South Africa’s controversy-plagued communications minister has been fired. President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday gave Dina Pule her marching orders, announcing at a hastily arranged media conference at the Union Buildings in Pretoria that current deputy minister of co-operative governance & traditional affairs Yunus Carrim will take the reins from Pule with immediate effect.
Twin investigations into Pule are underway, one by parliament’s ethics committee, and another by public protector Thuli Madonsela. This follows publication of a series of damning articles by the Sunday Times in the past year that implicated Pule in nepotistic and corrupt behaviour related to businessman Phosane Mngqibisa. The newspaper has consistently alleged that Mngqibisa is a romantic partner of the minister’s and has published documents it says prove this.
Parliament has been finalising a report into allegations that Mngqibisa benefited financially from the sponsorship of 2012’s ICT Indaba in Cape Town. TechCentral revealed on Monday that the report was expected to be presented in parliament in late August. At the same time, Pule is facing a detailed probe by Madonsela’s office. Her report is expected soon.
Zuma made a number of other major changes to his cabinet on Tuesday. Connie September is taking over the human settlements portfolio from Tokyo Sexwale, while transport minister Ben Martins swopped porfolios with energy minister Dipuo Peters. Deputy land reform minister Lechesa Tsenoli is taking the reins from Richard Baloyi as co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister.
Pule is the third communications minister to be redeployed or fired by Zuma. In 2011, he moved the generally well-respected Roy Padayachie into the public service & administration portfolio, replacing him with Pule. Padayachie, who passed away in 2011, had replaced Siphiwe Nyanda, who was named as Zuma’s adviser in parliament. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media