Pule hasn't, won't say sorry

2013-05-10 21:05
Dina Pule (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Dina Pule (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Communications Minister Dina Pule will not apologise to the Sunday Times, her department said on Friday.

"For the record, Minister Pule has not apologised to the Sunday Times, and has no intention to do so," department spokesperson Siyabulela Qoza said in a statement.

He was responding to an article published in the newspaper on 5 May that less than 24 hours after Pule held a news conference about a smear campaign against her, she sent her lawyer to apologise to the journalists involved.

Attorney Ronnie Bokwa allegedly told the newspaper Pule's right-hand man, deputy director general Themba Phiri, contacted him on the day of the news conference to broker an "armistice".

"He told me things were placed in the public space by the minister that should not have been placed in the public domain... We have wronged the Sunday Times," Bokwa was quoted as saying.

Qoza said the individuals mentioned in the article did not represent Pule.

"The Sunday Times even went further, to allege that one of the individuals concerned is minister Pule's lawyer. This is false," he said.

"Sunday Times editors foolishly published the story without even checking the facts. Shockingly, the Sunday Times reported about this without even seeking a response from minister Pule on the specific allegations."

Qoza said Pule did not ask anyone to represent her.

Smear campaign

Sunday Times editor Phylicia Oppelt could not immediately be reached for comment.

At the press conference on 22 April, Pule claimed the newspaper wrote a series of articles about her as part of a smear and blackmail campaign.

She alleged that business people linked to the newspaper had a vested interest in trying to secure a multi-billion rand set-top-box tender and were willing to do anything to get it.

Set-top-boxes are required for the move from analogue to digital TV broadcasting.

Pule said high-profile business people and politicians tried to force her into making decisions in their favour.

She detailed several stories written about her which, she claimed, sought to project her as a corrupt minister who could be bribed with a pair of shoes.

She also allegedly gave tenders to a boyfriend, meddled in tender processes, and interfered in the appointment of officials to the boards of state-owned enterprises.

- SAPA

Read more on:    sunday times  |  dina pule  |  phylicia oppelt  |  johannesburg  |  media
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