R123,000 data bill from surfing porn for CompCom boss: report

Competition commission head Shan Ramburuth racked up a mobile data bill of R123,000 on a government issued SIM card while overseas, mainly through visiting pornographic websites. This is according to a report in the Sunday Times.

The Sunday Times reported that the department of economic development said that Ramburuth resigned in the wake of a pornography scandal, but he disputed this fact.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m still talking to him [Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel] about it…I have in my discussions with him, discussed various options,” Ramburuth told the newspaper.

“I would like to conclude that [discussion] with him before making any statement.”

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel’s spokesman Manelisi Wolela, however, said following complaints “relating to acts of misconduct”, an investigation by Patel had ensued.

“Earlier this week, Ramburuth resigned as commissioner and as an employee of the Competition Commission,” he said.

Wolela said the resignation would take effect on October 21.

The Sunday Times referred to a forensic report by Paul O’Sullivan and Associates which detailed how Ramburuth apparently visited 25 pornographic sites between August and November 2011.

His data bill in October that year – while using a government issued sim card overseas – came to a total of R123,000.

The report suggested he had visited “inappropriate sites which were of an explicit pornographic nature”.

This is against the Competition Commissions’ Internet policy, which forbids websites which show ‘any form of violence, pornography, explicit nudity and sexual acts or gross depictions’.

Ramburuth disputed that surfing porn was to blame for the high mobile data bill, explaining that it was a result of software updates.

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R123,000 data bill from surfing porn for CompCom boss: report