National Assembly adopts Ethics Committee reports, disciplining 4 MPs

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The National Assembly has whipped four members of Parliament into shape when it adopted various reports by the Ethics Committee.

Among the recommendations adopted were that former Transport Minister Dipuo Peters be suspended from Parliament for one term, that Police Minister Bheki Cele apologises for shouting at an anti-crime activist, and that EFF Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu forfeit 9 days’ salary.

The civil rights group Unite Behind lodged a complaint with the Ethics Committee against Peters in her capacity as former Transport Minister. Unite Behind alleged that she had breached the Ethics Code by failing to act in the public interest and by failing to fulfil her constitutional duties on at least three occasions.

One of the complaints was that she failed to appoint a CEO for the State-Owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, after the Board had commissioned a recruitment process, resulting in a financial loss of almost two million rand.

In the case of EFF Chief Whip, Floyd Shivambu, the Ethics Committee found that he must be fined 9 days’ salary. This was for failing to disclose payments to the tune of R180 000 made to him, from his brother who had links with the VBS Mutual Bank.

National Assembly Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, adopted the report.

“The National Assembly has agreed that the member be suspended from her seat, in all debates and sittings, in committees and functions for one term. Further, it was recommended that suspension with respect to all breaches will run concurrently during a term.”