Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Cape Town – July 5, 2024 – The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has called on parliament to demonstrate moral fortitude and leadership by addressing the increasing misconduct among Members of Parliament (MPs). According to Parliamentary Coordinator Matthew Parks, despite not having received their first salaries yet, four MPs have already been involved in disruptive and unethical behavior.

Parks highlighted that the electoral court recently ruled against Visvin Reddy, an MP from Umkhonto weSizwe (MKP), finding him guilty of inciting violence during the election campaign. Reddy had made public statements threatening chaos and rioting if the MK Party was not registered in March leading up to the general elections.

Additionally, Parks pointed out that Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Renaldo Gouws and MKP MP Andile Mngxitama have been stirring controversy on social media with hate speech and calls for violence.

Further adding to the issues, Parks noted that African National Congress (ANC) MP Zizi Kodwa has officially taken office despite facing corruption charges. Parliament is also grappling with the potential appointment of impeached former Judge John Hlophe to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

“Parliament is in a moment of ignominy,” Parks stated.

In a statement released to the media, Parks emphasized that it has been ordinary workers and working-class communities who have paid the price for the collapse in ethics among some elected officials. He criticized parliament for historically turning a blind eye to the misdemeanors of public representatives.

“We expect the seventh parliament to signal a firm break with its tradition of shame. It needs to amend its rules and actively sanction and expel those MPs who cannot be bothered to abide by the code of conduct, let alone the values of the Constitution,” Parks said.

He stressed that MPs are tasked with passing laws and holding the government accountable for their implementation. Parks argued that society should not be expected to tolerate morally deficient individuals being entrusted with such significant responsibilities.

Parks concluded by stating that South Africans have the right to expect and insist upon the highest ethical and moral standards from those elected and privileged to lead.

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