The Sunday Times reported that Mngqibisa was not really involved in the organisation of the event, despite being paid the R6 million management fee.
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said in a statement that it has taken note, with great concern, of the Sunday Times’ latest report of shenanigans involving the now discredited ICT Indaba, and the alleged dubious involvement of Pule.
“Today’s revelations that Minister Dina Pule’s boyfriend, Phosane Mngqibisa, was paid R6-million in management fees for doing nothing, is just the latest in a string of alleged failures, indiscretions, extravagances, questionable actions and lack of leadership, indulgently glossed over or even exonerated and executed by Minister Pule,” the IFP said.
“In light of the new revelations, the IFP believes that … the Presidency should launch their own urgent investigation into the alleged irregularities surrounding the ICT Indaba.”
“This seemingly ‘blank cheque’ approach towards the spending of public funds cannot be tolerated. Too many South Africans are suffering in poverty and extreme hardship. It would be immoral to overlook misconduct on the part of ministers.”
The IFP also called on the Public Protector to take note of the latest revelations in the ICT Indaba saga and finalize her investigation into this matter urgently.
“If Minister Pule is guilty, she needs to be shown the door. Ministers, after all, are supposed to be guardians of the public purse and their various portfolios and thus have an obligation to raise the bar in respect of good conduct and ethical behaviour.”
The DA also reacted to the news, saying that it is becoming increasingly evident that Minister Pule not only put pressure on a number of telecoms 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.
“In light of this latest evidence, I will request the Public Protector to expedite the investigation and make her report public as soon as possible,” said Marian Shinn, Shadow Minister of Communications for the DA.
“Parliament’s Ethics and Members’ Interest Committee has also been investigating Minister Pule’s conduct and I will be following up with the chairperson of the Committee to determine the progress of the investigation and when it will be made public.”
“It is becoming increasingly evident that the Minister may have abused her position of authority over companies in the ICT industry to enrich a close personal friend. If investigations confirm that this was indeed the case, Minister Pule must be made to face the consequences.”