Timeline: Dina Pule's short but infamous tenure

ITWeb takes a look at the highlights and lowlights of Dina Pule's short-lived career as communications minister.

Read time 3min 00sec
Dina Pule Timeline

Dina Pule's 21-month tenure as communications minister came to an end on Wednesday, following another Cabinet reshuffling by President Jacob Zuma, which saw the post being handed to activist and former journalist Yunus Carrim.

Pule was deputy minister of communications from May 2009 until 31 October 2010, when she was sacked along with the minister of communications at the time, Siphiwe Nyanda.

A media magnet, Pule has regularly made headlines in local publications - typically for all the wrong reasons.

Here are some of the highlights, or lowlights, of Pule's short-lived career as the overseer of SA's ICT sector:

October 2011: Zuma announces a cabinet reshuffle that sees Pule replace Radhakrishna "Roy" Padayachie as minister of communications.

January 2012: The Department of Communications (DOC) prioritises rural broadband to facilitate development.

February 2012: The DOC says it will introduce the Electronic Communication Amendment Bill and the Independent Communication Authority of SA (ICASA) Bill by March. The deadline was not met and the bills were finally published in July and November, respectively.

May 2012: Budget speech pledges focus on migration, integrated ICT policy and broadband.

June 2012: The DOC hosts the inaugural ICT Indaba in Cape Town.

It follows that if we launch in mid-2013, we don't have enough time to migrate because it only gives us two years and our projection is that we need over three years to migrate.

June 2012: The date is set for digital television (DTT) switch-on, October 2012. The deadline was not met and, following several delays, the realisation of DTT migration in SA remains a distant promise.

June 2012: The Auditor general investigates misappropriation of funds for the ICT indaba after Pule lobbies telecoms companies to sponsor millions for the event and allegations of misappropriation of funds emerge.

July 2012: The Democratic Allliance (DA) writes to the public protector, Thuli Madonsela, to look into allegations levelled against Pule.

August 2012: Pule is accused of nepotism after making appointments to key positions in the DOC.

September 2012 SA's Public protector launches an investigation into potential mismanagement of ICT Indaba funds, and communications minister Dina Pule's alleged conflict of interest.

January 2013: The DOC is found lacking, just over a year after Pule took the helm.

February 2013: Reports emerge suggesting Pule may be booted from cabinet in the near future, but the presidency quickly dismisses what it says is speculation.

President Jacob Zuma has given me a task to ensure that all South Africans have access to world-class ICT infrastructure, policies, broadcasting signal and post offices. This is a task I take very seriously and I'll continue to execute it until the president tells me otherwise.

February 2013: Parliament's Joint Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests launches a formal investigation into Pule and the allegations emerging since the ICT Indaba, of mismanagement, cronyism and corruption.

March 2013: Pule is accused of effectively ceding control of the ministry to her alleged boyfriend, Phosane Mngqibisa.

April 2013: Criticism of Pule, media reports and accusations reach boiling point as the minister continues to fight for her political life.

April 2013: Pule hits out at the Sunday Times for frequent reports featuring various allegations levelled against her. She accuses the weekly broadsheet of being embroiled in a complex blackmail plot.

May 2013: The South African Police Service agrees to investigate complaints laid against Pule by DA's shadow communications minister, Marian Shinn.

June 2013: Pule shortens the leash on state owned entities.

8 July 2013: Pule appoints fraud accused Rubben Mohlaloga as an ICASA councillor.

9 July 2013: Pule gets the boot from Zuma, together with human settlements minister Tokyo Sexwale and co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Richard Baloyi.

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