Democratic Alliance MP and spokesman on communications Marian Shinn has called for Dina Pule to be removed as communications minister following new allegations against her published in a weekend newspaper.
The Sunday Times reported that Pule’s instruction, given in May 2012, that state-owned broadcasting signal distributor Sentech be the manager of the control system for digital terrestrial television may have benefited her alleged boyfriend, Phosane Mngqibisa.
According to the newspaper, the local partner of Europe’s Nagravision — Sentech’s chosen technology partner for the control system — is a company run by Rudy Rashama, a business partner of Mngqibisa’s.
Shinn says the latest developments give President Jacob Zuma “no option” but to remove Pule from cabinet and to find a new communications minister.
Various reports in recent weeks have suggested that Zuma may be on the verge of removing Pule from the crucial communications portfolio.
“This is the second time in a year that the minister has seemingly abused her powerful position in the information and communications technology sector to benefit Mngqibisa,” Shinn says.
“The controversy around the funding and management of the ICT Indaba held last June, from which Mngqibisa made at least R6m, is being probed by the Public Protector and parliament’s ethics and members’ interests committee.
“If Zuma is considering a soft exit for her into an ambassadorial post, he must remember that within one year Pule has been accused twice of bulldozing through schemes that were designed to enrich her boyfriend, indicating that she has a serious ethical deficit.”
Shinn says that in the past 12 months, the department of communications has “failed to meet most of its targets”.
“South Africa can no longer afford a minister who is constantly side-tracked by her own personal and vested interests.” — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media