Parliament, Thursday, 26 October 2023 – The Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests has, during a scheduled meeting on Friday, 20 October 2023, concluded its consideration of a complaint against Honourable Dipuo Peters, MP, on the allegation of a breach of the Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members’ Interests for National Assembly and Permanent Council Members.

The complaint was laid by Mr Abdurrazack Achmat, Ms Zukiswa Fokazi and #Unite Behind, a non-profit organisation, on 12 September 2022 for an alleged breach of the code. The complaint alleged that the Member was neglectful in her previous portfolio as Minister of Transport by failing to appoint a Group CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).

The complaint also alleged that the Member dismissed the Molefe Board, seemingly because it had uncovered R14 billion in irregular expenditure and instituted investigations into corruption at PRASA. The High Court in Molefe and Others v Minister of Transport and Others (17748/17) [2017] ZAGPPHC found that the Member’s conduct was irrational, unreasonable and unlawful. Furthermore, that the Member attempted to stop the investigations into corruption at PRASA initiated by the Molefe Board.

In addition, that the Member failed to investigate the allegation relating to the R79 million of PRASA money paid by Swifambo to other people for alleged distribution to the African National Congress (ANC). The Member was under a duty to ensure that corruption is rooted out from public entities. Another allegation alleged that the Member used PRASA busses for ANC events during 2014 and 2015 without ensuring payment from the ANC.

Following deliberations, the committee found that the Member’s failure to appoint a Group CEO breached items 4.1.3 and 4.1.4 of the code, in that the Member failed to act on all occasions in accordance with the public trust placed in her; and discharge her obligations, in terms of the Constitution, to Parliament and the public at large, by placing the public interest above her own interests when she failed to appoint a Group CEO after the PRASA Board had commissioned a recruitment process, which resulted in a financial loss of R1 767 000.

The committee also found that the Member breached items 4.1.3, 4.1.4 and 4.1.5 of the code, when she dismissed the PRASA Board on the same day that Mr Molefe wrote to the Portfolio Committee on Transport. In Molefe and Others v Minister of Transport and Others (17748/17) [2017] ZAGPPHC, the High Court ruled this dismissal to be irrational, unreasonable and unlawful.

Furthermore, the committee found that the Member breached item 4.1.4 of the code when she requested PRASA buses to be used for the ANC for celebrations on 8 January 2015, which were not paid for.

As a result, the committee will recommend that the Member be suspended from her seat in all parliamentary debates and sittings, and from committee meetings and committee-related functions and operations for one term of the parliamentary programme. Also, the committee will recommend that the suspension in respect of all three breaches run concurrently during a term of the parliamentary programme, as determined by the House.


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