Turok: We were threatened during Pule investigation

The chairperson and registrar of Parliament's joint portfolio committee on ethics and members' interests were allegedly threatened with harm while conducting their investigation into the conduct of former communications minister Dina Pule.

A multiparty panel appointed by the committee released its report on Wednesday, painting a damning picture of the former minister's behaviour. She was sacked from President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet last month.

The committee handed down the harshest penalties it could on Pule and recommended further investigation by the police and the National Prosecuting Authority.

The panel's report revealed that committee co-chair and ANC MP Ben Turok and committee registrar Fazela Mahomed were alerted to threats of harm against them during investigations. It is not known who made the threats.

"The panel was informed that Parliament's head of security services and management had received information of a threat to harm the chairperson of the panel and registrar and to disrupt the proceedings of the panel," the report says. "These threats were reported to the authorities and appropriate measures were taken to safeguard the work of the panel and its personnel."

Turok told TechCentral that Parliament's security officials received information that the committee's processes would be disrupted and that "the registrar and myself were going to be targeted".

The parliamentary protection service assigned Turok and Mahomed each a security detail as a result.

"The police have been involved at quite a high level and the speaker of parliament knows about it," Turok says. "We expect that someone will be investigating the basis for all of this, but it has been taken quite seriously."

He added that he was less concerned about his personal safely and far more about the threat of interference with the "legitimate processes" of Parliament. "Any threat to disrupt a formal procedure in parliament is to be examined very carefully."

Members of the parliamentary protection service continue to accompany Turok and Mahomed.

The Western Cape branch of the South African Police Service is involved in the matter.  – (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Craig Wilson
Craig Wilson works from Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Producer, Writer. @cbsnews @nbcnews @Columbia Grad. Canadian, Albertan, Hatter. Opinions always mine. Craig Wilson has over 572 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

What it takes to achieve a true revolution

This is an edited extract of the introduction to ‘Revolutionary Thought in the 20th Century’ (1980) edited by Ben Turok

What it takes to achieve a true revolution

This is an edited extract of the introduction to ‘Revolutionary Thought in the 20th Century’ (1980) edited by late anti-apartheid stalwart Ben Turok

“Independent” and “outspoken” Turok dies

The former ANC MP was known as one of SA’s foremost thinkers and an author of the Freedom Charter

SABC crisis a ‘Horror Show’ rerun

The broadcaster will only be saved from ongoing disaster when politicians are not in the script

​Fazela Mohamed must be replaced for parly ethics committee to move forward, says DA

On Thursday, the Western Cape High Court ruled in favour of the DA and its leader Mmusi Maimane and ordered the committee to be reconstituted.

Six critics of the ANC who may have pissed off Mantashe

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe is not happy with former ANC leaders who "lambast the governments and parties they were once proud to serve".

Shongweni stink: EnviroServ bosses back in court

Managers charged over landfill emissions want charges set aside

Jailed journalist a symbol of a disillusioned Zimbabwe

Hopewell Chin’ono backed President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he succeeded Robert Mugabe. Now he’s in jail

Covid-19 a ‘catalyst for closing the pay gap’

Executive directors earn 66 times the national minimum wage and are overwhelmingly white, a report by assurance, advisory and tax services company PwC has found

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday