Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cabinet approves new fines for errant ministers


President Jacob Zuma and his Cabinet ministers will face fines equivalent to their monthly salaries, or a reduction in salary for 15 days, if they step out of line again.

On Tuesday the Cabinet adopted sanctions for errant members of the executive who breach the code of ethics that they have to abide by when they take office.

According to the code, ministers are expected to not:
Undertake paid work;

Act in ways that are inconsistent with their office;

Expose themselves to any situation involving the risk of a conflict between their official responsibilities and their private interests;

Use their position to enrich themselves or benefit another person;

Act in a way that compromises the integrity of government.
They must also ensure that they declare their financial interests to Parliament and to Cabinet within a defined period after taking office.

Any findings that show they have breached these rules can cost Cabinet ministers up to R120 000 -- they earn annual salaries of about R1,6-million.

Fortunately for Zuma, who was found guilty by the Public Protector of not declaring his interests, these sanctions come too late; also for ministers like Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda, who was found guilty by the Public Protector of using his position to influence processes -- he publicly supported Siyabonga Gama's bid to become Transnet CEO.

According to government spokesperson Themba Maseko, these sanctions will not work retrospectively and will only be in place until November this year, when Justice Minister Jeff Radebe will release a comprehensive review of the Executive Ethics Code.

At the time when Zuma's non-declaration of interests was discovered, government insiders said it led to a scramble among Cabinet ministers, several of whom also failed to declare their interests. It is understood they have brought this up to date now, and therefore will not fall victim to these sanctions either.



DA: Zuma must apologise for not declaring assets
ANC: Zuma assets saga 'a special case'
MPs fail to declare business interests
Zuma declares his interests
Zuma told to come clean on financial interests

Mail & Guardian

Comments by Sonny

More false promises by a false prophet?

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