Missing copies of the Constitution: It wasn't stolen, just safely stored away

2019-06-27 19:18
Parliament. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Parliament. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Two weeks after reports of the disappearance of leather-bound copies of the Constitution led to suspicions that some MPs might have stolen the highest law of the land, an investigation revealed that the books were safely stored all along.

A statement from parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo stated that Speaker Thandi Modise could find no evidence that the copies of the Constitution were stolen.

Modise undertook to investigate "after the mysteriously untraceable books were alleged at the time to have been stolen, with the suspicion that some MPs might have taken more than one copy".

The leather-bound copies of the Constitution were provided to MPs while they underwent their induction to Parliament two weeks ago. However, some MPs were unable to get copies, which fuelled suspicions that some people took more than they should have.

"The report of the investigation into the alleged missing copies of the Constitution at the induction training for new National Assembly members two weeks ago, which resulted in some MPs not receiving their copies, has concluded that a miscommunication among the support staff led to them erroneously reporting the copies as missing," the statement reads. 

"It later emerged that a box containing the copies, which were unused during the second day of the week-long induction programme, was, in fact, stored in a safe place. Unfortunately, this fact was not immediately communicated to the staff responsible for the induction the following day."

On Thursday morning, the National Assembly programming committee received Modise's report and "welcomed the clarification and considered the matter closed", according to Mothapo. 

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