Consumer commissioner in hot water
Parliament’s trade & industry portfolio committee on Friday stopped short of censuring national consumer commissioner Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi for failing to appear before it. Mohlala-Mulaudzi informed the committee she would not be able to attend due to illness.
“She made it clear she had a couple of asthma attacks yesterday and wasn’t too sure if she would arrive. I got an SMS this morning before 6am [saying] that it would not be possible [for Mohlala-Mulaudzi] to attend,” said committee chairwoman Joan Fubbs.
The proposal for censure came from Democratic Alliance MP Wilmot James.
Fubbs had not completely ruled out censure, but said a written explanation from Mohlala-Mulaudzi was expected. “Our concern was that when somebody gives a medical apology it’s difficult to leap over that apology,” said Fubbs.
“It would be more prudent for us to have medical documents analysed, and as a result of substantive information then to consider what Mr James proposed.”
The committee has been engaging the commissioner for the past two weeks over allegations of a breach of processes and procedures which have been highlighted by the National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) and the auditor-general.
The NCT accused Mohlala-Mulaudzi of attempting to usurp the powers of trade & industry minister Rob Davies by issuing notices of compliance in the Government Gazette, when she is not authorised to do so.
Mohlala-Muluadzi and Davies have been involved in a labour dispute, with the commissioner losing a labour court application for her contract to be extended beyond September. — (c) 2012 Sapa