According to the Sunday Times report four diplomats, some of whom will testify in parliament’s ethics committee hearing into alleged misconduct by Pule, said that Mngqibisa was treated as Pule’s romantic partner on three international trips.
“An official referred to Mngqibisa as ‘the boyfriend’ who never left her side,” the Sunday Times reported.
“They were extremely close. They arrived together, stayed at the same hotel together and left together,” one official is quoted as saying.
Another official reported that Pule and Mngqibisa were walking hand in hand.
Mngqibisa featured prominently in many reports of alleged misconduct by Pule, which led to parliament’s ethics committee launching an investigation, an investigation by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and a potential police investigation for corruption.
Pule has on many occasions denied claims that she is romantically linked to Phosane Mngqibisa as suggested in media reports.
“I know him [Phosane Mngqibisa] 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,” Pule said in an interview with Talk 702 DJ Eusebius McKaiser.
The Sunday Times reported that Mngqibisa also denied that he and Pule were lovers during parliament’s ethics committee hearings.