National

Motlanthe admits ethics code update has taken too long

Sapa

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe says it is "regrettable" that it has taken so long to submit changes to the executive ethics code to Parliament.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

It has taken too long to make changes to the executive ethics code, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Wednesday.

Responding to questions in the National Assembly, he told MPs: "I think the fact that it's taken this long to submit the code to Parliament is regrettable. We can't fudge that part of it."

It has so far taken almost four years for the code to be changed, following a report by public protector Thuli Madonsela, in which she said that President Jacob Zuma breached the ethics code by not declaring his interests on time.

The report also found that the former ethics code had various shortcomings. The amended ethics code was adopted by Cabinet in December last year. Motlanthe blamed the delay on "democratic processes".

'Close to finish'
"Cabinet had been discussing it and debating it, and eventually those discussions were concluded on December 4 last year, and so we've gone past the major hurdle and now we are very close to the [finishing] tape, as it were," he said.

"The process is now with the ministry of justice and constitutional development, and as soon as they are done with their internal processes, the code will definitely be submitted to Parliament."

Some opposition MPs were not convinced by Motlanthe's assurance. "As we all know, we're moving towards an election. After the elections there will in all probability be a new Cabinet. They will then want to review it," Congress of the People MP Juli Killian said.

"Until the political leadership ... demonstrates zero tolerance to corruption, poor communities in our country will continue to suffer, and South Africa will continue to go down on the corruption barometer in the international community's eyes." – Sapa

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