Former Minister of Communications Dina Pule continues to make newspaper headlines for unsavory reasons. Last week she was exposed as a liar in parliament. Pule favored her businessman boyfriend, Phosane Mngqibisa, and took him along on her foreign trips. There is nothing wrong with that except for the fact that the state financed these trips. A report showed that she “wilfully misled” Parliament by not owning up to her love affair with Mngqibisa. Mngibisa also benefited financially from deals made with Pule’s department.
According to Times Live, Pule found herself in hot water yet again when a newspaper ran a story about a man who claimed that he had been hired by the disgraced minister’s boyfriend to murder the officials who are investigating her. Though the minister did not personally seek the services of a hit-man, this claim does not look good for her already unstable political career.
The man said that his assignment was to “recruit a hit-man for the job” of getting rid of Professor Ben Turok who is the chairperson of the Parliamentary Ethics Committee. The second target was Fazela Mohamed, the registrar of members’ interests. After an initial investigation, the police took the allegations seriously enough to assign bodyguards to both targets.
The assassination plot was derailed when President Jacob Zuma reshuffled his cabinet and left Dina Pule out in the cold. Dina Pule, Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale and Minister of Traditional Affairs Richard Baloyi were left without jobs after the reshuffle.
The Sunday Times met with the man to discuss his claims on 22 July. The man laid out the details of the assassination plot. At first, the biggest priority for Phosane Mngqibisa was to be able to provide falsified documents that could be used as proof that Mngqibisa, and not Dina Pule, had paid for the foreign business trips. The man said that Mngibisa offered him R 400 000 payment for the documents. It was during the meeting to discuss the forgeries that Mngqibisa mentioned murdering the two officials.
The paper confirmed that these accusations are supported by email and phone text correspondence as well as recordings of conversations between the man and Mngqibisa. Based on social media activity, public opinion is swayed in the view that Pule had to have known about this elaborate and deadly scheme designed to protect her though there has been no indication to that effect.
Throughout the scandals, Dina Pule has maintained that the media, in particular The Sunday Times, was out to get her. In April, she denied reports by the Sunday Times that she had interfered with tender application processes in order to guarantee that her boyfriend would be awarded tenders. It turns out, those allegations were true.