Protector to present Pule report - TechCentral

Protector to present Pule report

Dina Pule

Dina Pule

The public protector may table its report into allegations of corruption and nepotism against communications minister Dina Pule as early as next week. The report was meant to be released at the end of March but was delayed.

Pule is accused of allowing her alleged boyfriend, businessman Phosane Mngqibisa, to receive sponsorship money from last year’s ICT Indaba, which was organised by the department of communications.

On Monday, Pule held a press conference where she professed her innocence and accused a Sunday Times investigative journalist of trying to blackmail her.

Sunday Times editor Phylicia Oppelt hit back on Monday rubbishing the minister’s accusations.

The public protector’s spokesman, Kgalalelo Masibi, says the investigation into Pule is ongoing but is at an “advanced stage”. Masibi says the protector hopes to submit a provisional report to affected parties by the end of the month. She says the delay in the investigation was caused by “capacity constraints”.

Parliament’s joint committee on ethics and members’ interests is conducting its own formal investigation of allegations of a conflict of interest by the minister in relation to the ICT Indaba. Pule will appear before the committee, which reportedly has more than 2 000 pages of evidence related to the matter, on 2 and 3 May.

Pule has also been accused of appointing people to key government positions — at Mngqibisa’s behest. These accusations do not, however, form part of the public protector and parliamentary investigations, but have prompted Democratic Alliance MP Marian Shinn to ask the South African Police Service to investigate Pule and Mngqibisa, along with SABC chief financial officer Gugu Duda and group CEO Lulama Mokhobo.  — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media

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