It is much easier to look for a needle from a pile of rubble on a construction site than to find accurate information on the country’s politicians’ financial and business interests.
But soon tax payers might have some idea of investments that their members of parliament own, if the legislators fully comply with the ultimatum to declare their interests by 15August 2014, Transform SA gathered from the Parliament’s Ethics Committee Co-chairman Amos Masondo during a press briefing.
Legislators who fail to comply are likely to face the might of the tougher new code of conduct, which the joint chairpersons of Parliament’s ethics committee announced. Proposed by the previous parliament, the new code bars MPs and their immediate families from doing business with the state or benefiting from such work. In addition, it prohibits work outside Parliament if members do not obtain permission from their respective political parties.
Once ratified by National Assembly, the new code will result in MPs who breach the code being docked a month’s salary and suspended from parliamentary debates and committees for 30 days. The previous penalty of a 15-day suspension was generally considered a slap on the wrist.
Some in the public are cynical about the sincerity of the disclosure. “No right thinking politician would want to put their neck on the block and expose themselves to the ruthless South African Revenue Services (SARS). Politicians like to project themselves as morally upright,” a journalist from one of the country’s broadsheets confided to Transform SA.Share this article on Social Networks