DA: Statement by Dianne Kohler-Barnard, Democratic Alliance shadow minister of police, on the Ethics Committee (21/08/2009)

21st August 2009

It is utterly unacceptable that ANC members chose to ignore the first sitting of the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members' Interests this morning rendering it non-quorate. The DA calls on the ANC chief whip, Mathole Motshekga, to take action immediately to rectify this disgraceful state of affairs.

Of the standard membership of 27 members, only 11 were present. Both Democratic Alliance (DA) members were present as well as one other opposition representative - but there were 16 missing MPs. At this stage no other opposition members have proffered names to the committee.

This shows that, despite the Travelgate debacle of the last Parliament, ethics are still not taken seriously amongst non-DA MPs. The ANC's lethargy towards their role in Parliament is a long standing problem. In fact, it has become such an issue that Parliament has resorted to forking out on luxury hotels as venues for the Portfolio Committee meetings - just to try and coax ANC members into attending. Despite this, my two strategic briefings of Police over the past fortnight had just one or two ANC representatives present.

By their actions, the ANC has shown that they take neither ethics, nor their parliamentary duties seriously.