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Parly ethics committee to detail action against Manana, Bongo

The committee decided in a closed-doors meeting on Thursday to institute disciplinary action against the two ANC MPs, after facing mounting criticism over its failure to deal with complaints against them.

FILE: Former State Security Minister Bongani Bongo. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s ethics committee will on Tuesday spell out the steps it intends taking to hold former deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mduduzi Manana, and former State Security Minister Bongani Bongo to account.

The committee decided in a closed-doors meeting on Thursday to institute disciplinary action against the two ANC MPs, after facing mounting criticism over its failure to deal with complaints against them.

Manana last year pleaded guilty to and was convicted of assaulting three women at a Johannesburg nightclub. Bongo was accused last November of attempting to bribe the advocate leading evidence in Parliament’s inquiry into state capture at Eskom.

Ethics committee co-chairperson Amos Masondo has confirmed to Eyewitness News that the complaints against both Manana and Bongo will now be investigated, with details to come at a briefing set down for Tuesday.

The MPs’ Code of Conduct provides for a reprimand in the House and the docking of pay and privileges, although more serious sanctions can be recommended.

Advocate Bronwyn Pithey of the Women’s Legal Centre, who laid a complaint with the committee against Manana in August last year, says that he is not fit to be an MP.

"It’s actually absurd, that the very people we have entrusted to making laws to protect us, one of those people is someone who has brazenly broken that law."

But the ethics committee has no powers to sack a Member of Parliament. That’s up to the party they belong to – in this case, the ANC.