SAPS: Pule not involved in assassination plot

Former minister of communications Dina Pule. (Gallo)

Former minister of communications Dina Pule. (Gallo)

On Sunday the South African Police Service (SAPS) categorically stated that, “Our analysis thus far does not indicate any threats on the members of the panel. There is no information or evidence at this stage which suggests the involvement of any particular person or persons with regard to the alleged threats,” according to head of communication for the SAPS, Solomon Makgale.

He admitted that they were notified of a possible security threat to members of the parliament committee that had been investigating former minister of communications, Dina Pule, ANC MP Ben Turok and Fazela Mahomed.

Sunday newspapers this week reported that Pule and her boyfriend Phosane Mngqibisa were linked to the assassination plot of these top officials. The first-hand informant who spoke to the Sunday Times was interviewed by the police regarding the security threat allegations, and he proved uncooperative and not credible. The SAPS has however taken the threats seriously and we will continue to analyse the situation.

Turok, who co-chairs the parliamentary ethics committee, told the Mail & Guardian on Thursday: "I'm afraid there's quite a lot going on. I'm sitting in the car now with the two security people, life can be so exciting."

On Wednesday, Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members Interests found Pule guilty for willfully misleading parliament, providing improper benefits to her boyfriend and breaching the code of conduct for Members of Parliament. She was fined an equivalent of 30 days salary, and suspended her privileges for 15 days and be excluded from any parliamentary debates or committees during that period.

Turok said these actions were criminal in nature and they have been handed to the authorities to the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to investigate. Bulelwa Makeke, spokesperson for the NPA confirmed that the criminal charges investigation of Pule is being handled by the SAPS.

Last month, Pule was fired as minister of communications during a cabinet re-shuffle by President Jacob Zuma. The axing was welcomed by the public as Pule was being investigated by Parliament and public protector Thuli Madonsela after she was accused of funneling contracts and government resources to her boyfriend during the controversial Information and Communication Technology Indaba.

Khuthala Nandipha

Khuthala Nandipha

Khuthala Nandipha is a journalist for the Mail & Guardian. This involves writing about various social issues that develop and change on an hourly basis. Her interests are, in a nutshell, how South Africa and the world’s revolution affect the person on the street: “the forgotten voting citizens”, as she calls them. She loves writing, and taking photos as a way to complement her stories. She grew up on the south-east coast of East London in the Eastern Cape. She studied journalism at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. She is not new to Jo’burg, having spent the first eight years of her journalism career working for various newspapers and magazines there. Read more from Khuthala Nandipha

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