Tuesday, August 26, 2008

THE PEOPLE vs parliament

Say it with a sting.....

Citizen Alert ZA
Without fear or favour.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Parliament-faces-challenge-over-scorpions

BEN MACLENNAN C
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
Aug 26 2008 16:43

Businessman Hugh Glenister is seeking an urgenthigh court interdict to bar Travelgate MPs from debating the future of the Scorpions.

He said at a Cape Town Press Club lunch on Tuesday that his lawyers were hoping to go to court to argue the matter next week.

The application would seek to have "220 members, if not more", disqualified on the grounds of conflict of interest from voting the Scorpions out of existence.

Glenister is currently waiting for the outcome of a Constitutional Court hearing on his challenge to government plans to disband the unit.

His attorney, Kevin Louis, sent a letter to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete on August 14 asking that MPs who had been investigated by the Scorpions in the Travelgate matter recuse themselves from consideration of the two Bills that seek to shut down the unit.

Louis sent a second letter last week, saying Glenister would institute an urgent application for an interdict if there was no reply by August 22.

The speaker's office responded on Tuesday afternoon, rejecting Glenister's demands.

It sent the lawyers a copy of a letter on the same issue that Mbete sent to the Grahamstown-based Public Service Accountability Monitor at the beginning of August.

In that letter, Mbete said: "The parliamentary system has inbuilt measures for ensuring that individual members' feelings cannot compromise public interest and I believe in the system.

"I have however, been informed that there are in any case no members facing prosecution by the Scorpions currently participating in the process."

She also said it should be noted that members' right to vote in the Assembly "cannot easily be taken away from them".

Louis told the South African Press Association on Tuesday afternoon that the legal team was now drawing up the application, which would probably be filed in the Cape High Court later this week.

Before that happened, though, they had to obtain permission from Mbete to serve the papers at Parliament on her and the other MPs.

Though the exact wording of the application had not been finalised, they would be seeking to place an obligation on Mbete, National Council of Provinces chairperson Mninwa Mahlangu, and the chairpersons of two portfolio committees to ensure that all MPs implicated in the Travelgate fraud saga or any other Scorpions probe recused themselves.

This would apply to Scorpions investigations past and present, Louis said.

In the first letter to Mbete, Louis said the parliamentary code of conduct demanded MPs declare any personal interest in matters they were dealing with.

Thereafter they had to withdraw, unless that forum decided that the interest was trivial or not relevant.

Glenister told the press-club lunch that the number of MPs involved "should shock us all".

"More than 50% of your parliamentarians don't give a damn about taxpayers' money," he said.

He said politicians turning out as corrupt as the scoundrels they replaced was not an African problem.

"This is history repeating itself ... this is basically politicians who are drunk with power."

"Most of the libertarians who have come before me have fought for the right to withhold tax. I wonder if that's where we've come to, because that is the only clear message we can send to our government.

"If you wish to abuse us, and take our hard-earned sweat and spend it in the way you please ... then we have a right to say we will not give you this money, we will not give you this money for you to abuse us in return." - Sapa

Comments by Sonny
Just Now, soon, parliament will be a mockery like it is in Zimbabwe.
Power to the POEPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE!
Posted by Sonny Cox at 5:41 PM Links M & G

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