African woman in a yellow shirt texting message with mobile phone
African woman in a yellow shirt texting message with mobile phone (Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com)

By Staff Writer

Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo allegedly tried to save Pakamile Pongwana, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA), from facing serious charges, including sexual harassment, according to a City Press report.

The newspaper said Dlodlo wanted to hire Pongwana as her director-general.

Ayanda Dlodlo Communications Minister
Ayanda Dlodlo Communications Minister (Photo Credit: powerfm)

In a request to the country’s communications watchdog, Dlodlo asked that Pongwana to be seconded to her department to fill a position of director-general that has been vacant for some time.

On July 6, ICASA announced that Pongwana was placed on precautionary suspension pending an internal disciplinary process.

Icasa CEO Pakamile Pongwana
Pakamile Pongwana, suspended ICASA CEO

The regulator didn’t disclose the details of the disciplinary hearing process.

Icasa said its chief operations officer, Willington Ngwepe, will be acting in this position until such time that the internal processes have been concluded.

Today, City Press revealed that two legal opinions drafted in June found enough grounds for the board to charge him and subject him to a disciplinary hearing.

The reports, in part, found that Pongwana should be subjected to a hearing and charged with sexual harassment for having allegedly abused his authority as CEO “by squeezing his subordinate’s buttocks and having passed comments and/or innuendos of a sexual nature to a fellow employee”.

It also concluded that he displayed gross insolence and insubordination, which are dismissible offences as they constitute misconduct. This related to the “disrespectful, condescending, and aggressive” manner he treated Icasa council members.

For more read: Did Dlodlo try to save a ‘sex pest’?

 

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