Allegations against Pule will not stick – Communications dept

2013-05-13 14:58

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Allegations in The Sunday Times of extravagant spending by Communications Minister Dina Pule will not stick, the department has said.

The newspaper was continuing to peddle slander and salacious rumours in what appeared to be a desperate attempt to convict Pule in the court of public opinion, departmental spokesman Wisani Ngobeni said today.

“We believe there is an attempt to convict the minister and the department in the court of public opinion. We must be careful as South Africans,” he said.

Ngobeni said the department was not aware of the documents published in the Sunday Times as proof of Pule’s alleged R700 000 travels to Mexico and New York with her boyfriend Phosane Mngqibisa, her personal assistant, and a deputy director-general.

“We do not know the source of these documents and we do not have these documents on our records. We are unable to express a view on documents which we do not have knowledge of,” he said.

The Sunday Times was well aware the department and Pule could not publicly respond to the allegations because they were being investigated by Parliament’s ethics committee and the Public Protector.

The newspaper published what it claimed was a departmental travel form, on which Pule stated that Mngqibisa was travelling with her as a “companion”.

In March, the Sunday Times alleged that Mngqibisa organised the appointment of his relative, Lulama Makhoba, to the post of SABC CEO.

City Press reported yesterday that Free State Premier Ace ­Magashule’s top spin doctor has been deployed to help polish Pule’s sullied image.

Former journalist Wisani Ngobeni is working for Pule on a 12-month secondment.

Ngobeni was the chief ­director of government communication in Magashule’s ­office ­before he was shipped off to Pule last month.

Pule is expected to explain the allegations when she appears before Parliament's ethics committee on Wednesday and Thursday.

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