Top South African Official Busted for Taxpayer Paid Porn Habit

Oct 21, 2013 10:00 AM PST

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — A top South African official who oversees business competition and mergers has reportedly resigned in the wake of an investigation targeting him for using taxpayers’ money to watch online porn.

According to reports, Competitions Commission chief Shan Ramburuth, who played a key role in major mergers and construction bids in South Africa, including Walmart and Massmart, spent R123,000 (about $12,500) on porn sites while overseas in October 2011.

The commissioner also accessed 25 pay porn sites on the government's dime between August and November of 2011, according to a forensic report by Paul O’Sullivan and Associates delivered to Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel.

In July 2012, the commission paid a R104,000 (about $10,500) bill for Ramburuth’s porn habit, as evidenced on his government-issued SIM card.

The Competition Commission's Internet policy forbids users to visit websites that show "any form of violence, pornography, explicit nudity sexual acts, gross depictions.” The forensic report said Ramburuth visited "inappropriate sites which were of an explicit pornographic nature."

Ramburuth, noted as one of the 50 most influential people in South Africa by the Africa Report, reportedly resigned in a flurry of controversy. However, he denied actually resigning and told the Times Live, “As far as I am concerned, I'm still talking to him [Patel] about it ... I have, in my discussions with him, discussed various options. I would like to conclude that with him before making any statement."

An acting commissioner is expected to be appointed this week.

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