Parliament, Friday 1 December 2017 – Alleged threatening gestures from African National Congress Member of Parliament (MP) Mr Mervyn Dirks to a female MP during yesterday’s sitting of the National Assembly is receiving the attention of National Assembly Speaker Ms Baleka Mbete.
The Speaker is in the process of determining a suitable course of action. This could include referring the matter to an appropriate committee of Parliament for further investigation and decision.
The alleged threatening gestures fly in the face of the 16 Days of Activism during which society is raising awareness about violence against women and children and calling on men, particularly, to challenge behaviour and norms that condone violence.
Members of Parliament, as public representatives and leaders, are expected to uphold the values of our Constitution, our supreme law. It is to the Constitution that Members pledge allegiance before starting their duties as parliamentarians. The founding values of the Constitution – such as human dignity, advancement of human rights and freedoms, non-racialism and non-sexism – find expression also in the Code of Ethical Conduct for Members, which requires members to promote and support ethical conduct by their leadership and example.
In this context, the alleged conduct of Mr Dirks is highly concerning and cannot be condoned.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
Enquiries: Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930