The Leader of the Opposition (DA) to ask the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development:
(1) With reference to his reply to question 2168 on 31 August 2010, what time frame has been set for the completion of the ethics review currently being conducted by Cabinet;
(2) whether the Cabinet’s decision to apply interim sanctions on those found guilty of violating the Executive Ethics Code apply retrospectively from the beginning of the current disclosure cycle which began in June 2010; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
I wish to inform the Honourable Member that after having perused all the parliamentary replies I have submitted to Parliament so far, the question he is referring to i.e. 2168 was never, at any point, directed to me. This question was directed to the Honourable President JG Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa.
I can however provide the Honourable Member with the following details regarding this matter:-
During November 2010, Cabinet considered a memorandum by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development regarding the matter. The Department also proposed draft amendments to the Executive Members’ Ethics Act, 1998 (Act 82 of 1998), as well as to the Executive Ethics Code that was promulgated in terms of the said Act. Cabinet approved in principle that the amendments concerned be formally developed and processed in the ordinary course of business. Consequently, an “Executive Members’ Ethics Amendment Bill” would be prepared for introduction during the next session of Parliament. The amendments to the Code must, in terms of section 3 of the said Act, be done by the President by proclamation, after consultation with Parliament. The draft amendments to the Code would therefore also be submitted to Parliament during the course of its next session.
Cabinet has been advised that there is no basis in law for the application of sanctions, which are not prescribed (or authorised) under the said Act or the Code, to members who are subject to the Act and the Code.