khaya Ngema as the Administrator of the Postbank, until a new Board is appointed. Ngema has a long history with Gungubele, from when Gungubele was Mayor of Ekurhuleni and Ngema was City Manager. If Gungubele cared for the Postbank and was truly interested in good governance, he would not have appointed a fellow cadre to run the Postbank.

We will be submitting a ‘Promotion of Access to Information’ (PAIA) application to the Department of Communications & Digital Technologies on the alleged investigation into the R140 million contract and the KPMG audit detail to be revealed. We will also seek records of Gungubele’s engagements with the former Postbank Board to investigate their allegations lodged against him.

The Minister also has the opportunity to present himself before the Portfolio Committee he accounts to, where he can provide a detailed account on this matter and face the necessary scrutiny.