ANC & Parliament lash out at DA Chief Whip over alleged leaked documents

BY CHARL BOSCH - SEPTEMBER 29, 2015

The African National Congress (ANC) has slammed comments made by Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip, John Steenhuisen, about the leaking of confidential information to the ruling party, as “disingenuous and misleading”.

According to weekend reports, Steenhuisen confirmed the party had issued a complaint to Parliament’s Ethics committee over the alleged distribution of private DA documents by three senior ANC MPs, which included Parliamentary Register of Members’ Interest. Fazela Mahomed.

In an entry on Politicsweb, ANC Spokesperson in the Office of Chief Whip Stone Sizani, Moloto Mothapo, described the allegations as “holly unwarranted, downright defamatory and malicious”, adding that Mahomed, who had occupied the position since 1994, had amassed an “impeccable work ethic and rock-solid integrity”.

“It takes extreme desperation and ignorance for an opposition party leader to question the appointment of a parliamentary staff member, 21 years after the appointment, just to attempt to tarnish her good name, her integrity and impartiality for mere narrow politicking,” Mothapo said.

He also stated that the allegations were mere tactics trying to divert attention away from the party’s controversial Deputy Shadow Minister of Home Affairs, Archibold Figlan, who was suspended from the position of Deputy National Assembly Spokesperson in June after having been found guilty of sexual conduct during a protest march in February.

“Steenhuisen's extraordinary attack against Ms Mahomed is a shameless demonstration of how low the DA would stoop just to protect Figlan, who proudly continues to serve in the National Assembly even after he was found guilty of sexual harassment,” Mothapo said.

“It's an attempt to justify or divert attention from the embarrassment of having given a sex pest a mere slap on the wrist for sexually abusing a woman staff member of the DA”.

The allegations have also been denied by Parliament as “malicious” and containing “several incorrect claims about the work of the Ethics Committee”.

“Contrary to the claim in the article, written responses to inquiries were sent to the reporter on two occasions. He was offered a copy of Parliament’s Code of Ethics, which he refused,” a statement read.

“The Registrar follows this prescribed process in dealing with all complaints and in handling information lodged with her office. This is what she did in relation to the current investigations. Any allegations of deviation from the requirements of the Code must be raised with the Committee”.

Writing on twitter afterwards, Steenhuisen described Parliament’s response as a “hysterical attack yet it fails to institute an enquiry into how the confidential documents were leaked”.

 

IMAGES sourced from Parliament of South Africa on YouTube