Pule called a press briefing on Monday 22 April 2013 where she slated the damaging Sunday Times reports against her, saying that it was part of a “sophisticated plot” to blackmail her.
According to Pule the multi-billion Rand tender “and related issues” for the set-top boxes needed for South Africa’s migration from analogue to digital television are behind the Sunday Times reports.
According to Pule, the intention was to force her to make decisions that favour the interests of certain powerful people and organisations.
Pule did not name the businessman involved, but the City Press has now revealed that Sono is the man she was referring to.
According to the report Sono’s company Jomo Sono Investments is one of the companies bidding for the lucrative digital TV set top box tender.
The newspaper said that Sono and former ICASA councillor Robert Nkuna helped to set up a meeting between Sunday Times journalist Mzilikazi Wa Africa (who formed part of the journalism team which reported on Pule) and minister Pule in June 2012.
The City Press said that all the people they interviewed confirmed Sono’s role in the meeting which was held at the Southern Sun hotel in Sandton.
Phosane Mngqibisa – who was named in many of the reports as playing a pivotal role in matters related to Pule – was allegedly also involved in the discussions between the parties before the June meeting.
Parliament’s ethics committee is currently investigating the ethical conduct of Pule.
Public protector Thuli Madonsela is investigating Pule’s role in the ICT Indaba scandal, with a report on the matter expected soon.
The DA also wants the police to investigate Pule after it laid criminal charges against the Minister of Communications at the Cape Town Central police station on 10 April 2013.
Pule denied all the allegations, and also rejected claims that she is romantically linked to Phosane Mngqibisa.