DA wants faster probe of Pule
If communications minister Dina Pule abused her position of authority to enrich her alleged romantic partner, she must be made to face the consequences, says the Democratic Alliance.
The opposition Democratic Alliance will write to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to ask her to expedite her probe into 2012’s ICT Indaba after the Sunday Times published damning new allegations at the weekend that communications minister Dina Pule’s romantic partner benefited to the tune of R6m from the event.
The newspaper quotes two “secret” documents — a forensic report by law firm Werksmans, acting for MTN, and an affidavit that indaba organiser Carol Bouwer submitted to parliament’s ethics committee, which is probing the event.
It says the Werksmans report reveals that Phosane Mngqibisa, alleged to be romantically involved with Pule, took a R6m “management fee” for his involvement in the ICT Indaba, while Bouwer, the main organiser received just R2m.
Curiously, the probe by Werksmans was not able to expose MTN’s role in the scandal because the company “specifically instructed [it] not to interview any of the MTN executives involved in the arrangement surrounding the ICT Indaba”, the newspaper said.
Democratic Alliance MP and communications spokesman Marian Shinn says it is becoming “increasingly evident” that Pule “not only put pressure on a number of telecommunications companies to sponsor the indaba, but used undue influence to ensure that her partner was appointed in a management role, which enabled him to withdraw money from the main organiser’s bank account”.
Madonsela is not investigating a possible conflict of interest in Pule’s involvement in the event. “In light of this latest evidence, I will request the Public Protector to expedite the investigation as soon as possible,” Shinn says.
“It is becoming increasingly evident that the minister may have abused her position of authority over companies … to enrich a close personal friend. If investigations confirm that this was indeed the case, Pule must be made to face the consequences.” — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media