Previous posts have described how the NNR Board member Peter Becker, who was appointed to the NNR Board to represent communities was first excluded from Board processes in early January 2022, then formally suspended by Minister Mantashe on 18 January, as well as the response to the suspension letter. The Minister was subsequently sent the letter below, which demanded that he lift the suspension due to the fact that while he has the power to discharge a Board member, he has no power to suspend.
The Minister was asked to respond by noon on 27 January, which he failed to do. This leaves Becker with the only remaining option: to seek relief from the High Court. Unfortunately in South Africa, as in many countries in the world, that step is costly. Even if the prospects of success are high, and costs can be recovered eventually, without access to substantial funding it is often impossible engage the legal professionals which are required to formulate and argue the case. Even assuming the challenge to the suspension succeeds and it is set aside, if the Minister decides to discharge Becker it will be a larger legal battle about the merits of the allegations.
Here is the full letter, which is now publicly available in the court records: