Deputy Minister Winnie Mandela is again at the centre of a row — this time with her superior, writes Ivor Powell
A RIFT is growing between Minister of Arts, Science, Culture and Technology Dr Ben Ngubane and his deputy, Winnie Mandela.
Mandela failed to arrive this Tuesday at a Pretoria meeting of a specially appointed advisory group set up by Ngubane. And it emerged that two members of the group — the ANC’s Roger Jardine and the Foundation for Research and Development’s Dr Isaac Amuah, had resigned.
Both men have been named as members of a rival advisory committee put together by Mandela in June — ahead of the announcement of Ngubane’s own group.
Neither was available this week to explain the reasons for their resignation.
The developments emphasise a rift growing between Ngubane and Mandela. Last week, Mandela publicly criticised her superior’s handling of his portfolio and specifically his appointment as acting director-general of the Department of Arts, Science, Culture and Technology of Dr Koos Pauw. Pauw was formerly deputy director-general of the Department of National Education. Mandela slammed his appointment as retrogressive — this notwithstanding the fact that he had earlier been named as a member of her own proposed committee.
Mandela also criticised Ngubane’s advisory group as not being representative — but this is a charge the group itself implicitly acknowledges. This week it wrote itself out of existence in terms of a consultation process which, in due course, will lead to the formulation of a new South African policy on arts and culture.
After this week’s meeting, Ngubane called for submissions on future policy from stakeholders at national, regional and local levels and for nominations for members of a task group which will assess the submissions and advise the ministry.
The task group will be up and running by August 31 and will have to complete its report making recommendations on a new policy by November.
A plenary session will follow early in 1995, when stakeholders will be able to respond to the report. A White Paper will then be drafted and a statutory Arts and Culture Advisory Council will be appointed.
Whether Mandela’s group submits itself to a similar process remains to be seen.