The Sunday Times reported today (1 December 2013) that former communications minister Dina Pule is a liar, guilty of unlawful and improper conduct, and must quit parliament.
The newspaper reported that the provisional report by Thuli Madonsela into Pule showed that:
- Pule’s R10 million donation for the ICT Indaba in Cape Town was unsolicited, unlawful and used to enrich herself.
- Pule admitted to Madonsela that Phosane Mngqibisa was her boyfriend despite denying this in public.
- Pule knew the Department of Communications funded overseas trips for Mngqibisa to which he was not entitled.
- Pule and her staff lied to parliament, the public protector, and the auditor general.
Since 2012 the Sunday Times exposed various scandals involving Pule, and in March 2013 the newspaper called for her head. The article “Fire her now, Mr President” alleged that:
- It had “uncovered evidence of an internal audit showing that Mngqibisa engineered getting friends and relatives on the boards of the Post Office, Sentech, Usasa, and the SABC with the full knowledge of [Dina] Pule”.
- “Phosane Mngqibisa engineered getting friends and family appointed onto the boards of the Post Office, Sentech, USSASA and the SABC”.
- “Mngqibisa engineered the appointment of his close relative, Lulama Makhobo, to the post of SABC CEO as well as one of his close friends, Gugu Duda, as CFO”.
- The appointment of Gugu Duda was a ‘done deal’: Malebane alleged that “by now the discussions are finalised and considered a ‘done deal’ with DP [Dina Pule] having met GD [Gugu Duda] and confirmed to her that she is her choice and that all that needs to happen is to endorse this through formal board interviews”.
- In the report, Dina Pule claimed that she only became involved in the appointments “after the SABC board had completed the search and interviews for suitable candidates”.
In August 2013 Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics concluded its 5-month investigation into Pule, which found that Pule and her top official lied to parliament and abused their power. The committee found:
- Pule wilfully misled the panel;
- Pule caused improper benefits to be afforded to Mngqibisa on the basis of his relationship with her; and
- Pule breached the Executive Members Ethics Code.
In August Pule was reprimanded and suspended by Parliament for the scandal that saw her boyfriend benefit from state funding.
“I want to say to this House that I gave the best I could to do my job, and that if in the course of me doing my job I made a mistake, I am sorry, I apologise,” Pule said in parliament.