Pule investigation in final stages

Former communications minister Dina Pule has been accused of nepotism and abuse of state funds.

Former communications minister Dina Pule. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - A panel of Members of Parliament (MPs) looking into axed communications minister Dina Pule's conduct are meeting on Tuesday to finalise their report.

They were appointed in March to look at allegations of nepotism and abuse of funds.

It is alleged Pule's romantic partner benefitted from her departments hosting of an ICT Indaba in 2012.

The panel reportedly received more than 2,000 pages of evidence relating to the investigation.

Ethics committee co-chairperson Ben Turok explains how the parliamentary process unfolds.

"[The panel] will send a report to the whole committee which will be the following week and then the committee, as a whole, releases a report which goes to the speaker and gets tabled in the order paper."

Pule was fired by President Jacob Zuma during his fourth cabinet reshuffle since 2009. He replaced her with former Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Yunis Carrim.

He also fired Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi and replaced him with Lechesa Tsenoli.

Connie September took over the portfolio of human settlements from Tokyo Sexwale, and Transport Minister Ben Martins swopped portfolios with Energy Minister Dipuo Peters.

PULE CASE DOCKET

Earlier this month the DA's Marian Shinn suggested the Dina Pule case docket was missing because she had struggled to obtain information from the Hawks and police regarding the claims against the former communications minister.

Shinn who is looking into the case against Pule said despite constant calls and emails she had not received information involving the case.

"In this vacuum of information, one tends to speculate whether this is perhaps political interference, whether it was perhaps passed down in favour of the minister of communications before she was removed from her post by one of her cabinet colleagues," said Shinn.

"Or perhaps this is just police incompetence and somewhere along the line the two branches of the police just aren't talking to each other," she added.

The Hawks' Paul Ramaloko has since confirmed that they do in fact have the docket pertaining to the case against Pule.

"We do confirm that the matter was reported to a Western Cape police station. The matter is now in our hands, investigations are under way."

Questions were raised about Pule after a Sunday Times report concerning irregularities at a cellphone service provider convention in Cape Town.

At the time, it was alleged that her boyfriend was involved in the irregular spending of state funds. Pule is also supposed to be investigated for offering jobs to her boyfriend's friends.

Pule denies any wrongdoing and accused the Sunday Times newspaper of launching a smear campaign against her.