As the election date draws close, the pressure mounts and some reactions begin to emerge. After the release of the ANC’s list of candidates, there was a lot of reaction to this in all the forms of media. The biggest bone of contention was the fact that the ANC had included a number of candidates that had been involved in some form of corruption or were being investigated for some misdemeanor or other. One of these candidates was Dina Pule, the former communications minister who left the cabinet in a huff after the now renowned Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela presented an adverse report on her conduct. According to Madonsela’s report, Minister Pule was guilty of persistently lying to the parliament and to her staff in the department of communications. She was accused of further lying to the public protector about her relationship with Mr. Mngqibisa, with whom she was romantically involved.
At the beginning of this month, the ANC announced its list of candidates to contest in the elections. Dina Pule was among those candidates that would represent the ANC. She weighed in outside the top ten as would be expected after she was sacked from parliament following the corruption charges involving her businessman boyfriend. Along with several other ministers, the mention of her name raised quiet a few eyebrows early in March.
Most likely as a result of this backlash, the former minister of communications came out on Thursday and announced that she had decided to decline the nomination to stand for the party in the upcoming elections. She asked to be given a chance to live her life in peace, adding that she had taken time to think about this and had come to the conclusion that pulling out was the best way forward for her and her family. Dina Pule expressed gratitude to the ANC for the nomination, adding that, despite declining it, she would still remain a staunch supporter of the ruling party.
It remains to be seen whether the pulling out of the former minister has to do with the fact that she needs to concentrate on her personal life as she says or there are other underlying factors. In addition, we wait to see if this is an isolated incident or is part of a trend and is just the tip of the iceberg.