The National Assembly has risen without reprimanding the MPs who were found to have breached Parliament’s Code of Ethics. It has also not passed a resolution to fine those who were found guilty of breaching the code.
Parliament’s Joint Ethics and Members’ Interest Committee came in for criticism in the National Assembly’s Programme Committee recently. This comes as the committee has not been able to meet regularly to finalise most of the complaints against MPs who have breached the Code of Ethics.
Some of the outstanding complaints include those submitted by Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip, John Steenhuisen, in 2016.
“We are programming next week’s business, so the number of reports that committee has finalised, there are a number of sanctions that they have recommended. Now the House is gonna rise without any of those, I mean there is reprimands in the house all sorts of things here. But I find it amazing that this committee has just been allowed of the course of the last five years to stutter along .”
The ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu was also not impressed.
“I think the difficulty that we have had with that committee and it is something that the Rules Committee will have to reflect on is the inability to meet. So it is something that we will have to reflect on as we establish that committee in the sixth parliament. It has been unable to meet regularly again because it is a joint committee when others are available of the National Assembly, the portion of the NCOP will be busy with other work in the province. So it is something that we will have to look at holistically, because that has indeed hampered the work of this committee.”
The Joint Ethics and Member’s Interest Committee has recommended that ANC MP, Nyami Booi‘s salary be docked for 45 days and that he be reprimanded in the National Assembly. This comes after Booi breached the code of ethics for not declaring that he had received a monthly salary of 60-thousand for additional work since December 2015. The complaint was lodged in May 2017 by DA MP, James Lorimer.
Public Service and Administration Minister and ANC MP, Ayanda Dlodlo, has also been found guilty of breaching the code of ethics. This comes after she failed to declare that controversial businessman Fana Hlongwane paid for her stay at the luxury Oberoi Hotel in Dubai in 2015.
Following an investigation by the Committee, it recommended that Dlodlo be reprimanded in the National Assembly, ordered to rectify the breach and be counselled on the requirements of the code.
The House has now adjourned without carrying out the sanctions. There are many other outstanding cases. The Joint Ethics Committee will be back in Parliament on the 4th of April to conclude its Legacy report.
Co-chairperson, Humphrey Maxegwana, says both outstanding and finalised cases will be included in the Legacy report, which will be dealt with in the sixth Parliament.