Parliament, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 – A sub-committee of the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests has, after obtaining legal advice, cancelled a meeting scheduled for Thursday meant to consider the complaint against Mr Floyd Shivambu, MP. The matter relates to the incident in March 2018 where Mr Shivambu is alleged to have attacked a journalist within the parliamentary precinct.
The legal advice obtained highlighted that the sub-committee must also have a certain number of Members to reach a quorum. Due to the fact that Parliament has risen and that Members of Parliament (MPs) are busy with constituency and elections work, the committee was uncertain if it will get the required number of MPs that are required to reach this quorum to come to Parliament to consider the matter.
The Ethics Committee has over the past term highlighted challenges it has faced in dealing with matters before it. One such challenge has been the inability to be quorate at most of its meetings and the unavailability of witnesses to assist the committee to consider matters before it.
In relation to the Shivambu matter, the sub-committee, chaired by Mr Omie Singh, had met to consider the matter late last year but was unable to proceed as a crucial witness was overseas, hence the scheduling of the meeting for Thursday as the witness is now back in the country. While the National Assembly has been dissolved in line with section 50 of the Constitution, the House and by extension its committee, was competent to function until the day before the first day of polling for the next National Assembly.
The Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests will meet next week Wednesday to consider all cases that are still before it and to chart a way forward considering the limited time before the end of the 5th Parliament.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CO-CHAIRPERSONS OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON ETHICS AND MEMBERS’ INTERESTS, MR HUMPHREY MAXEGWANA AND MR OMIE SINGH.
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