'Your business is our business'
The African National Congress has yet to decide on the fate of senior MPs, including chief whip Mbulelo Goniwe, who were last week found guilty of failing to disclose their interests to Parliament.
Last year, the ANC’s national executive committee warned its public representatives in national, provincial and local government that “failure to adhere to ethics codes will result in internal disciplinary procedures in terms of the constitution of the ANC”.
The warning came after Parliament’s joint ethics committee found Minister of Defence Mosiuoa Lekota guilty of not disclosing his fuel distributorship and wine businesses in May last year. Lekota, who admitted the non-disclosure, but ascribed it to an oversight, was subsequently docked a week’s salary by Parliament and fined R5 000 by the ANC after an internal disciplinary hearing.
Asked whether the party will take disciplinary steps against the guilty MPs, ANC spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama this week said the party will decide on a course of action after receiving a report from Parliament.
The report found that senior ANC MPs, including three deputy ministers, failed to disclose their directorships.
They were fined between R1Â 000 and R4Â 000 each.
African Christian Democratic Party leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe was also found guilty of failing to declare his interest in a transport company and was fined R1 000.
The Mail & Guardian first exposed the MPs’ undisclosed interests in September. The committee began its investigation in the same month. It tabled its findings at the sitting of the National Assembly last Friday.
The findings include:
They were both “cautioned” for making “incomplete disclosures” and ordered to make a full declaration of their directorships. The committee found that Holomisa declared his directorships in the confidential section of the register and not in the public section as required by the code.
In the initial M&G story Holomisa was also cited as a director of Maths 3000. The committee found that he had since resigned from Maths 3000.
The committee found that Kgoali failed to declare her directorship of Allpay Gauteng, the company distributing social grants in the province.
Kgoali declared that she is a trustee of Sediba sa Basadi Trust, an independent organisation which has a 5% stake in Allpay Gauteng.
One aspect of the committee’s findings is problematic. The committee finds, on Kgoali’s non-disclosure, that “Kgoali represents Sediba in Allpay, and therefore by disclosure in respect of Sediba she did disclose [her] directorship in Allpay”. The committee agreed that Kgoali should “exercises caution regarding her disclosure”.
This is problematic, as the code was established to ensure that MPs’ financial interests are publicly declared. Sediba’s involvement in Allpay was not known until Kgoali’s non-disclosure was exposed. Also, Sediba is a separate entity from Allpay and therefore a disclosure of Sediba cannot be construed as a disclosure of Allpay.
Hanekom was found to have relinquished his directorship, while Ngwenya and Njobe were not compelled to disclose their directorships in a non-profit organisation. The committee found that Holomisa and Shabangu were not responsible for their directorships and that third parties had signed on their behalf.