The questions Dina Pule's not answering - Marian Shinn

DA MP says minister has failed to answer a single parliamentary question of the 29 put to her this year

Unanswered questions: What Dina Pule does not want South Africa to know

Communications Minister Dina Pule has not answered a single parliamentary question this year.

Minister Pule has repeatedly demonstrated her ineptitude as a Cabinet Minister and her clear aversion of parliamentary oversight is further reason for President Zuma to fire her.

The DA will write to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Max Sisulu, and the Leader of Government Business, Kgalema Motlanthe, to request that they intervene to ensure that Minister Pule fulfils this key responsibility.

Not a single one of the 29 questions posed to Minister Pule in 2013 - 18 questions by the DA and 11 by other opposition parties - have been answered.

The questions posed by the DA include:

  • The status of negotiations or legal challenges surrounding the removal of the head of SABC News and Current Affairs and the Chief Financial Officer;
  • Whether a forensic investigation was commissioned into the financial mismanagement at USAASA;
  • Whether bonuses were paid to senior officials in her Department or any of the entities reporting to the Department;
  • How many companies or entities had approved operation licenses issued by ICASA in 2012, how many are currently up to date with license payment and how many are in arrears;
  • The cost of her department's failed defence against eTv's court challenge on the the set-top box access control system;
  • The outcome of the National Intelligence Agency's investigation into ICASA councillor William Stucke; and 
  • When the task team of the ICT's July 2012 Indaba met, as well as its outcomes.

Other important questions that remain unanswered are:

  • Whether her department has informed the International Telecommunications Union about the fact that South Africa would not meet the cut-off date for analogue transmissions; and
  • Whether progress has been made with the finalisation of the specifications for set-top box manufacturing and when manufacturing of decoders will commence.

It is clear that Minister Pule is trying to hide information from Parliament. This is unacceptable and an affront to Parliament's constitutionally enshrined mandate to hold the executive to account.

This is the latest blunder by a Minister who is clearly out of her depths. South Africa deserves a capable communications minister. We re-iterate our call for Dina Pule to go.

Statement issued by Marian Shinn MP, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, April 7 2013

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