The Sunday Times reported today (24 March 2013) that communications minister Dina Pule’s boyfriend Phosane Mngqibisa “has infiltrated the various entities supposedly under Pule’s authority”.
According to the newspaper an internal audit showed that Mngqibisa “engineered getting friends and relatives on the boards of the Post Office, Sentech, Usasa, and the SABC with the full knowledge of Pule”.
This, the newspaper argued, showed “decisive evidence of just how unsuited the minister is to her job”.
This news follows a string of reports alleging interference and possible mismanagement from the communications minister.
A recent Mail & Guardian report stated that Pule allegedly interfered in the appointment of the SABC’s CFO.
Former SABC board member Pippa Green said that “The name the board submitted to the shareholder [Pule] for the position of CFO [chief financial officer], a man who seemed eminently qualified for the job, was rejected out of hand”.
“We were told to submit three, including the name of a person whose CV came to us suspiciously late. This was the CV of the person whom the minister subsequently appointed and who turned out to be a major disappointment for the board,” said Green.
Green was referring to the appointment of Gugu Duda, who is now suspended because of allegations of financial irregularities.
Three weeks ago the Sunday Times reported that “Communications minister Dina Pule bullied television networks to accept a set-top box deal worth an estimated R100-million that would have cost tax-payers extra while benefiting her boyfriend’s business partner”.
However, the high-court subsequently struck down the deal in December 2012, calling it “unlawful”. Pule initially planned to appeal the ruling, but withdrew two weeks ago.
The newspaper previously reported that Pule is also involved in a scandal around the recent ICT Indaba in Cape Town, for which she secured sponsorship from Vodacom, MTN and Telkom amounting to R25.7-million.
The Sunday Times reported that R6-million of this money went to Khemano, a company owned by Mngqibisa.
However, Pule has rejected allegations of tender corruption “with contempt” in a recent interview with John Robbie on Talk Radio 702.
“I want to reject this with the contempt it deserves. It’s very unfortunate that people will run stories about me personally, which are very wrong…totally,” said Pule.