The South African Police Service has agreed to begin an investigation into alleged corruption involving appointments by communications minister Dina Pule and her alleged romantic partner Phosane Mngqibisa at the department of communications and state-owned entities in the sector.
The Democratic Alliance requested an investigation by the police last month, when MP Marian Shinn reported the matter to the police service in Cape Town last month.
Shinn’s decision to ask the police to investigate was based on a newspaper report that said an internal audit showed Mngqibisa was instrumental in getting friends and relatives on the boards of the Post Office, Sentech, the Universal Service & Access Agency of South Africa and the SABC, apparently with Pule’s “full knowledge”.
The Sunday Times reported last month that Mngqibisa had “engineered the appointment of his close relative, Lulama Makhobo, to the post of SABC CEO as well as one of his close friends, Guga Duda, as chief financial officer”.
The news comes as parliament’s ethics committee last week began probing allegations that Mngqibisa benefited financially – reportedly to the tune of R6m – from last year’s ICT Indaba in Cape Town, which was organised by the department of communications. The minister is also facing a probe by the public protector, Thuli Madonsela, whose report is expected to be published soon, possibly this week.
On the police investigation, Shinn says she hopes it will be “met with full disclosure by the minister and all other parties involved and that appropriate steps are taken should a case for prosecution be established”.
“This is clearly a compromised minister. President [Jacob] Zuma should suspend Pule until such stage as these investigations are completed and the outcomes are known,” Shinn says. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media