Democratic Alliance reports speaker of Parliament and ANC to ethics committee

THE Democratic Alliance (DA) has reported the speaker of Parliament and African National Congress (ANC) MPs who voted to protect President Jacob Zuma from being removed from office to the Parliament’s ethics committee.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said on Thursday the ANC caucus must be held accountable for the complacency in this “maniacal miscarriage of justice”‚ and that the DA would do everything in its power to ensure that they were.

“The DA has today returned to the scene of the crime‚ where the ANC caucus and Speaker of Parliament aided and abetted the President to contravene the Constitution‚ to launch a formal complaint with the registrar of the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests for their deplorable role in Parliaments processing of the public protector’s report on Nkandla‚” he said.

“Yesterday the ANC chief whip‚ Jackson Mthembu‚ called a press conference to place the blame for the National Assembly’s poor processing of the public protector’s report on the millions of rand spent on the President’s private residence, on Parliament’s legal advisers and a Cabinet and caucus-wide ‘misunderstanding’,” Mr Steenhuisen said.

“It is, however, important to remember that Parliament’s legal advisers are not the ones seated in the NA (National Assembly)‚ and last August used their majority to pass a resolution that purported effectively to nullify the findings made and the remedial action taken‚ by the public protector, replacing it with its own findings and ‘remedial action’. The ANC are‚ and we challenge the chief whip to make those legal opinions public‚” Mr Steenhuisen stated.

He added that that resolution had now been ruled by the Constitutional Court to be invalid and had been set aside. Further‚ the Constitutional Court had found that the National Assembly had flouted its obligations in terms of sections 42(3) and 55(2) of the Constitution.

“Indeed, the Court found that as a result‚ this resolution was inconsistent with the Constitution and unlawful.

“The ANC are undoubtedly complicit in this unlawful resolution being passed by Parliament‚ the subsequent flouting of the Constitution and possible violation of section 4.1 of the Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members’ Interests for Assembly and Permanent Council Members,” Mr Steenhuisen said.

“While Mthembu’s claims that‚ ‘the ANC did not use their majority to do something wrong’ are debatable‚ it is quite clear that the ANC yesterday used its majority in Parliament to condone something that was‚ and not the first time.

“During the course of the Nkandla debacle, we have witnessed a series of ANC caucus members try bend themselves‚ parliamentary procedure‚ and even the law, backwards to absolve President Zuma of accountability. As a result the party and its scruples have become so contorted‚ it cannot be trusted to straighten itself and comply with the simplest letter of the law.

“The ANC caucus must be held accountable for the complacency in this maniacal miscarriage of justice‚ and the DA will do everything in our power to ensure that they are‚” Mr Steenhuisen stated.

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