DA: Zuma govt lacks accountability
Cape Town - The DA on Wednesday condemned President Jacob Zuma's refusal to name 24 Cabinet members who failed to disclose their financial interests in time as proof of his administration's lack of accountability.
"The president's response is indicative of the Zuma administration's growing disrespect for accountability and transparency. It also indicates a disdain for Parliament's constitutionally mandated responsibility to conduct oversight of the executive," Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Athol Trollip said.
"Furthermore, the president's response highlights his own ethically compromised position."
He said the fact that Zuma missed the deadline to disclose his own interests by some eight months "continues to undermine his ability to promote accountability and basic democratic principles".
Zuma said in response to a parliamentary question by the DA on Tuesday that he saw no point in releasing the names of the 24 politicians as they had made a bona fide mistake.
"A number of members of the executive failed to disclose their financial interests in terms of the Executive Ethics Code within 60 days of their appointment...," the president said.
"The reason for this failure was a misunderstanding on the part of these members... who believed that because they had made a disclosure to Parliament around the same time in terms of the Parliamentary Ethics Code, they had complied with all necessary requirements."
Requirements for the two codes were the same, he said.
But Trollip said the statement appeared to contradict the findings of the Public Protector, who pointed out the lapse of the 24 Cabinet members last year during her investigation into Zuma's own failure to disclose on time.
She pointed to a "systematic pattern of non-compliance" and subsequently voiced frustration with a reluctance on the part of the executive to address the problem.