Pule begins 15-day suspension

The sacked communications minister begins phase two of her punishment after being publicly reprimanded.

FILE: Former Minister of Communications Dina Pule at the ICT Indaba 2012 at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Axed Communications Minister Dina Pule begins her 15-day suspension as a Member of Parliament (MP) today.

This forms part of the punishment handed down by Parliament after Pule was found guilty of breaching the code of conduct for MPs and willfully misleading the Ethics Committee that investigated her.

She was given the maximum penalty after an ethics probe found she failed to declare her relationship with Phosane Mngqibisa, or his financial interests as required by law.

Mngqibisa was found to have substantially benefited from his association with her, notably through the 2012 ICT Indaba.

Pule was also reprimanded by National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu on Tuesday, who said MPs and cabinet ministers are in office to serve the people and not to further their own private interests.

African National Congress (ANC) MPs crowded around the former minister to console her after her public reprimand and apology.

The party says it will await the outcome of further investigations by the police and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) before considering any disciplinary action against her.

ANC caucus spokesman Moloto Mothapo said, "We do not want to prejudge or preempt the process that is going to be undertaken by law enforcement agencies."

But Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip Watty Watson says Pule should not remain an MP.

"If she was a member of the DA she would have been subjected to disciplinary processes.

But Mothapo says the ANC will wait until it can act on the matter in its entirety rather than in pieces.

Pule's punishment includes being fined a month's salary in addition to the loss of her MP privileges for 15 days and Tuesday's reprimand.