DA, ANC MP Booi in spat over private consultancy payments

2017-05-12 12:59
ANC MP Mnyamezeli (Nyami) Booi (Parliament website)

ANC MP Mnyamezeli (Nyami) Booi (Parliament website)

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Cape Town – ANC MP Nyami Booi has rejected "defamatory allegations" made against him by the Democratic Alliance that he failed to declare payments from a coal company as "fake news".

The DA this week said Booi was appointed as a consultant by Lurco Coal (Pty) Ltd on an indefinite, non-exclusive basis, for R60 000 a month in November 2015.

His agreement though had not been declared in Parliament's 2016 Register of Members' Interests as required by Parliament, DA MP James Lorimer said.

"The DA is also concerned what the effects of this consulting may have been. The DA will be submitting further questions about any contracts or tenders that Lurco Coal may have had with government or state-owned enterprises."

Booi, who is ANC whip on the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa), said he was "highly disturbed" by the "untrue" allegations.

He told News24 that the DA would have been able to access the information of the confidential declaration if they had simply followed up before going to the media.

It had been declared in the Confidential Declaration of Disclosure of Members' Interests, and not the register.

Seeking legal advice

When asked why he went the confidential route, he said MPs were allowed to declare information in the confidential register if it was not required to be public.

The point is, he said, he still declared it to Parliament, and it could have been accessed by the DA.

The DA's questions around possible tenders and contracts were also "nonsense", and he is seeking legal advice on the matter.

Lorimer told News24 the confidential disclosures declaration does exist, but it is only used for very unique circumstances.

The DA in any case does not have access to it, and could not check it, he claimed.

Booi should have declared the fee in the members' interests register instead, as he is doing work for a company that does work with the State, which itself "has questions around it".

They would still report Booi to the Ethics Committee, as they believe he has a case to answer, Lorimer said.

The Ethics Committee currently has a six-month backlog. Committee chairperson Amos Masondo could not be reached for comment this week.

Members' interests registrar Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara told News24 he is currently out of office in another capacity, but would respond next week.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  cape town  |  ethics  |  politics

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