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Pule accuses paper of smear campaign

Communications Minister Dina Pule has defended herself against 'a campaign to discredit her'.

Communications Minister Dina Pule. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Communications Minister Dina Pule has defended herself against what she terms a political campaign to discredit her.

The minister has accused the Sunday Times of running a crusade against her, after it reported that she allowed the man believed to be her boyfriend, Phosane Mnqibisa, to decide who gets the best jobs in companies under her portfolio.

The minister came out on the offensive on Sunday, slamming calls for President Jacob Zuma to fire her.

"They can't continue for nine months and then they don't produce any evidence, but they continue to say all sorts of things," said Pule in reference to the Sunday Times.

She also said that as a result she was forced to defend herself.

It was reported that Mnqibisa was behind the appointment of SABC financial officer Gugu Duda, which, according to the newspaper, led to one of the public broadcaster's board members complaining.

But minister Pule has called on the newspaper to back up its claims with evidence.

"I've never gone to anybody to say that I want my own CFO or my own CEO."

Pule also said the people that were appointed to the companies under her portfolio represent South Africa and were not "her people."

PULE QUESTIONS RESIGNATION

The minister also questioned the timing of a much publicised resignation of an SABC board member allegedly because of her interference in the hiring of senior officials.

Apparently one of the last standing SABC board members, Pippa Green resigned because of the irregularity.

Pule questioned why Green only came out with the allegations months after Duda was hired.

"Why would Pippa wait for all fifteen months and say now that I have interfered?"

The minister also said Green did not show any letters where she [Green] was complaining about her [Pule] interference.

The Presidency, which received the resignation letters from the board members, has denied having received any correspondence from Green.