Dina Pule’s removal from the executive does not vindicate her from several ongoing investigations involving charges of cronyism and maladministration, according to the Democratic Alliance (DA).
President Jacob Zuma sacked Pule as part of a cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday (9 July).
The former minister is currently being investigated by the Public Protector regarding her involvement in the ICT Indaba scandal, following reports that R25 million raised by sponsors for the event could not be accounted for.
Pule is also currently under investigation by both Parliament’s Ethics Committee and the South African Police Service (SAPS).
Marian Shinn, DA Shadow Minister of Communications said that the DA has been sent from pillar to post between the SAPS and the Hawks, “trying to confirm who is investigating Dina Pule and what the progress is on the case”.
“I will today write to the Director of the Hawks, Anwa Dramat, to request written confirmation and an update on the investigations thus far as soon as possible,” the shadow minister said.
The DA gave an affidavit to SAPS in May, requesting that it investigate the possible criminal activities of Ms Pule, her boyfriend Mr Phosane Mngqibisa, the suspended CFO of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Ms Gugu Duda and the Group CEO of the SABC Ms Lulama Mokhobo.
This followed the Sunday Times front page investigation into appointments in the Department of Communication and its entities under her watch and the role of her boyfriend in appointing executive management and board members.
The DA said that the SAPS agreed to investigate the allegations, and in June 2013, Cape Town SAPS Col Mkhuzo confirmed that witnesses had come forward and the case has been escalated to the anti-corruption unit, the Hawks, in Cape Town.
“However, the contact person to whom Col Mkhuzo handed the docket, Col Hlophe, repeatedly denied that they are investigating the case,” Shinn said.
“It is of extreme importance that a clear message is sent out to all those who hold executive office that should they in any way misuse their positions that they will be investigated and held to account in terms of the law. Ms Dina Pule must be no exception.”
Yunus Carrim is expected to be sworn in as the new communications minister today (10 July 2013).