The minister was interviewed by Talk 702 DJ Eusebius McKaiser earlier this week, and when asked if Phosane Mngqibisa was her boyfriend, Pule said:
“No… I did say so even before. The Sunday Times continues to run a political campaign with facts that are unfounded, with sources that have never come forward with any shred of evidence.
“Its nine months now… that the Sunday Times has been running this….and I am very much astounded. I think at some point they must have breached a press code.
“They say these allegations as a fact, and I think it’s very unfortunate,” Pule said.
In February, the Sunday Times reported that Phosane Mngqibisa was paid R6-million in management fees for the 2012 ICT Indaba.
The report further suggested that the conference organisers were forced by the Department of Communications (DoC) to hire Mngqibisa.
The Sunday Times cited two forensic documents which showed that Mngqibisa was not really involved in the organisation of the event, despite being paid R6-million.
The Sunday Times then reported (24 March 2013) that Mngqibisa “has infiltrated the various entities supposedly under Pule’s authority”.
According to the newspaper an internal audit showed that Mngqibisa “engineered getting friends and relatives on the boards of the Post Office, Sentech, Usasa, and the SABC with the full knowledge of Pule”.
When McKaiser again questioned Pule over her relationship with Mngqibisa, Pule said:
“I know him as a comrade, but I have nothing to do with him, and I am surprised that the Sunday Times wants me to take responsibility for activities of people that are happening outside, private people that I don’t know, and I have to say I know him. And they don’t bring a shred of evidence.
“They have quoted so many anonymous sources ….I thought that the Sunday Times is a respected newspaper, but it looks like it’s a tabloid now….they rubbish my name, they demonize me.”
The minister also denied that she did business with Mngqibisa. “I am a public representative; I represent the people of South Africa. I am appointed as a minister, I don’t do business. I don’t have any business relationship with anyone.”