Communications Minister Dina Pule who is apparently quite known for her high taste in fashion and the trendy louboutin shoes she wears is in yet another controversy. It has been alleged that Dina Pule’s boyfriend, Phosane Mngqibisa was paid R6-million in management fees for the 2012 ICT Indaba after her department apparently forced the conference organizer to hire him.
Evidence has emerged from two secret documents seen by the Sunday Times: a forensic report by law firm Werksmans for MTN, and an affidavit that conference organizer Carol Bouwer submitted to parliament’s ethics committee. The documents show that despite the fact that Mnggibisa was paid the hefty sum, he was not really involved in the organisation of the event.
“Most of the work was done by us and Carol Bouwer,” said one of the workers who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We never saw Khemano.”
When you compare it, this means that Pule’s boyfriend, Phosane Mngqibisa, was paid nearly the same for a four-day work as the R6.4-million basic salary paid to former Telkom CEO Pinky Moholi for a year’s work and more than twice the R2.66-million paid to President Jacob Zuma last year which is quite scandalous.
The Werksmans report is the first confirmation that Pule’s boyfriend was actually paid the huge amount. However, the probe was unable to expose MTN’s role in the scandal because the company specifically instructed that not none of the MTN executives involved in the arrangements surrounding the ICT Indaba should be interviewed.
When the discovery was made, senior members of the communications department were quite amazed since they had nothing to do with his being recommended for job and had no dealings with the events company itself Khemano.
Before the indaba event, Pule had sent letters to Telkom, MTN and Vodacom inviting them to “cooperate with the Department of Communications and Carol Bouwer Productions” – an invitation that one company executive privately described as “near extortion”. The companies provided a total of R25.7-million and Pule’s department chipped in another R10.5-million for the event.
Some days after, the Sunday Times revealed that Mngqibisa had been given access to Bouwer’s bank account and that he had withdrawn millions to “pay suppliers” within days after the money was paid without the knowledge of the sponsors. The reports revealed that Mngqibisa also took a R6-million “management fee” whereas Bouwer, the main organizer of the event, only received a R2-million fee.
On his own part, Mngqibisa could not explain this discrepancy. The report states that “He was very evasive when questioned on how he arrived at the amount of R6-million as a management fee.”
Questions were sent to him this week which he declined answering nor did he shed any light on the state of affairs between him and the minister. Rather, he said “If you have any evidence of unlawful conduct or of any crime by any entity or individual in connection with the ICT Indaba, you are encouraged to provide such evidence to the authorities.”
Tracing the pattern of how and where the money was spent, Bank statements were collected which showed that he withdrew R100000 from Bouwer’s account on February 23 last year to fly to Barcelona, Spain, to attend a conference which Dina Pule had also attended. In his defense, Mngqbisa told the Sunday Times he used the trip to “market the inaugural ICT Indaba”.
While investigations are still on, questions remain about why MTN’s R15-million was diverted into the account of a company called ABR Consulting at the last minute, when other sponsors paid Bouwer’s company.
Through all of the probes, investigations and interviews, the strong opinion once again is that Pule chose her boyfriend over the state of the country.
Source: Times Live