Communications minister Dina Pule has slammed allegations of nepotism against her and her boyfriend as a smear campaign. According to Pule’s spokesman, Siza Qoza, Pule believed she was the victim of a “politically motivated smear campaign [that] is characterised by people throwing mud at her in the hope that something will stick”.
These remarks come after allegations that Pule’s boyfriend, Phosane Mngqibisa, orchestrated the appointment of friends and family to key organisations under her portfolio.
Nomakhaya Malebane, a former confidant and business partner of Gugu Duda, alleged in the Sunday Times at the weekend that Duda, who was friends with Pule’s boyfriend, was given the position of chief financial officer at the SABC as a result of this friendship.
“Phosane gave Gugu three choices: to be [chief financial officer] at either the SABC, the Post Office or Post Bank, and she chose SABC,” Malebane said.
Malebane said Pule orchestrated for Duda to be selected by the board — receiving her CV directly and getting it into the hands of the board even though it was late into the selection process.
Former SABC board member Pippa Green seemingly referred to the incident in her resignation letter.
“We were told to submit three [names] including the name of a person whose CV came to us suspiciously late. This was the CV of the person whom the minister subsequently appointed and who turned out to be a major disappointment for the board.”
Qoza said Pule denied any impropriety with regard to appointments under her portfolio.
The Sunday Times also alleged that Pule’s boyfriend organised the appointment of his relative, Lulama Makhoba, to the post of SABC CEO.
Asked by the newspaper if Pule was aware that Makhobo was related to her boyfriend, Qosa said Pule had “considered Ms Mokhobo’s experience and ability to do the job [and did not] ask for a list of her relatives”. — Sapa