Pule keeping mum on scandal

Meanwhile, Corruption Watch has joined calls for Pule to be criminally charged.

FILE: Former Minister of Communications Dina Pule accompanied addressing a press conference on the New Set top Boxes held in the margins of the ICT Indaba 2012 at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town. 6 June 2012. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Former Communications Minister Dina Pule says she's not in a position yet to comment on any of the allegations she's facing.

The Member of Parliament (MP) is now dealing with an embarrassing fine from Parliament's Ethics Committee and could also face criminal charges.

On Wednesday, Pule was fined a full month's salary and suspended for 15 days after being found guilty of breaching the code of conduct for MPs.

The allegations against her centred on her failure to disclose her relationship with Phosane Mngqibisa.

The investigating panel found he was indeed her partner and benefitted substantially through his association with her.

They found that Pule wilfully misled the panel and that officials may have committed perjury in defending her.

Eyewitness News spoke to Pule briefly this afternoon, but she didn't want to be recorded, saying she hasn't got much to say for the time-being.

While she keeps a low profile, the committee wants more investigations outside of Parliament to go ahead.

The committee's Ben Turok said, "We've referred the report to the police, the NPA [National Prosecutions Authority], the Public Service Commission, the Presidency and various other bodies who have an interest and it's up to them to take the action which they should."

At the same time, Corruption Watch has also called for Pule to be criminally charged.

Employees who helped cover for her will face questions from the police.


Meanwhile, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says she has wrapped up a report on investigations into Pule.

Madonsela has been investigating Pule for months to see if she was involved in anything dodgy at the ICT Indaba.

At the time, there were reports that R25 million was raised by sponsors which couldn't be accounted for.

Madonsela's investigation has focused on allegations of corruption and nepotism against Pule.

She says the entire investigation has been dogged by delays, mostly on the part of Pule and her former department.

"Our investigation was delayed because the Department of Communication suspended its co-operation with us while it was co-operating with Parliament. We were only able to resume the investigation after they had concluded the Parliamentary process."

She is also under investigation by the Hawks relating to the appointment of friends and relatives to entities that used to fall under her.


Meanwhile, the ANC has commended the committee for their investigation and said they were pleased Pule subjected herself to the probe.

But caucus spokesperson Moloto Mothapo says Pule's guilt is yet to be decided.

"As the matter stands, she remains innocent until the report of the ethics committee has been endorsed."

Mothapo says the ANC in Parliament will await the decision of the National Assembly.

He says the ANC does not condone misconduct and impropriety.

Pule was fired by President Jacob Zuma last month during his fourth Cabinet reshuffle since 2009.

Zuma replaced her with former Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Yunis Carrim