Politicians anger Asmal

2009-09-22 22:40

Johannesburg - Former minister Kader Asmal on Tuesday questioned the ethics of politicians involved in business at the same time as they hold public office.

"I find this relationship inherently contradictory [a]s there arises the temptation to use political power for narrow personal interests," Asmal said at the launch of the Institute for Security Studies database of politicians' assets and interests.

Asmal said people involved in public life must, as a matter of public policy, disclose their business and other financial interests or benefits.

"More regrettable is that according to the public service commission, large numbers of senior civil servants do not register their disclosure forms, although it is a requirement."

Sudden wealth enrichment

He said disclosure was important to identify if there was a conflict of interest in relation to a public representative's dealings but also to deal with sudden wealth or enrichment which would warrant further enquiry.

Asmal said there were some aspects of enforcement which need to be addressed, if respect for politicians or democratic institutions was to be maintained.

He called for the removal of the confidential section in all systems.

"Disclosure is part of a wider ethics world. Therefore, each public representative should produce an income tax certificate each year," he added.

The professor also called for penalties to be raised and for prosecutions to be sped up.

Code of ethics

He outlined ways to encourage disclosures saying that it was important to promote the significance of ethics codes amongst members of Parliament and legislatures, national and provincial executives and councillors in metropolitan areas.

Asmal said their webportal project "Who owns what" was now complete and citizens were able to hold government accountable.

The page will enable the general public to access the details of the disclosures made by politicians on their financial assets and business interests.

"For the first time the publicly accessible disclosure forms of politicians will be made available through a searchable database.

"This online database is the result of two years of research, which has yielded almost 6 000 records submitted between 2004 and 2008 by elected members of government," Asmal said.

Useful tool

He said the exercise would be ongoing and there would be a collection of the disclosures annually, which will be uploaded onto the webportal.

The database is the first of its kind on the continent.

"I hope that it will prove a useful tool for researchers, civil society [and] the media. Ultimately I hope it will promote not only accountability of, but also integrity in, public life in South Africa."
 

- SAPA

Read more on:    iss  |  kader asmal
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Y

The Samsung Y (Young) is tiny but powerful with Android...

From R1499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

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.