ANC discussing Pule at ‘high level’
Deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the party is discussing what to do about former communications minister Dina Pule after the publication by parliament’s ethics committee of a damning report into her behaviour.
What to do about sacked communications minister Dina Pule is being discussed at a “high level” in the ANC, the party’s deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, said on Monday.
“It is not being dismissed as casually as it may seem,” Duarte told reporters in Johannesburg.
Pule was fined and suspended by parliament for a scandal that saw her romantic partner, Phosane Mngqibisa, benefit from state funding. Speaker Max Sisulu told Pule she betrayed her oath of office and brought parliament into disrepute.
Parliament’s ethics committee found that the former minister was guilty of most of the charges levelled against her and was also found to have lied to the committee during its investigations. The committee has recommended that parliament refer the matter to the police and the National Prosecuting Authority.
The committee fined Pule 30 days’ salary and she has had her parliamentary privileges, including her right to a seat in debates and committees, suspended for 15 days.
Committee chairman Ben Turok said Pule abused her position as communications minister by awarding Mngqibisa funding for overseas trips and contracts.
The committee also found that she had lied to it during its hearings and that she had government employees collude with her. “The continued denial of the relationship during the proceedings further reflects the intent to wilfully mislead the panel,” the ethics committee read.
According to the committee’s report, Pule breached the code of conduct for MPs as she did not disclose the conflict involving Mngqibisa. “In this regard, Pule wilfully provided the registrar with incorrect and misleading details,” it said.
Pule also breached the code’s requirement that MPs must declare private interests when they or a spouse, permanent partner or business partner has a personal or private financial or business interest.
Pule was sacked from president Jacob Zuma’s cabinet in July. Yunus Carrim was then installed as communications minister.
At the same press conference, Duarte said the ANC was “confident” that it would increase its majority at the 2014 general election. “We are very confident that we will win this election decisively.” — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media, with Sapa
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