A provisional report by public protector Thuli Madonsela into allegations of corruption and nepotism levied against former communications minister Dina Pule has been submitted to the president for comment, with a final version expected to follow in early October.
“A provisional report was issued on Tuesday [last week] and submitted to the president,” Madonsela’s spokesman, Kgalalelo Masibi, tells TechCentral. Masibi says the return date for comment is 1 October.
The report was meant to be released in March, but was delayed until the end of May due to “capacity constraints”. In June, it was delayed again because an unnamed witness cancelled an interview at the last minute.
Pule, who was removed from the role of communications minister in July and replaced by Yunus Carrim, is accused of allowing her romantic partner, businessman Phosane Mngqibisa, to benefit from sponsorship money earmarked for last year’s ICT Indaba in Cape Town, which was organised by the department of communications.
Last month, an investigation by parliament’s joint portfolio committee on ethics and members’ interests found Pule had “wilfully misled” parliament by denying her romantic relationship with Mngqibisa and that she had abused her position to benefit him.
Pule was reprimanded in parliament, fined a month’s salary and had her parliamentary privileges revoked for 15 days. These were the maximum punitive measures the committee could hand down.
The chairman and the registrar of the ethics committee, Ben Turok and Fazela Mahomed, said they were threatened with harm while conducting their investigation.
Democratic Alliance MP Marian Shinn in April asked the police to probe the allegation of corruption against Pule, along with accusations against two top-ranking SABC executives.
Pule’s legal wrangles have, to date, cost taxpayers almost R1,2m. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media