Zolani Kgosie Matthews, the Icasa councillor who was appointed only reluctantly to the ICT regulator by communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, has resigned.
TechCentral has learnt that Matthews resigned with immediate effect on 26 February, just six months after being appointed to Icasa’s decision-making council. He quit because transport minister Fikile Mbalula wanted him as CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), an appointment which is now reportedly in doubt because of Matthews’ age.
Ndabeni-Abrahams appointed Matthews in August 2020 after relenting in a fight with parliament over his appointment.
The minister had voiced concern over the short-list of names given to her by parliament and had asked for permission to appoint only four councillors, instead of six, because, she claimed, she was concerned about the skills mix and competencies they’d bring to Icasa. This was rejected by parliament.
Ndabeni-Abrahams then appointed five councillors, instead of six, leading to harsh criticism from some quarters, including the Democratic Alliance. She later backtracked and assented to Matthews’ appointment.
It’s still not clear why Ndabeni-Abrahams was not keen to appoint him. He is a former board member of the South African Post Office, where the minister has oversight.
Meanwhile, GroundUp reported on Friday that Matthews, who it said is 64, is too old to be appointed as Prasa CEO. The troubled state-owned rail agency’s policies stipulate that the retirement age for its CEO is 63.
GroundUp said Mbabula is now scrambling to solve the issue. — (c) 2021 NewsCentral Media