President Zuma must stop dragging his feet and fire Dina Pule
The DA re-iterates its call for President Zuma to fire Minister of Communications, Dina Pule, without any further delay. The latest revelations in the Sunday Times today that Minister Pule's boyfriend, Phosane Mngqibisa, had been able to secure top jobs for friends and relatives at the Post Office, Sentech, Usaasa and the SABC with the full knowledge of Minister Pule, is further evidence of the complete mismanagement of the Department of Communications under her watch (see here).
I will also be writing to the Public Protector, Adv. Thuli Madonsela, to request that she investigate these serious allegations of nepotism against the Minister, in terms of the Executive Ethics Act. In particular, in terms of:
Section 2(1)(b) (ii) acting in a way that is inconsistent with their office; (iii) exposing themselves to any situation involving the risk of a conflict between their official responsibilities and their private interests; (iv) using their position of any information entrusted to them, to enrich themselves or improperly benefit any other person and (v) acting in a way that may compromise the credibility or integrity of their office or of the government.
President Zuma has already procrastinated too long on this issue. His failure to act speedily on accepting the resignations of the SABC board chair and vice-chair led to the collapse of the board and rendered the corporation ungovernable. If he continues to do the same with acting against Minister Pule, it will have the same destructive effect on the ICT sector.
It is clear that she lacks the leadership to effectively fulfil her duties as a member of cabinet. Her two presentations to the Portfolio Committee on Communications in the past week were disingenuous, self-pitying and often far from the truth. Her overview of the Department's strategic plan was nothing short of pathetic, and lacked substance.
Minister Pule must be removed before she does any further damage to the sector or begins to interfere, as she has done before, with the new SABC interim board in order to get her way with actions that were previously opposed by the board.
It is time for President Zuma to put the interests of the country ahead of his own political survival. Minister Pule must be removed urgently if President Zuma is serious about making ICT relevant to the South African economy and our country's social development agenda.
Statement issued by Marian Shinn MP, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, March 24 2013
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