ANC made a mistake in disregarding ethics — Turok

2014-04-17 00:00

THE ANC and the government made a mistake in 1994 when it did not introduce ethical criteria to select candidates nominated to serve in Parliament, struggle veteran Ben Turok said.

“It is quite clear that no political movement, especially a liberation movement, can afford to avoid and neg-lect the ethical criteria in the selection of leaders. It is vital,” he said in an interview with The Witness on Tuesday.

He was in Durban for the launch of his newly published book With My Head Above the Parapet: An insider Account of the ANC in Power.

The outgoing chairperson of the parliamentary ethics committee said despite calls for a rethink on MPs’ selection, the existing rules have not changed.

His comments came in the wake of public outcry at some leaders who were nominated as candidates for Parliament despite their questionable conduct.

Commenting on how some in the ANC did not like the public reprimand of former communications minister Dina Pule, Turok said there was no hiding to protect the image of the ANC because parliamentary processes were public.

He said contrary to media reports that Pule had received a slap on the wrist, she had actually suffered a great deal when she lost her senior cabinet post.

“I think she was punished severely, not that I regret it.”

Turok said the “No Vote” campaign championed by former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils would not work.

He said his own walk-out from Parliament when the secrecy bill was to be voted for was different to what Kasrils was doing.

“I had three choices: to vote for, vote against or abstain.”

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