Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament: adoption

Ethics and Members' Interest

12 March 2014
Chairperson: Mr B Mashile (ANC, Mpumalanga)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met to consider the prohibition against Members of Parliament and their immediate family members or the business partners of MPs from doing business with the state which it had not agreed to the previous day.

The clause had been amended so it now had three separate references instead of the one universal reference.  The Committee accepted it in this format and the Code of Conduct was adopted.

An additional item, namely the investigation by the Registrar, of a complaint against Mr Mdakane, was then discussed but this was closed to the public.
 

Meeting report

The Chairperson requested that at least twelve members of the Committee needed to ensure they had signed the register. He requested apologies from the Registrar, who said that there were none for that day. He reminded members that the Committee had almost finished dealing with the Code the previous day. He said asked Dr Koornhof, as the whip of that Committee, to propose how the hurdle from the previous day's meeting had been resolved.

Dr G Koornhof (ANC) read out the amended clause dealing with prohibited business activity. The clause now had three separate parts, which were all linked to the Member of Parliament (MP). He said the wording could be improved if there was a need, but the intention should remain the same.

The Chairperson asked if that proposal enjoyed support from the ANC caucus.

Dr Koornhof replied that that it was a proposal by the ANC.

Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) wanted to know whether originally the clause read ‘with an’ or ‘with any organ of state’?

Dr Koornhof said that the ‘an’ had not been changed to ‘any’.

The Chairperson asked the Committee to propose for adoption.

Ms B Mabe (Gauteng, ANC) said that she really wanted to understand that clause and asked if it could be explained in simpler English.

Prof B Turok (ANC) said that the difficulty with the original clause from the day before had been with the fact that it had been very comprehensive in one clause. What had then been done was that the different interests had been separated, namely the member; the immediate family and the business partner. Each one had a slightly different formulation because each one had a different kind of relationship. In his opinion, the English was simple as there were no long phrases. He asked that Ms Mabe allow the Committee to proceed, because it had to go to the National Assembly (NA).

The Chairperson asked for proposals to adopt the clause.

Mr B Radebe (ANC) proposed for the adoption of the clause as amended.

Ms Kohler-Barnard seconded the motion.

The clause was adopted together with the Code of Conduct as a whole.

The Chairperson expected that the Code would be presented to the National Assembly during its meeting in April and that Ms D Rantho (ANC, Eastern Cape) would push the Code through the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) within the following seven days if that was at all possible. The Rules remained that the Chairpersons would relay the resolutions of the Committee. To that extent, the Committee needed to assist the Chairpersons.

The meeting was adjourned thereafter as the second agenda point was closed to the public. 
 

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