ANC, DA have it out over ethics committee and 'leaky' MPs

2016-01-20 21:56

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Johannesburg - The ANC hit out at the DA on Wednesday accusing its leader Mmusi Maimane of paying lip-service to non-racialism when MP Dianne Kohler Barnard was allowed to continue working in Parliament.

During an open forum at the Apartheid Museum on Tuesday Maimane made a call on all racists to not vote for his party.

"Whilst Maimane yesterday [Tuesday] waxed lyrical in his elaborate theatrical charade that racists are neither welcome nor should vote for the DA, a few weeks ago his party gave unrepentant racist Dianne Kohler-Barnard a Christmas present to return to her parliamentary post as a reward for her racism and promotion of apartheid," ANC chief whip Stone Sizani said in a statement.

Sizani has already written to Parliament's ethic committee asking it to probe Kohler-Barnard's conduct.

Kohler Barnard’s DA membership was terminated at the end of October after she shared a Facebook post from journalist Paul Kirk, in which he praised former apartheid president PW Botha.

She then lodged a notice of intention to appeal the expulsion.

She pleaded guilty to misconduct, bringing the party into disrepute and not abiding by the party’s social media policy.

The DA heard her appeal in December and her expulsion was lifted. The party decided to keep Kohler Barnard in her position until the end of the fifth Parliament.

Hypocrites

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen on Wednesday called the ANC and Sizani hypocrites following statements made by its own MP Bongani Mkongi, who called on people to join the ruling party in torching the Cape Town building on which the 'Zuma Must Fall' banner was erected.

"Stone Sizani is the biggest hypocrite in Parliament because he wants opposition members dealt with at a standard which he is not even prepared to hold his own caucus members accountable," he said.

The ANC in Parliament on Monday said no further action will be taken against Mkongi. Mkongi made the call via a Facebook post and has since apologised for the post and retracted it.

"Frankly Mr Sizani and the ANC have got no credibility on this matter whatsoever," Steenhuisen added.

The DA lodged a complaint against Mkongi with the ethics committee on Tuesday. The complaint was based on two grounds - that Mkongi violated his oath of office and violated the members ethics code.

Hate Crimes Bill

Sizani on Wednesday said the ANC caucus was anxiously waiting for the introduction of the Hate Crimes Bill in Parliament and said it would make sure it was used to eradicate racism and the glorification of apartheid.

Taking another swipe at the official opposition party, in a separate statement, the office of the chief whip, said it supported a decision taken by the joint standing committee on intelligence (JSCI) to investigate allegations that DA MPs were leaking information about confidential discussions in the committee's meetings.

"In their leaking of the committee’s confidential discussions, the DA MPs spread malicious fabrications and disinformation in the media, thereby forcing the committee into an uncomfortable space of correcting the falsehoods publicly and openly discussing the confidential deliberations."

The DA was accused of spreading lies regarding the committee’s meeting with President Jacob Zuma, alleging that they tried to unduly influence the process of the appointment of the inspector general of intelligence by Parliament.

The ANC said fellow MPs were finding it uncomfortable to discuss sensitive issues in the presence of "leaky" colleagues.

Steenhuisen denied that any information was leaked from the committee.

"They can launch as many investigations as they want, it's very clear electioneering and they're trying their very best to try and create as much noise as possible to cover up for their failing.

"The essence of that particular matter is that we still sit nearly a year down the line without an inspector general of intelligence because that committee can't get its act together and bring a decent candidate to Parliament...,"  he said.

Last year, Parliament nominated former MP Cecil Burgess to become the new inspector-general of intelligence.

The DA has refused to support Burgess for the position.

Steenhuisen said without an inspector-general in place there has been no oversight and there had been mass looting of state security agencies.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  politics  |  parliament 2016

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