Mashatile’s former advisor among suspended board members

Former Generations actor Thato Malomu and Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s former spokesperson Keith Khoza are among board members who have been suspended from the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC).

This after the entire board allegedly failed to hit the right note in implementing the GFC’s strategy.

The board was hurled over the coals by the parliamentary portfolio committee of arts in May following complaints by disgruntled applicants over the allocation of funding.

The GFC board is also accused of spending over R1-million on special meetings and allocating at least 50% of its budget to salaries.

Delay in approving funding

It also allegedly delayed approving funding for filmmakers.

Molamu, Khoza and the entire board including chairperson Busisiwe Mhaga, her deputy Percy Manzini, Komathie Govender and Nthabeleng Zondo were served with letters informing them that their services have been put on ice by Gauteng MEC for arts and culture Morakane Mosupye following an investigation.

A letter directed to Mhaga and dated October 17 reads: “[The] portfolio committee has raised concerns over failure to provide strategic direction by the GFC board on operational matters.

“This has led to a non-response by the board to ensure that the matter of the GFC establishment and recognition is attended to, and to date the board hasn’t ensured the implementation of GFC and DSACR [department of sports, arts, culture and recreation] memorandum of agreement,”

Legal opionion

Mosupye also indicated in the letter that she previously wrote to the board members informing them that they are not aligned with legal prerequisites, hence her office had to seek legal opinion to ensure that GFC operations are implemented as per the mandate.

She also informed them that in the absence of a board, her department has appointed the CEO, Keitumetse Lebaka, to report directly to her on matters of the commission that include tabling of quarterly reports, approval of grants and filling vacancies.

The suspension of the board had been marked as a long overdue move by the DA’s member of Gauteng provincial legislature, Kingsol Chabalala, who said filmmakers have been suffering under the watch of the board.

“The DA welcomes the suspension of the GFC board, which is long overdue,” Chabalala said.

“Since its appointment, this board has only been concerned with enriching themselves and not looking after the interests of our filmmakers in the province.

“According to stakeholders, no reason was given for the cancellation of the Gauteng Discover Summit, which would have deliberated on resolutions, global developments, and trends in the local film industry.”

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