Cope calls for dismissal of axed ministers

2011-11-09 12:55

Axed Cabinet ministers Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde and Sicelo Shiceka should be dismissed as MPs, Cope said today.

It was disappointing that the two were still Members of Parliament, after being stripped of their ministerial portfolios, Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota said.

“We demand to know from ... President Jacob Zuma why the two axed ministers continue to benefit from the government coffers when they have betrayed government through ... dubious means.”

Cope also wanted to know what steps Zuma was taking to recover the “huge amounts of money squandered” by Shiceka when he visited his girlfriend, jailed on drug-related charges, in a Swiss prison, and during his stay in luxury hotels in South Africa and elsewhere.

Zuma further owed taxpayers an explanation about how much Mahlangu-Nkabinde cost the state in her controversial SA Police Service lease agreements deals, and what steps were being taken to recover the money.

“The ruling party should be ashamed to be retaining within its ranks individuals who betrayed public confidence and voter trust by unswerving violating their oath of office (sic).

“The existence of the two as [MPs] demonstrates the president’s unwillingness to act against those who are aligned to him.”
Zuma needed to assure the public that government was serious about rooting out corrupt elements within its ranks.

“We therefore call on the president to release the two former ministers from their duties as MPs,” Lekota said. It was reported yesterday that Shiceka and Mahlangu-Nkabinde were still earning R840 000 a year salaries as ANC MPs.

ANC parliamentary caucus spokesperson Moloto Mothapo told Beeld newspaper that neither of the two had resigned as MPs. Zuma sacked them on October 24.

Both still earned salaries as ANC MPs and also enjoyed privileges such as 48 paid-for inland business class plane tickets a year, and 24 plane tickets for their spouses.

Shiceka, the former cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister, and Mahlangu-Nkabinde, the former public works minister, have been implicated in wrongdoing by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde’s decision to allow two controversial building leases for the police, valued at R1.6 billion, to go ahead, despite tender procedures not being followed and legal advice to the contrary, amounted to maladministration, according to a finding by Madonsela.

In a separate report on Shiceka, Madonsela found he had racked up more than R1 million in travel costs for himself, his staff and friends in violation of the executive ethics code.

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