Peters sanction not enough, say ActionSA and the DA

Former transport minister Dipuo Peters. Picture: Independent Newspapers/Archives

Former transport minister Dipuo Peters. Picture: Independent Newspapers/Archives

Published Mar 3, 2024


ActionSA and the DA have slammed the decision to only suspend former transport minister Dipuo Peters after Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests found that she had breached the Code of Ethical Conduco.

On Friday President Cyril Ramaphosa said that Peters, the current Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, was suspended for one month without pay.

ActionSA president Herman Mashaba said instead of firing Peters for “her role in hiding Prasa corruption, Ramaphosa again chose the unity of the ruling party over the interest of South Africans by simply suspending” her.

“The move follows Peters’ suspension from Parliament following a decision in the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests after the damming findings of the State Capture Commission which found she tried to stop investigations into R14 billion corruption at Prasa while transport minister.

“How is it possible that someone who actively tried to cover up billions in state capture corruption gets away with a slap on the wrist by remaining in Ramaphosa's administration?” Mashaba asked.

He said Ramaphosa’s decision “once again shows that he has no interest in fighting corruption and restoring the rule of law in South Africa and would rather protect those guilty to maintain unity in the ruling party above the interest of our people”.

“The suspension of the Deputy Minister furthermore highlights how deputy ministers play little to no role in the core functioning of ministries and therefore reinforces ActionSA’s belief that all deputy ministers should be eliminated.

“They serve no role aside from a patronage network for those loyal to the president while costing South African taxpayers millions,” Mashaba said.

DA MP Jan de Villiers said Peters exhibited gross negligence in her duties.

“Among other things, she failed to appoint a chief executive for Prasa and unwarrantedly dismissed the entity’s board, who had uncovered R14 billion in financial irregularities.

“Her actions, which the High Court found to be irrational and unlawful, also obstructed crucial investigations.

“Moreover, the now Deputy Minister failed to address the serious allegations regarding the diversion of R79 million from Prasa to the ANC,” he said.

De Villiers said Peters’ suspension is insufficient.

“As ministers serve at the President's discretion without the need for a procedural hearing, her continued presence in office following a clear breach of ethical standards is indefensible.”

The Mercury