Pule’s punishment should be more severe: DA

After being reprimanded and temporarily suspended from parliament, disgraced former communications minister Dina Pule should permanently lose her seat, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says.

Pule was reprimanded and suspended by Parliament on Tuesday (20 August) for the scandal that saw her boyfriend benefit from state funding.

As per the recommendation of the Ethics Committee, the harshest punishment that Parliament is allowed by law, was handed down.

Pule received a reprimand from the Speaker, will receive a 30-days’ salary equivalent fine, and 15-days’ suspension from all the parliamentary committees.

Parliamentary speaker Max Sisulu told Pule she betrayed her oath of office and brought Parliament into disrepute, after the ANC moved for the adoption of a damning report by an ethics panel. This was unanimously supported by all parties.

According to DA chief whip, Watty Watson, however, this is not enough and Pule should be permanently suspended, “not hugged”.

“It is inexplicable why Pule has not been subjected to a disciplinary process from within the ANC, and accordingly lost her membership and her seat,” Watson said.

“The manner in which the [ANC] Chief Whip and numerous ministers displayed support for Dina Pule in the House indicates they intend to only give her a slap on the wrist.”

“The DA trusts that now that the report has been adopted by Parliament, it will be immediately handed over to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the South African Police Services (SAPS) for further investigation without delay.”

In July, during a presidential cabinet reshuffle, Jacob Zuma fired Pule from her role as communications minister. However, Pule remained in government as a member of parliament.

Pule was also subsequently appointed to the Portfolio Committee of Transport.

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Pule’s punishment should be more severe: DA