Cape Town - ANC veteran MP and ethics committee co-chairman Professor Ben Turok has joined the list of long-serving MPs who will retire from Parliament.
Turok cited medical and personal reasons for his decision to retire. He confirmed on Monday that he would be calling it quits after the elections, but joked that he would now be competing with journalists as he pursues a career in writing. He said there were a couple of reasons he would not be returning after 20 years as an MP.
“It’s two things. I can confirm I’ve been ill and the doctors advised me to avoid all the stresses of Parliament,” said Turok, who is recuperating at home after heart treatment.
He would spend more time focusing on editing and writing for his social and economic policy journal, New Agenda.
“So I’ll be moving across the road from Parliament in Roeland Street where our offices are. I’m going to spend some time on this journal. I also have a book coming in April,” said Turok.
He said he would most miss the “comradeship of a lot of very nice people”.
The Office of ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani wished Turok and Thandile Sunduza a speedy recovery. Sunduza was admitted to hospital after last week’s State of the Nation address.
“Prof Turok, a key figure in the Freedom Charter process… has been in and out of hospital since October. The Office of the Chief Whip had been in close contact with him and we are pleased with his recovery,” said spokesman Moloto Mothapo.
Turok was part of the team that investigated former communications minister Dina Pule, who was last year castigated and fined by the ethics committee for her role in the ICT Indaba scandal.
Turok was given bodyguards when he received anonymous threats during the investigation.