It was alleged that Pule Mabe’s company, KG Media, was improperly awarded a tender by Prasa to produce the Hambanathi magazine and that the contract was unlawfully extended.
Cape Town - Parliament has slapped ANC MP and national executive committee member Pule Mabe with a fine of 15 days of his salary and a reprimand for flouting the members' code of conduct.

This after the joint committee on ethics and members’ interests investigation into a complaint against Mabe found he had breached the code of parliamentarians.

The complaint was lodged after the release of the public protector's report into allegations of maladministration at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

It was alleged that Mabe’s company, KG Media, was improperly awarded a tender by Prasa to produce the Hambanathi magazine and that the contract was unlawfully extended.

“It was further alleged that Mabe, who was the former executive corporate affairs manager at Prasa, was improperly paid a salary after his resignation from Prasa in 2008/2009,” the committee report said.

The code of MPs prohibits parliamentarians from “receiving any benefit including but not limited to a tender or a contract with an organ of state”. They are also required to declare their directorship.

In their final report, committee co-chairpersons Amos Masondo and Omie Singh found that Mabe still held shares in the Kedibone Trust, which held 100% of KG Media shares, and that he had benefited from the renewal of the Prasa contract with KG Media in March 2015.

Mabe was sworn-in as an MP in 2014. An estimated 15 days of his salary amounts to half his monthly remuneration, totalling more than R40000. Ordinary MPs earn R1.03m a year, or R85 833 a month.

“Mabe is a trustee of the trust and beneficiary and accordingly benefited from the proceeds of the contract.”

Mabe disputed that the committee's initial finding that he benefited, arguing that he had erroneously disclosed that he was a beneficiary of the Kedibone Mabe Trust and that his children were the actual beneficiaries.

However, the committee concluded that he still benefited from the renewal of the contract.

“It is the view of the joint committee that as legal custodian of the minor children, Mabe benefited from the contract. Alternatively, Mabe’s children benefited from same,” Masondo and Singh said.

The committee said the allegations of improper payment to Mabe occurred before his deployment to Parliament.

Mabe did disclose his interest in KG Media upon joining Parliament.

“On the disclosure of financial interest related to KG Media, Mabe did disclose his directorship in 2014, before his resignation as a director of the company.

“The Kedibone Mabe Trust, which holds the copyright to Hambanathi and Kwela Express, is disclosed in the 2015 disclosure of interests,” said Masondo and Singh.

Meanwhile, former DA MP Makashule Gana escaped sanction after he was investigated for failing to disclose sponsorship received in support of his campaign for federal chairperson at the 2015 electoral conference of the DA.

“Gana resigned with effect November 14 last year. As Mr Gana resigned his membership of the National Assembly, the joint committee has no jurisdiction over him, as he is no longer a member of Parliament.”

Also escaping sanction was the ANC’s Peace Mabe, who was sworn-in as a councillor in Mogale City last year without resigning as an MP as required by the constitution.

Parliament received a legal advice that Mabe was lawfully elected to take up office as a municipal councillor and thereby automatically ceased to be an MP and that her choice was irrevocable.

The committee said Mabe had already left Parliament when it investigated the allegation.

“The joint committee recommends that security in both Houses be strengthened,” said Masondo and Singh.

The Star