Pule Guilty: DA welcomes Parliamentary Ethics Committee decision
Following the DA's request for an investigation, today the multiparty Parliamentary Ethics Committee, of which I am a member, found ex-Minister of Communications, Dina Pule guilty of causing improper benefits to be afforded to Mr Phosane Mngqibisa on the basis of his relationship with her.
The DA is pleased that the multiparty ethics committee was unanimous in its decision to impose the strictest possible penalties available to Parliament in this case. The matter has now been referred to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) for further investigation.
The members determined to impose the strictest penalties possible under the committee's mandate. We found:
- she wilfully misled the panel;
- caused improper benefits to be afforded to Mr Mngqibisa on the basis of his relationship with her; and
- breached the Executive Members Ethics Code.
We rejected her evidence as untrustworthy and determined that she be issued with a reprimand, fined 30 days' salary, and be suspended from Parliament for 15 days.
Further, the Department was severely criticised, as were several of the officials who worked there and who failed to appear before the committee, who submitted incomplete information in relation to the number of trips taken, and who claimed that documents requested by the panel had "disappeared".
I was fully cleared of any wrongdoing by the committee, despite the long and concerted campaign of attacks waged on me. My refusal to comment to the media on this matter at the time this campaign was launched, was in terms of our oath.
This has been a long and arduous process, and my deepest thanks go to my colleagues of all parties who perform this most difficult task of investigating our peers in terms of their ethical behaviour, or lack thereof.
Public representatives found guilty of corruption and abuse of power should be penalised swiftly and to the full extent of the mandates available, and this process has reinforced the crucial necessity of ethical behaviour in this highest body in the land.
Statement issued by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP, DA Shadow Minister of Police, August 7 2013
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