Controversy-plagued former communications minister Dina Pule has been appointed to parliament’s portfolio committee on transport. This is despite the fact that Pule faces a number of ongoing investigations into allegations of corruption and nepotism.
She replaces ANC MP Loretta Jacobus on the committee.
President Jacob Zuma gave Pule her marching orders in July, announcing at a hastily arranged media conference that then deputy minister of cooperative governance & traditional affairs Yunus Carrim would take over the communications ministry’s top spot with immediate effect.
Pule faces an investigation by parliament’s ethics committee, and another by public protector Thuli Madonsela. The investigations follow a series of damning articles in the Sunday Times that implicated Pule and her alleged romantic partner, businessman Phosane Mngqibisa.
The ethics committee is expected to table its report in parliament on 20 August. The committee has been probing allegations that Mngqibisa benefited financially and improperly from the sponsorship of last year’s ICT Indaba in Cape Town.
If the ethics committee finds against her, it has the power to freeze her assets, as it did in the case of ANC parliamentarian Yolanda Botha, who it found had benefited from suspect tenders.
The public protector’s report is also expected in coming weeks.
Though Pule has been relieved of her duties as communications minister, the investigations continue. Ethics committee co-chair Lemias Mashile told TechCentral last month that Zuma’s firing of Pule had no material effect on the committee’s investigation while she remained an MP.
She now looks set to stay on as an MP with her appointment to the transport portfolio committee. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media