Cold comfort for Dina Pule

After all, ANC politicians giving the tearful Pule a hug after she had been condemned is not quite the same as carrying Tony Yengeni on their shoulders, like a triumphant sportsperson, to prison, as they did after he finally lost all appeals against his 2003 fraud conviction.

Still, both cases look like a refusal to acknowledge wrongdoing in the first place. And, as we report in this edition, the pats of comfort given to Pule echoed attempts by her sympathisers to contest the findings of the ethics panel. 

All sorts of spurious objections were made, including that, for “cultural” reasons, Pule was not able to be honest about the status of her relationship with Phosane Mngqibisa, who not only travelled extensively (and expensively) as Pule’s companion when she was minister but also, it is claimed, benefited financially from his involvement in the communication ministry’s business. (A figure of R6-million has been mentioned.)

To argue that too much was made of her personal life in the report is to miss the point that it is precisely in the space between public service and private relationships that so much corruption takes place. 

Corruption
Is the ANC serious about fighting corruption, or isn’t it? Is it serious about MPs being honest and adhering to Parliament’s code of conduct, or isn’t it?

The key issue here is that Pule lied. Furthermore, interrogating her lies makes it look very much as though she corruptly sent money and other benefits Mngqibisa’s way, and/or that he took a commanding role in the ministry, where he had no official position, entirely in his own interests.

-- Advert --

This should be fully investigated by the police, as recommended by the report. We hope that the recommendation was not just a gesture on the panel’s part and that the police take the charges seriously. We had also hoped Pule herself might take the charges seriously but it appears that she is still unsure whether she did anything wrong: “if” she had made “mistakes”, she was sorry.

Pule has been waging a war of misdirection and disinformation ever since she was first accused of malfeasance and her tactics have often been of the lowest kind. Should she be comforted for being found out? The sins for which Parliament has rapped her on the knuckles may, in fact, turn out to be the least of her worries.

[/td_block_text_with_title]
Advertisting

‘We’re satisfied with SA’s land reform policy’— US Ambassador

Top US official is lobbying multinational firms to invest in South Africa

Hosni Mubarak is dead, but the Egypt he built is...

Despite the efforts of the Arab Spring, Egypt is still led by a military dictatorship made in Mubarak’s image

Inside the Security Branch: Torture between brandy and boerewors

A former SB operative, Paul Erasmus, talks about the torture of a young trade unionist, Neil Aggett, and the machinations at John Vorster Square

Press Releases

Tourism can push Africa onto a new path – minister

The continent is fast becoming a dynamic sought-after tourist destination

South Africa’s education system is broken and unequal, and must be fixed without further delay

The Amnesty International report found that the South African government continues to miss its own education upgrading targets

Business travel industry generates billions

Meetings Africa is ready to take advantage of this lucrative opportunity

Conferences connect people to ideas

The World Expo and Meetings Africa are all about stimulating innovation – and income

SAB Zenzele Kabili B-BBEE share scheme

New scheme to be launched following the biggest B-BBEE FMCG payout in South Africa’s history

Digging deep

Automation is unstoppable, but if we're strategic about its implementation, it presents major opportunities

TFSAs are the gymnasts of the retirement savings world

The idea is to get South Africans to save, but it's best to do your research first to find out if a TFSA is really suited to your needs

Achieving the litmus test of social relevance

The HSS Awards honours scholarly works based on their social relevance and contribution to the humanities and social sciences