Ricochet News

ANC and DA in spat over MP’s financial declarations

By Charl Bosch - Nov 4, 2015
ANC and DA in spat over MP’s financial declarations

A war of words has broken out between the African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA) over the disclosures of certain party members’ financial benefits.

Last week, the ruling party announced it would launch an investigation into the DA’s failure to provide the full financial interest of eleven MP’s, as required by Parliament’s ethics code, before the imposed deadline.

Those mentioned include party leader Mmusi Maimane, Shadow Minister of Health Wilmot James, Federal Chairperson James Selfe, Deputy Federal Chairpersons Makashule Gana and Desiree van der Walt, Shadow Minister of International Relations Stevens Mokgalapa, Shadow Minister of Public Service and Administration Joe McGluwa as well as his Deputy Andricus van der Westhuizen, Deputy Federal Council Chairperson Thomas Walters, Deputy Shadow Minister of Finance Alf Lees, and Shadow Minister of State Security Dirk Stubbe.

In a statement submitted to Parliament earlier today, ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani said while the DA had already admitted guilt in failing to provide the interests of Maimane of Gana, all eleven MP’s needs to be independently investigated “to determine appropriate sanctions”.

“The Code is unambiguous as it expressly states that any financial benefits personally received by MPs in excess of R1 500 from any source other than a spouse or family member, must be declared for the purpose of transparency, accountability and prevention of potential conflict of interest in the course of their legislative functions,” Sizani said.

“We believe that Maimane and his 10 colleagues, who contested for positions at the party's electoral federal congress in May, failed to disclose financial donations they personally sought for their campaigns.

“In the past, MPs who misled Parliament were given a public dressing down in the House, fined 30 days' salary and had their privileges suspended for 15 days. If precedence was to be applied by the ethics committee, Maimane and others should face similar sanctions as provided in the Code,” he concluded.

In a subsequent rebuttal, DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said the party had submitted a list of ANC MP’s names to Parliament’s Register, who ran for leadership positions but also failed to declare their financial statements.

These include former Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, ANC Youth League Treasurer General Pule Mabe, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.

He also stated that the six ANC MP’s failed to declare their interest by the July 31st deadline this year, and that a total of 114 members from the ruling party, missed the deadline in 2012 and 2013.

According to Steenhuisen, MP’s implicated are former President Kgalema Motlanthe, Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalulu, businessman Tokyo Sexwale, former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, ANC Youth League President Collen Maine, former Energy Minister Ben Martins, Trade and Industry Portfolio Chairperson Joan Fubbs, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli, Chief Whip Mothole Motshekga, and former President Nelson Mandela’s son Mandla.

“That the ANC has made allegations against the DA for an oversight that was speedily remedied is inexplicable and is a demonstration that honest and ethical conduct is not its motivation but rather to besmirch the opposition and distract the South African public for its atrocious record in running clean and transparent elections,” Steenhuisen said.

“It is hypocrisy of the highest order for the ANC to pursue a complaint against the DA when so many of its MPs have fallen foul of the Ethics Code”.