Alleged ICASA “sex pest” CEO gets R1-million golden handshake
Despite allegations of sexual harassment against him, former CEO of the Independent Communications Authority of SA Pakamile Pongwana received a golden handshake of almost R1 million from Icasa. Minister of Communications Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane told the Portfolio Committee on Communications on Tuesday that a report on the matter has been tabled and that “negotiations resulted in a settlement”. The gross payment was almost R1m, and after taxes, it was about R500 000, said Kubayi.
DA MP Gavin Davis said the allegation of sexual harassment against Pongwana is very serious and should be discussed by the committee. Committee chairperson Humphrey Maxegwana said the report should be on the MP’s desk by Wednesday, and a revised committee program will also be circulated on Wednesday. “In the next two weeks, the report will be discussed,” said Maxegwana.
City Press reported in July that the report found in part 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”. The alleged sexual harassment occurred on March 28 during Icasa’s annual general meeting in Durban, where employee disputes over salaries were being discussed in a hotel foyer. A female colleague said she needed the money as she was a single parent, to which Pongwana allegedly responded that “women do not need anything, ufak’ induku [you have sex with her]”.
He then allegedly “squeezed her buttocks and attempted to kiss her in full view of her colleagues”.
Pangwana told City Press that he would subject himself to the disciplinary process and that he did not want to discuss the matter in the media.