Winnie faces tongue lashing in Parliament

Errant African National Congress MP Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has 10 days to provide Parliament with a date when she will attend a National Assembly sitting to be publicly reprimanded by Speaker Dr Frene Ginwala.

Madikizela-Mandela is the first MP to be found guilty of contravening Parliament’s Code of Conduct for failing to disclose information in the Register of Members’ Interests. The National Assembly last year unanimously endorsed Parliament’s Ethics Committee recommendation that Ginwala should publicly reprimand Madikizela-Mandela and fine her the equivalent of 15 days’ salary (about R12 500).

Speaking during Thursday’s programme committee meeting, Ginwala said she had written to Madikizela-Mandela and asked “that she give us a date within 10 days”.

The National Assembly would go ahead with imposing the penalty despite the fact that Madikizela-Mandela was challenging the decision in the Cape High Court.

Ginwala said that while Madikizela-Mandela had asked Parliament not to impose the fine pending the outcome of the court case, she had not received a court order to this effect.

“We can proceed,” the Speaker said.

The Cape Times reported on Thursday that Madikizela-Mandela took her seat in the National Assembly four times last year. The ANC Women’s League president had permission for sick leave for only nine of the 76 days on which the Assembly sat last year.

Madikizela-Mandela was found guilty of failing to disclose donations of R50 000 a month and her financial interests in the Winnie Mandela Family Museum.

Parliament’s Code of Conduct states members must disclose all gifts, hospitality, sponsorships and benefits valued at more than R350, as well as shares and financial interests in companies and other corporate entities, in a special register of members’ interests that is updated annually.

Madikizela-Mandela in a recent statement defended her chronic absenteeism saying it was very difficult to “share the chamber with politicians from the apartheid era who have the blood of black children on their hands”.
- Sapa

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