Fines, reprimands for errant MPs

DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture credit: Trevor Samson
DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture credit: Trevor Samson

DA leader Mmusi Maimane and MP Makashule Gana should be fined seven days' pay for failing to declare assets, Parliament's ethics committee said on Wednesday.

Ethics committee co-chairperson Amos Masondo said they had failed to disclose sponsorships received in support of their campaigns in the build-up to the party's elective conference last year.

"The committee will recommend that the National Assembly considers imposing a fine of seven days for both these MPs salaries and they must both be reprimanded in the House."

The DA has vowed to fight the sanctions.

Chief whip John Steenhuisen said on Wednesday they would file a review application challenging the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests' disregard for due process in their relentless persecution of the opposition.

"Specifically, the DA will ask the court to set aside the decision of the committee which found that DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, breached the Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members' Interests... Further, this decision, exercised by the committee, was an abuse of public power which adversely affected Mr Maimane's rights."

The party said the DA had not been notified of the complaints against them.

Masondo said both Maimane and Gana had apologised after it was found that they had not submitted the information on time.

He said the complaint against the two party members was not based on speculation.

He said they had both declared after their breaches had become public.

The committee chairperson has been accused of bias by the official opposition.

The ethics committee also suggested a fine of 15 days for ANC MP Pule Mabe, regarding his benefiting from a contract with a state-owned enterprise.

ANC MP Bongani Mkongi, who earlier this year called for the 'Zuma Must Fall' billboard in Cape Town, as well as the building it is on and its occupants, to be burnt down, should also be fined, the committee found.

The committee recommended that the National Assembly dock his salary by seven days, he gets reprimanded in the House and undergoes training on ethical usage of social media.

Complaints of abuse against EFF MP Nazier Paulsen were dismissed as they occurred before he was sworn in as a MP.

While complaints against ministers Angie Motshekga, Bathabile Dlamini, Edna Molewa and Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Paul Mashatile and Pule Mabe could not be pursued.

It was alleged that the ministers had failed to declare sponsorships they received in 2012.

Masondo said there was no evidence to prove the allegations.

A subcommittee was still busy with a hearing into allegations of sexual harassment against DA MP Archibold Figlan, the committee said.

Another subcommittee has been scheduled for April to deal with a complaint of assault charges against NCOP MP Jihad Mohapi, and another one would be appointed to deal with allegations of racism against DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard.

A complaint involving Minister Tina Joeman-Pettersson regarding the public protector's 2013/14 findings occurred before the implementation of the new code of ethical conduct and members' interests, the committee said.

Masondo was adamant that the committee was nonpartisan in dealing with all complaints.

He denied accusations from the DA that he talked to the media on a regular basis regarding confidential information.












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