Shilowa wants disciplinary committee declared a ‘nullity’

2010-12-09 13:01

Congress of the People (Cope) deputy leader Mbhazima Shilowa wants a party disciplinary hearing against him be declared a “nullity”.

Shilowa’s counsel, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, argued this morning that prosecutors in the case lack standing to bring charges against their client.

“In the circumstances, it is submitted that the prosecutors lack standing to prefer the charges against Shilowa,” Ngcukaitobi said in a submission to the disciplinary hearing in Cope’s offices in Parliament.

“On this basis alone, the disciplinary proceedings must be declared a nullity. Alternatively, the matter must be adjourned sine die (with no date set for a resumption) pending the proper decision regarding the prosecution of the matter.”

Shilowa contends the prosecutors and the chairperson were appointed to his disciplinary committee in a manner violating the express provisions of the constitution of Cope.

Cope moved to suspend Shilowa and MP Lorraine Mashiane “from any work of Parliament for the duration of their respective disciplinary hearings” in November following the release of a forensic audit – performed by KPMG – of the party’s finances.

Among other things, the KPMG report found a parliamentary allowance payment of R5 million into Cope’s bank account was used to settle pre-election debt.

It states this was in contravention of policy, and a misrepresentation of the financial statements provided to Parliament as to the actual nature of the expense.

Cope had met Parliament’s secretary to “apologise for the false annual financial statements for 2009/10, which were presented by Mr Shilowa”.

Shilowa has admitted to submitting “unsubstantiated and erroneously approved documentation with fictitious signatures and expenditure items to Parliament”.

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