Disgraced former communications minister considered for premier position

Former communications minister Dina Pule is considered as a candidate for the premier of Mpumalanga position, the Sunday Times reported.

Quoting ANC insiders, the newspaper reported that Pule’s name is “among those that have gained support in party branches”.

This comes as the ANC selects leaders to send to provincial legislatures and the national Parliament.

Why this made headlines is because Pule is a disgraced minister who was implicated in unlawful and unethical conduct.

In 2013 former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela ordered Pule to apologise to Parliament, the communications department, and the Sunday Times for “persistently lying and unethical conduct”.

This followed an investigation into allegations of corruption and a potential conflict of interest against Pule, where the Public Protector found that her conduct was unlawful.

At the centre of this investigation was Pule’s romantic partner Phosane Mngqibisa, who the former minister denied she had a romantic relationship with.

However, the Public Protector’s investigation resulted in Pule admitting she was romantically involved with Mngqibisa who she unlawfully extended her spousal benefits to.

“I am asking honourable Pule to apologise to the Sunday Times for the persistent insults and denial of the truth that she eventually admitted to me,” Madonsela said.

Madonsela also told Pule to apologise to Parliament for “persistently misleading this august constitutional pillar and never admitting the truth right until the end”.

“I also consider it grossly improper and unethical that she tried to pass the buck to her staff,” said Madonsela.

Apart from the Public Protector’s scathing report, Pule was also found guilty by the Parliamentary Ethics and Members’ Interests Committee of violating the Executive Members’ Ethics Code.

DA warned about a soft landing

After the Public Protector’s adverse findings against Pule, the DA’s shadow minister of communications Marian Shinn said that Pule should not be given “a soft landing in a diplomatic or government posting, as is openly discussed as an option in ANC circles”.

Shinn said at the time that decisive action was needed to remove Pule from any public office.

The news that Pule’s name is among those who have gained support for the Mpumalanga premier position is exactly what Shinn warned about.

Instead of seeing her unlawful and unethical conduct as unacceptable for a public office bearer, she is rewarded by many ANC branches with a nomination for a senior public position.

Now read: Pule must pay, apologise for lies: Public Protector

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Disgraced former communications minister considered for premier position