ANC Veterans’ League concern over actions which may weaken public trust in the state and the rule of law
Over the last week, there have been disappointing actions taken by institutions which are expected to uphold the rule of law and to build public trust in the state.
This is of great concern for the Veterans’ League since in the face of the forthcoming elections, the ANC at all levels needs to remain steadfast in strengthening constitutional institutions and good governance.
Recently the Ethics Committee of Parliament made recommendations that raised eyebrows in respect of MPs who have been accused of state capture in the Zondo Commission and in the looting of the VBS bank.
It must be cold comfort to those who have suffered due to the collapse of the VBS Bank.
One can only imagine the vexation of people, especially pensioners who lost their lifetime savings, when they learnt that Parliament’s Ethics Committee merely fined Floyd Shivambu nine days’ salary for failing to disclose that he received R180 000.00 from VBS bank- a breach of his constitutional duty.
Curiously, our esteemed representatives in Parliament do not seem to have been interested in finding out how the Honourable Member came to be in possession of the money in question.
Other MPs, who have yet to be subjected to legal processes arising out of the Zondo Commission such as Mosebenzi Zwane, were cleared inter alia on what appears to have been a technicality.
Trust in our democratic institutions is low and if we are to restore public confidence, not only must Members of Parliament be above reproach but Parliament must be seen to be taking decisive and meaningful action against such Parliamentarians.
The Veterans’ League hopes that in the next administration, the Ethics Committee rules will be strengthened.
The Veterans’ League also wants to reiterate its position that being cleared by the Ethics Committee of Parliament does not make ANC NEC members who have been implicated in the Zondo Commission and VBS eligible to become candidates in the forthcoming elections.
They are still required to be cleared by processes within the ANC.
We also saw this week, the Gauteng MEC for Economic Affairs, Tasneem Motara swearing in Des van Rooyen and Papa Leshabane as members of the board of two Gauteng public entities. Judge Zondo in his state capture report found that Van Rooyen had links to the Guptas and Leshabane to Bosasa.
Individuals of questionable integrity should not become board members of public entities, where they are meant to be the custodians of good governance and public money. The Veterans’ League calls on the Gauteng government to review these appointments.
Further, the Judicial Service Commission, which, despite interviewing ten candidates for four vacancies for the Supreme Court of Appeal, only made two recommendations to the President. Experienced and competent judges are needed for this critical cog in our judicial system, and not filling these vacancies is a threat to the rule of law.
The Veterans’ League hopes that the President and Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola will act to address this urgently.
Issued by Snuki Zikalala
President of the ANCVL.