The chair of the .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA), Motlatjo Ralefatane, has said that AFRINIC failed to consult with ZADNA before publishing its candidate slate for its upcoming board elections.
This was in a letter addressed to Graham Beneke, the chair of the Internet Service Providers’ Association of South Africa (ISPA). It comes after MyBroadband reported that ZADNA’s suspended CEO, Vika Mpisane, is the only nominee from Southern Africa for the board of directors of AFRINIC.
ZADNA is a not-for-profit organisation that manages and regulates the .ZA namespace, including domains like co.za, net.za, org.za, and web.za.
The African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) is the Regional Internet Registry for Africa and the Indian Ocean region. It is responsible for the distribution and management of Internet number resources. This includes IP addresses (IPv4 and IPv6) and Autonomous System Numbers.
Mpisane’s abridged CV, which is linked to from the webpage for the AFRINIC board elections, identifies him as the Chief Executive Officer and an ex officio Board member of the .ZA Domain Name Authority since April 2006.
No mention is made of his suspension or the disciplinary matter between ZADNA and Mpisane.
Despite the prominent mention of ZADNA in his CV on the AFRINIC website, Ralefatane said that the Nominations Committee (NomCom) did not contact ZADNA to verify Mpisane’s claims.
“The [ZADNA] Board wishes to place it on record that it was not consulted nor made aware of Mr Mpisane’s candidacy for AFRINIC’s Board until a public announcement to that effect. ZADNA does not condone or support Mr Mpisane’s candidacy,” Ralefatane said.
Ralefatane said that the ZADNA Board also wanted to place on record that Mpisane was suspended from his CEO position in December 2018, pending a disciplinary hearing on what the Board believes to be serious matters.
She previously told MyBroadband that Mpisane was suspended for “serious hybrid acts of misconduct”, including the mismanagement of ZADNA funds.
“While it is important not to prejudice the outcome of Mr Mpisane’s hearing, we note that he had already been suspended for more than three months when AFRINIC’s NomCom opened nominations on 18 March,” Ralefatane stated.
“Under the circumstances, ZADNA’s Board believes that Mr Mpisane’s suspension should have been disclosed to the Nominations Committee, and the Board has subsequently drawn the attention of AFRINIC’s Chairman and the Chair of the NomCom to this fact.”
Ralefatane’s letter to ISPA casts new light on a statement from the AFRINIC NomCom in which it said it encountered significant hurdles in performing due diligence.
The statement, which was posted to AFRINIC’s community mailing list, was as follows:
NOMCOM used its best effort to attract a satisfactory number of individuals to stand as candidates including extension of the initial nomination period for the Board elections.
Significant hurdles were however encountered in the implementation of the due diligence procedure, causing some delays [throughout] the election timeline, resulting in, among others, having a shorter public comment period.
Vika Mpisane’s does not represent ZADNA — Chair
In her letter to ISPA, Ralefatane made clear that Mpisane does not represent ZADNA.
“While Mr Mpisane is free to stand for AFRINIC’s Board in his personal capacity, the ZADNA Board wishes to make it clear that he does not represent ZADNA, nor is his candidacy supported by the organisation,” stated Ralefatane.
“ZADNA does not condone or support Mr Mpisane’s candidacy.”
MyBroadband reached out to Vika Mpisane and AFRINIC for comment but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
ZADNA’s letter to ISPA
The letter from Motlatjo Ralefatane to Graham Beneke is embedded below.
Title image from ICANN.