ANC MP fined half his salary

Pule Mabe also rep­ri­manded for flout­ing code of con­duct

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA

PAR­LIA­MENT has slapped ANC MP and na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber Pule Mabe with a fine of 15 days of his salary and a rep­ri­mand for flout­ing the mem­bers’ code of con­duct.

This af­ter the joint com­mit­tee on ethics and mem­bers’ in­ter­ests in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a com­plaint against Mabe found he had breached the code of par­lia­men­tar­i­ans.

The com­plaint was lodged af­ter the re­lease of the pub­lic pro­tec­tor’s re­port into al­le­ga­tions of mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion at the Pas­sen­ger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

It was al­leged that Mabe’s com­pany, KG Me­dia, was im­prop­erly awarded a ten­der by Prasa to pro­duce the Ham­banathi magazine and that the con­tract was un­law­fully ex­tended.

“It was fur­ther al­leged that Mabe, who was the for­mer ex­ec­u­tive cor­po­rate af­fairs man­ager at Prasa, was im­prop­erly paid a salary af­ter his res­ig­na­tion from Prasa in 2008/2009,” the com­mit­tee re­port said.

The code of MPs pro­hibits par­lia­men­tar­i­ans from “re­ceiv­ing any ben­e­fit in­clud­ing but not lim­ited to a ten­der or a con­tract with an or­gan of state”. They are also re­quired to de­clare their di­rec­tor­ship.

In their fi­nal re­port, com­mit­tee co-chair­per­sons Amos Ma­sondo and Omie Singh found that Mabe still held shares in the Ked­i­bone Trust, which held 100% of KG Me­dia shares, and that he had ben­e­fited from the re­newal of the Prasa con­tract with KG Me­dia in March 2015.

Mabe was sworn-in as an MP in 2014. An es­ti­mated 15 days of his salary amounts to half his monthly re­mu­ner­a­tion, to­talling more than R40 000. Or­di­nary MPs earn R1.03m a year, or R85 833 a month.

“Mabe is a trustee of the trust and ben­e­fi­ciary and ac­cord­ingly ben­e­fited from the pro­ceeds of the con­tract.”

Mabe dis­puted that the com­mit­tee’s ini­tial find­ing that he ben­e­fited, ar­gu­ing that he had er­ro­neously dis­closed that he was a ben­e­fi­ciary of the Ked­i­bone Mabe Trust and that his chil­dren were the ac­tual ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

How­ever, the com­mit­tee con­cluded that he still ben­e­fited from the re­newal of the con­tract.

“It is the view of the joint com­mit­tee that as le­gal cus­to­dian of the mi­nor chil­dren, Mabe ben­e­fited from the con­tract. Al­ter­na­tively, Mabe’s chil­dren ben­e­fited from same,” Ma­sondo and Singh said.

The com­mit­tee said the al­le­ga­tions of im­proper pay­ment to Mabe oc­curred be­fore his de­ploy­ment to Par­lia­ment.

Mabe did dis­close his in­ter­est in KG Me­dia upon join­ing Par­lia­ment.

“On the dis­clo­sure of fi­nan­cial in­ter­est re­lated to KG Me­dia, Mabe did dis­close his di­rec­tor­ship in 2014, be­fore his res­ig­na­tion as a di­rec­tor of the com­pany.

“The Ked­i­bone Mabe Trust, which holds the copy­right to Ham­banathi and Kwela Ex­press, is dis­closed in the 2015 dis­clo­sure of in­ter­ests,” said Ma­sondo and Singh.

Mean­while, for­mer DA MP Makashule Gana es­caped sanc­tion af­ter he was in­ves­ti­gated for fail­ing to dis­close spon­sor­ship re­ceived in sup­port of his cam­paign for fed­eral chair­per­son at the 2015 elec­toral con­fer­ence of the DA.

“Gana re­signed with ef­fect Novem­ber 14 last year. As Mr Gana re­signed his mem­ber­ship of the Na­tional As­sem­bly, the joint com­mit­tee has no juris­dic­tion over him, as he is no longer a mem­ber of Par­lia­ment.”

Also es­cap­ing sanc­tion was the ANC’s Peace Mabe, who was sworn-in as a coun­cil­lor in Mo­gale City last year with­out re­sign­ing as an MP as re­quired by the con­sti­tu­tion.

Par­lia­ment re­ceived a le­gal ad­vice that Mabe was law­fully elected to take up of­fice as a mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil­lor and thereby au­to­mat­i­cally ceased to be an MP and that her choice was ir­rev­o­ca­ble.

The com­mit­tee said Mabe had al­ready left Par­lia­ment when it in­ves­ti­gated the al­le­ga­tion.

“The joint com­mit­tee rec­om­mends that se­cu­rity in both Houses be strength­ened,” said Ma­sondo and Singh.

PUN­ISHED: Pule Mabe

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