Register of Members' Interests: adoption

Ethics and Members' Interest

16 October 2013
Chairperson: Prof B Turok (ANC) (NA); Co-Chairperson: Mr B Mashile (ANC; Mpumalanga) (NCOP)
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Meeting Summary

The Registrar of Members Interests reported that only three Members had not disclosed their interests and 59 had submitted after the closing date. Members discussed the way forward in dealing with Members that had not submitted their forms and those that were late. It was agreed that the names of the 59 Members who had submitted after the deadline should be published in the Announcement, Tablings and Committees. Members were sympathetic towards Mr M Oriani-Ambrosini (IFP) and said that he should be given an extension while all other sick Members should submit a medical certificate.

The Committee agreed to adopt the 2013 Register of Members’ Interest.

Meeting report

The Co-Chairperson welcomed Members and announced that Ms B Mabe (ANC; Gauteng), Ms B Ngcobo (ANC), Ms D Kohler Barnard (DA), Ms N Magadla (ANC) and Mr A Mlangeni (ANC) had tendered their apologies.

Report back on oversight visit by Ethics Committee
The Chairperson mentioned that the Ekurhuleni Ethics Committee had visited Parliament and were briefed by Ms Fazela Mohamed, Registrar of Members Interest and himself on behalf of the Committee. They had briefed the delegation on the broad functions of the Parliamentary Ethics Committee. The delegation was eager to learn and had shown determination.

The Co-Chairperson thanked the Chairperson and the support staff for continuing the work of the Committee.

2013 Register of Members Interests
Ms Mohamed said that the 2013 Register had been completed and only three Members had not disclosed their interests. Two Members could not disclose due to ill health. The third Member, Ms Dina Pule, also did not disclose as she had been suspended at the time of the closing date. She had subsequently indicated that she would forward her disclosure. Ms Mohamed suggested that Ms Pule should be given an extension. Both Mr M Oriani-Ambrosini (ANC) and Mr P Mnguni (COPE) were ill. 59 submissions were submitted late after the closing date.

Ms D Nhlengethwa (ANC) asked whether the two sick Members who did not submit their disclosures, had been sick since May. She also asked whether Ms Pule was still earning a salary from Parliament.

The Chairperson explained that Ms Pule was suspended and was still earning a salary.

Ms Mohamed said that Mr Oriani-Ambrosini had been ill for a long time. Mr Mnguni fell sick after the closing date but was asked to forward a doctors certificate through his party whip. He had not done so.

Mr G Kornhof (ANC) said that the Committee should not focus on the deadline because Members were sent reminders through text messages and emails. All Members had enough time to submit their disclosures. He then suggested that the names of the 59 Members who had submitted after the deadline should be published in the Announcement, Tablings and Committees (ATC).

Ms A Dreyer (DA) said that the Members should consider every case on its merit. Mr Ambrosini was sick and was out of the country for some time. Ms Pule could have submitted her interests even if she was suspended.

A Member pointed out that Mr Oriani-Ambrosini was sick with stage 4 lung cancer and was being treated but still very weak.

A Member said that Mr Oriani-Ambrosini should be given an extension and all other sick Members should submit a medical certificate. He suggested that disciplinary action should be taken against the other 59 Members who submitted late.

The Chairperson indicated that Mr Oriani-Ambrosini was terminally ill and should be given “indemnity”. However, the names of the 59 Members should be published. In addition, the Committee should write to all 59 “reading them the riot act” so that they take the exercise very seriously in future.

Mr Koornhof asked the Committee to also publish the reasons why the 59 Members had submitted their interests very late.

Mr Mohamed said that she only had received a letter from a Minister who said that he had not received the declaration form because he changed offices.

Ms M Mangena (ANC) said that people did not receive letters and text messages from the South African Revenue Services (SARS) but they knew that they had to do tax returns. The Members or Minister who said that he did not receive the letter was lying.

The Chairperson said that the Members that were sick should be given two weeks grace when they returned.

Prof Turok said that the people who claimed that they had not received the forms would remain on the ATC list.

Ms Mangena seconded the proposals about the two weeks grace.

The Committee agreed to adopt the 2013 Register of Members’ Interests.

The meeting was adjourned


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