Parliament’s ethics watchdog has imposed the maximum penalties on axed communications minister Dina Pule.
A multi-party investigating panel found her guilty of breaching the code of conduct for MPs by failing to disclose her relationship with Phosane Mngqibisa.
The probe also found that several department of communications officials “may have committed perjury in their evidence and colluded” with Pule.
Panel chairperson ANC MP Ben Turok said this matter would be referred to the police for further investigation.
Pule – who is now on the backbenches after President Jacob Zuma demoted her in his last Cabinet reshuffle – faces a fine of a month’s salary, a public reprimand by the speaker of the National Assembly and the loss for 15 days of her privileges as an MP.
Pule must also “retrospectively” amend the declarations she has made over the past few years of her financial and other interests, as all MPs are required to do.
Mngqibisa – deemed by the panel to be her de facto permanent companion or spouse – was found to have benefitted substantially from his association with her, most notably through the ICT Indaba her department hosted last year.
The panel made no finding on her failure to declare the pair of Christian Louboutin shoes Mngqibisa was reported to have given her, because of a lack of corroborating evidence, Turok said.
The investigation was sparked by revelations in the Sunday Times that Mngqibisa had benefited from the ICT Indaba. Turok said two MPs had also formally laid complaints. These, and the media allegations, prompted the ethics committee to take up the matter, he said.
Turok said the ethics committee unanimously adopted the panel’s report and recommendations today. It has also been tabled in Parliament.
The sanctions only kick in once the National Assembly has adopted the report.
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