Editorials 22.8.2013 06:00 am

ANC shameless over Dina Pule

Any doubts that former Communications Minister Dina Pule is being given a soft landing were dispelled by the “rock star” treatment she was accorded while being administered her punishment in Parliament this week.

True, Speaker Max Sisulu duly admonished her for bringing Parliament into disrepute.

The ANC, along with all other parties, adopted the ethics committee report which listed damning findings against her. As the committee recommended, she was stripped of her parliamentary privileges for two weeks (effectively another holiday), and will forfeit a month’s pay.

This punishment, admittedly the toughest the ethics committee can impose, was light considering the extent of her abuse of taxpayers’ and sponsors’ resources, and her other deceits. The Public Protector’s report is still awaited, along with information about how the SA Police Service and National Prosecuting Authority investigations are proceeding.

However, what was disturbing about Tuesday’s events was the way she was supported by her ANC colleagues. We should not forget that when Tony Yengeni went to jail for lying to Parliament he was carried shoulder high by ANC comrades.

That mob was joined by the Speaker at the time. Since then Yengeni has endured no disgrace. In fact he is a valued member of the national executive committee. Yengeni runs the ANC political school, where he has perfected the art of driving a no-number plate Maserati while under the influence.

What we learn from this is that the ANC not only condones dishonesty, it supports emotionally and financially those who are caught. This is the message behind Pule keeping her seat amid hugs and kisses from ministers and MPs: “Tough luck, comrade sister, you were rumbled but don’t worry, we’ll support you. As you said in your apology, you did your best.”

They have no shame.

 

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