The Sunday Times newspaper has published fresh evidence about communications minister Dina Pule’s travel documents which it says proves that the minister is lying about her relationship with Phosane Mngqibisa.
According to the Sunday Times, it has seen documents which list Mngqibisa as Pule’s official “companion” – a term describing family, spouses or long term romantic partners.
The newspaper has proof of the following claims that, according to the publication, proves that Pule is not forthcoming about her relationship with Mngqibisa:
- Pule spent R700,000 of taxpayers’ money on an overseas trip with Phosane Mngqibisa
- Pule lived it up in the Ritz-Carlton in New York, at a cost of R35,000 for 2 nights, and another R10,000 for luxury cars
- Pule stated in travel documents that Phosane Mngqibisa was her official companion, and that his bill was paid for by Pule in her official capacity
The newspaper previously reported that Mngqibisa accompanied Pule on at least 20 international trips.
The Sunday Times also reported that it is unlikely that Mngqibisa paid his own expenses on these trips, as claimed previously.
On Friday 10 May 2013 a Department of Communications press statement said that Pule has lodged a formal complaint with the Press Ombudsman in relation to the “smear campaign being waged against her by the Sunday Times”.