Govt official runs up R125k cellphone porn bill: report

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Deputy speaker in the Limpopo legislature, Lehlogonolo Masoga, is being investigated by the public protector after running up a R125 000 cellphone bill - a cost allegedly largely the result of watching pornography, the City Press reports.

According to the newspaper, Masoga was on an official trip to the US when he racked up the huge roaming bill, which the legislature has settled.

Masoga has reportedly denied the allegations. City Press cites a joint statement, issued by the Limpopo legislature and Masoga, in which the parties say the porn claims constitute a "smear campaign anchored on a cheap, beer-talk conspiracy to rubbish Masoga's name" on a "baseless" issue "not supported by facts".

According to City Press, Masoga has committed to work with the public protector to lay the issue - which legislature officials told the newspaper was "the most talked about thing" there - to rest.

"Masoga ran up the R125 000 on his official Vodacom cellphone in August last year. At the time, he was part of a delegation from the legislature that undertook an 'economics trip' to the US," says City Press, citing three legislature sources.

Meanwhile, the official who raised questions around the sizeable cellphone bill has been suspended. According to the report, supply chain manager at the legislature, Maite Toona, brought the bill to light in January, and has since then been suspended.

The legislature has denied the suspension has anything to do with the issue of Masoga's cellphone bill and what it was caused by.

While the public protector has already launched an investigation, the Democratic Alliance reportedly intends to pursue the matter in its own capacity as well.

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