Our hero this week has censured the former minister of communications Dina Pule for misleading parliament and denying her romantic ties with a man who allegedly made millions from deals with the communications department while she was at its helm.
Pule was found guilty yesterday by the parliamentary ethics committee for failing to disclose the interests of her romantic partner, who’s believed to have made millions from sponsorship deals for the ICT Indaba held in Cape Town last year.
Having issued the harshest penalties at its disposal and recommending that the former minister be criminally charged, we make the committee our hero of the week.
Corruption Watch calls for the prosecuting authorities to act swiftly and ensure Pule is held accountable for her alleged unlawful conduct.
“It is important to note that Pule is not an ordinary member of parliament, but held a Cabinet post vital to South Africa’s well-being and economic prospects. It is therefore imperative that strong consequences flow from the manner in which she has abused the public resources under her stewardship,” says Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis.
Corruption Watch has also noted the limited powers of the ethics committee, which Lewis says need to be beefed up to impose heavier penalties on corrupt members of parliament.
“While we understand that the committee used all powers at its disposal and we commend them for that, their punitive powers appear far too limited relative to the level of misconduct and disregard for the public office that Pule occupied. This is all the more reason for the criminal justice authorities to act, including action to recover the public funds plundered.”