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Fri Oct 31 15:33:41 SAST 2014

Language board subpoenaed

DENISE WILLIAMS | 06 February, 2013 00:19
Former Arts and Culture Minister and Gauteng ANC provincial chairman Paul Mashatile. File photo
Image by: Loanna Hoffmann / Gallo Images

Parliament is to summon the members of the Pan South African Language Board to explain the management chaos plaguing the board.

The chairman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on arts and culture, Thandile Sunduza, said yesterday that despite interventions by her committee and the Department of Arts and Culture, mismanagement at the language board was "escalating".

"The committee has received numerous reports of persisting internal squabbles between management and the staff, leading to low morale among employees," said Sunduza.

The Arts and Culture Department yesterday referred queries to the board.

Spokesman Sibusiso Nkosi said he was not aware that the language body was facing a subpoena.

"The committee had not yet notified the organisation of its intention to call a meeting but our CEO would be happy to explain our situation to them . we are confident that we are meeting our mandate," he said.

Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile appointed Mxolizi Zwane as caretaker CEO in June last year after disbanding the board amid reports of nepotism and other forms of corruption.

Sunduza said the committee was worried that its problems were hampering the board's ability to promote the use of the 11 official languages.

"It is even more worrying that the language board received a qualified audit opinion from the auditor-general for the 2011-2012 financial year . a regression from the previous financial year."

Last year Mashatile presented a report to the committee, that revealed that the language board was failing to meet its mandate.

The report said the board had failed to perform its role and had "repeatedly failed" to produce minutes of its meetings in the past two years while staff morale was at an all-time low.

". One could only draw an adverse inference from the fact that the minutes of the board meetings had not been supplied despite repeated requests," the report said.

The board was established in 1995 to promote this country's 11 official languages.

The department's report was disputed by the language board.

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