DoC spokesman robbed, alleges intimidation tactics

Communications ministry spokesman Wisani Ngobeni claimed on Tuesday that his house had been burgled because of his role in the department.

The landlord at his home in Bloemfontein alerted him about the burglary earlier in the day, he said.

“My landlord called and told me he suspected there was a burglary because the sliding door was left opened.

“He later informed me that valuables such as a TV and a HD camera were still there, but my laptops and bags containing my personal documents were gone.”

Ngobeni maintained that the break-in was connected to his defence of Communication Minister Dina Pule in her spat with the Sunday Times.

“I’m being intimidated. I’ve been getting funny calls, but I didn’t take them seriously. Since Sunday, I have been receiving them. Now it makes sense that these calls and the burglary could be related.”

Ngobeni, a former Sunday Times journalist, wrote to the Press Council of SA (PCSA) asking it to investigate the conduct of the newspaper’s editor, Phylicia Oppelt.

He made the request in reaction to a report that Oppelt had given the Democratic Alliance documents to hand to Parliament’s ethics committee, which is conducting an inquiry into Pule.

The PCSA replied it had no powers to conduct the probe, as unethical conduct by an editor was not covered by the Press Code, and that only the publication could deal with the matter.

Pule believes the newspaper is conducting a smear campaign against her, to get her fired or to force her to resign, because its “handlers” were after a tender for set-top-boxes.

Ngobeni said he planned to speak to his employer for advice on how to handle his security following the break-in.

“It makes me feel unsafe, I’ve never experienced such a burglary, I’ve never seen a thief who just breaks in and takes personal documents.”

He said a case had been opened at the Bainsvlei police station, in the Free State.

The police could not immediately be reached for comment.

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DoC spokesman robbed, alleges intimidation tactics