DA MP in hot water over Facebook posts

2013-08-22 18:12

The ANC has called for DA MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard’s removal from Parliament’s ethics committee.

She had “violated her oath to confidentiality” during a recent hearing by Parliament’s ethics committee into former communications minister Dina Pule, the office of ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani claimed in a statement today.

“It has come to our attention that Ms Kohler-Barnard violated her oath to confidentiality and the ethical code of conduct by disclosing sensitive information to her friends on social media during the course of the hearing on the former minister of communications.”

The DA said it would issue a statement on the matter later on Thursday.

According to the ANC statement “an article published in The Post on August 14 by one of Ms Kohler-Barnard’s Facebook followers” indicated she “regularly posted updates on the proceedings of the hearing”.

The parliamentary code of conduct enjoins all MPs and staff serving on the committee to take an oath of confidentiality.

“The code further states that members who are in breach of confidentiality are liable to a reduction of 30 days’ salary, and become ineligible to serve on the committee.”

The ANC said by “disclosing information pertaining to the proceedings of the confidential hearing on social media, Ms Kohler-Barnard violated the ethics code, undermined the integrity of the process and brought the institution into disrepute”.

It had therefore asked the Speaker’s office to “investigate the MP’s improper conduct, penalise her and remove her from the ethics committee”.

Pule was suspended by Parliament on Tuesday for the scandal that saw her boyfriend benefit from state funding. Speaker Max Sisulu told Pule she betrayed her oath of office and brought Parliament into disrepute.

Pule was sacked from her portfolio in a Cabinet reshuffle in July.

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