Political parties want Ethics Committee to urgently meet over Mapisa-Nqakula corruption allegations

Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is facing allegations of corruption. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is facing allegations of corruption. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 7, 2024


Political parties have urged the Ethics Committee to urgently meet to investigate allegations of corruption against Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula after it emerged she allegedly received R2.3 million in kickbacks from a contractor when she was Minister of Defence.

House chairperson Cedric Frolick said he will ask the secretary to the National Assembly Masibulele Xaso to convey the views of political parties to the Ethics Committee that it must sit urgently.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Thursday they were aware the matter might drag on until after the elections.

But Frolick, who was chairing the programming committee, said the secretary to the National Assembly will have to address these concerns with the ethics Committee.

The EFF and DA have referred the allegations against the Speaker to the Joint Committee on Ethics.

DA chief whip Siviwe Gwarube said she was concerned about the frequency of the meetings of the committee. She said last year the Ethics Committee only met six times. This year it has not had a single meeting.

ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina said they discussed this matter last year and agreed that the Powers and Privileges Committee and the Ethics Committee must meet once a week.

She said these two committees could not meet regularly because their members serve in other committees in Parliament. But they agreed that they should meet once a week.

Frolick said when the Ethics Committee meets over the Mapisa-Nqakula matter, political parties must avail their members.

Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi of the EFF said these were serious allegations against Mapisa-Nqakula. She said the committee must meet as soon as possible and start its investigation.

Frolick said the programming committee cannot be used to address allegations against Mapisa-Nqakula.

However, there was a process that needed to be followed, since the EFF and DA had lodged a complaint with the Ethics Committee.

“We have not received any correspondence from the Ethics Committee or the acting Registrar, nor will they correspond to us because if they do that, they will fall foul of the provisions of the Code of Conduct.

“I would request honourable members not to delve into the substantive issues because by so doing, you will also fall foul of the Code of Conduct. You may have a complaint laid against you as well.

“Honourable members, as all of you are aware, all of us, including the Speaker, who is a member of the National Assembly, are subject to the code of conduct and that code is freely available and members can access it or get it.

“The process is quite straightforward, we do not get involved in any matter, and that includes the Speaker, or any matter that is in front of the Ethics Committee. The procedure is that if a complaint has been laid and the acting Registrar will deal with the matter in terms of the code and the effected members will be informed accordingly, and they will interact with the acting Registrar and she will report to the Joint Committee on Ethics.

“That is how the process unfolds. No one, I want to repeat it, no one, including the Speaker nor the chair of the National Council of Provinces nor any presiding officer have any insight into the work that the Ethics Committee is undertaking,” said Frolick.

He said the Ethics Committee operates according to guidelines and it will report back to Parliament after it has finished its investigation.

The allegations against Mapisa-Nqakula were already in the public domain, but the Ethics Committee will conduct its own investigation.

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