Marian Shinn. Image courtesy of the Democratic Alliance.
“I have today written to Minister of Communications, Dina Pule, asking for an explanation of the source of funding for blankets and food parcels she intends handing out at a Department of Communications (DoC) function in her home province of Mpumalanga on Saturday.” said Shinn.
Shinn referred to a full colour advertisement which appeared in the Mail and Guardian (M&G) over the weekend and featured Pule’s portrait.
The advertisement stated the minister would be handing over a computer laboratory to Pine Ridge Combined School in Emalahleni.
Furthermore the advertisement said Pule will also be handing out food parcels and blankets to the elderly in Pine Ridge, Emalahleni.
“This smacks of ANC 2014 electioneering at taxpayers’ expense, as it is unrelated to her portfolio or mandate. I would also question why it is necessary to pay for an advertisement of this size in a national newspaper to focus on what is a local event,” said Shinn.
Shinn said the latest advertisement follows a previous full-colour advertorial in the same publication last week. Shinn said the intention for this advertisement was “to regurgitate press releases” pertaining to South Africa’s readiness to migrate to digital television.
She said the DA is still waiting for a response to a parliamentary question to Pule regarding advertising expenditure as well as the amount spent on advertising over the course of the last three years.
“I suspect these adverts are part of the minister’s campaign to counter the negative publicity she has received around the investigations into the ICT Indaba hosted by her department and the investigation by the South African Police Services into allegations that her boyfriend and other cronies played a crucial role in the appointment of board members and executives serving on entities reporting to her department,” said Shinn.