Is Pule Mabe scot-free?

2015-10-05 17:15
Pule Mabe appears to have escaped unscathed after the Public Protector’s report into dodgy dealings at Prasa implicated him in a tender scandal. Picture: Lerato Maduna

Pule Mabe appears to have escaped unscathed after the Public Protector’s report into dodgy dealings at Prasa implicated him in a tender scandal. Picture: Lerato Maduna

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Parliament’s joint committee on ethics and members’ interests is yet to make a decision on whether to investigate ANC MP Pule Mabe – six weeks after he was implicated in wrongdoing in the Public Protector’s report on the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa). 

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that Mabe’s company KG Media received a contract worth R33 million from Prasa without correct tender processes being followed. 

This week, the chairperson of the ethics committee, Amos Masondo, said while they were aware of “the allegations” that had been made against Mabe, the committee would examine the issues at an appropriate time. 

City Press understands that at least two attempts to raise the Public Protector’s findings in the committee were dismissed because printing Madonsela’s 385-page report for MPs would be a hassle. 

Masondo said: “That’s another issue that we are debating all the time. Some of these reports are too big, so we encourage members to use their own facilities … Members use the facilities in Parliament to do that [print the report]. 

“But with a much shorter report, it’s easy,” said Masondo when asked whether it was true that he had said the report was too thick to be printed out for everyone. 

He added, however, that this was not a reason not to deal with the matter, and that if MPs insisted that the committee go ahead and print the report for everybody, it would do that. 

Masondo, who had initially referred to Madonsela’s findings as “allegations”, changed his tune when City Press pressed him for reasons the committee would treat a Public Protector’s findings as such. 

“I think you are correct in saying that there must be some weight to the issues that are raised by the Public Protector,” he said. 

“We can’t ignore the fact that there is a report and that this issue is also in the media. 

“But don’t expect us to pass judgement and to find the MP guilty before a hearing takes place.” 

Masondo said the committee wouldn’t delay the matter “too much” and it would not avoid it, but that it did not want to plunge into it unprepared. 

He said the committee operated in a manner where wrongdoing was established at the end of a process. 

“We start by saying ‘here is information that needs to be examined and be looked into’, and part of that will include talking to the MP himself.” 

The committee’s prevarication on Mabe has highlighted how party political affiliation has become central to how issues are handled. 

Earlier this year, it took the ANC’s chief whip, Stone Sizani, eight days to request a formal parliamentary investigation into DA sext pest MP Archibold Figlan, who was found guilty of sexual harassment by the party. 

Sizani wrote to Masondo asking the ethics committee to “investigate and determine if Figlan’s reprehensible conduct is not in violation of the ethical conduct expected of all MPs”. 

The DA responded to this by laying a countercharge against ANC MP Mandla Mandela, who was convicted of assault by the Mthatha Magistrates’ Court in March, but is appealing the conviction. 

But six weeks after a chapter 9 institution made findings of possible fraud and corruption amounting to more than R33 million at Prasa, Parliament’s two biggest parties have not pushed for the matter to be dealt with by Parliament. 

The ethics committee, which is one of the most fundamental committees in the country when it comes to how the institution runs itself, was previously lauded for the proactive, tough stance it took against MPs who had been found guilty of corruption. 

It is the custodian of the code of conduct for MPs, a code that not only requires financial disclosures by MPs, but adherence to the highest standards.

Read more on:    prasa  |  thuli madonsela  |  pule mabe

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.