DA’s Barnard cleared of leaking info

2013-10-18 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The parliamentary ethics committee yesterday cleared DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard on a charge of leaking confidential information.

Barnard is now considering legal action against ANC chief whip Stone Sizani, who laid the charge and publicly accused her several times of leaking the ethics committee’s discussions of their case against disgraced former minister Dina Pule.

Sizani said he is ready to take her on in any court she chooses.

The ANC-majority committee released a statement yesterday announcing that Barnard had been cleared.

Sizani’s charge arose from an opinion piece in the Durban newspaper the Post that said Barnard’s Facebook page had provided “updates” during the Pule hearings.

Both the writer and the paper have since denied that the MP placed confidential information on Facebook.

The ethics committee resolved to report Post to the Press Ombudsman, because the misleading piece was damaging to Barnard’s reputation.

Barnard said yesterday that Sizani’s libellous statements were an attempt to divert attention away from Pule’s scandalous behaviour.

“Mr Sizani repeated his libellous claims time after time as fact in media statments and in television interviews,” she said.

“It was as if he reckons that if you repeat a lie often enough it will become the truth. I will not leave his libel unanswered,” she said.

Sizani said via his spokesperson Moloto Mothapo that despite the committee’s finding, he believes it had to investigate.

“As the majority party, we would have been neglecting our duty had we not laid the complaint and we don’t ask pardon.

“We reject with contempt her bizarre threat to take us to court.

“She won’t intimidate us, we are ready for any court case.”

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