Former Minister of Communications Dina Pule has been making headlines in recent news. The minister was found guilty of breaching the code of conduct for MP’s and failing to disclose her relationship with Phosane Mngqibisa, the man who apparently benefited from the ICT Indaba her department hosted last year.
This after the minister was axed by President Jacob Zuma from her position as Communications Minister and replaced by previous Cooperative Governance Deputy Minister Yunus Carrim. Pule was also implicated in entrusting government decisions to a close friend who was not a staff member in her department.
The Sunday Times published reports about Pule and her romantic involvement with Mngqibisa which then attracted the ethics’ watchdogs into investigating all of her involvements. The whole investigation began in March 2013 and the panel reportedly had to process more than 2000 pages of evidence.
After all the investigations and findings proving that Pule is guilty, she will be fined a month of her salary, a public reprimand by the speaker of the National Assembly and 15 days of her privileges as an MP. Pule must also amend the declarations she has made over the past few years of her financial and other interests, as all MP’s are required to do.
Reports also show that some of the Communications Department’s officials may have committed perjury which, according to the law, is a criminal offence. Employees who helped cover for the minister will face questioning from the police.
Ben Turok, chairperson for the parliamentary panel said:
“The South African Police Service (SAPS) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) must investigate the breach of the Powers and Privileges of Parliament Act, which lays down very severe penalties for lying.”
Although Pule was axed as Minister of Communications she still remains an MP, it’s now up to the state agencies to pursue the matter says Paul Hoffman, The Institute for Accountabilities.