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Cape Town: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says Cabinet Ministers are bound by the prescripts of the Executive Ethics Code, which blocks them from misusing their positions of authority to benefit themselves.
The Deputy President said this when responding to questions in the National Assembly on Thursday.
Agang MP Molapi Tlouamma had asked the Deputy President how he, as the leader of the Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM), ensured that Cabinet members bear the responsibility for corruption under their leadership in order to give credibility to the policies of government against corruption.
“In so far as the Moral Regeneration Movement is concerned, government has included the promotion and popularisation of the MRM’s Charter of Positive Values in the Medium Term Strategic Framework.
“… Government promulgated the Executive Ethics Code, which spells out the ethical standards with which Cabinet members have to comply.
“Among other things, it stipulates that Cabinet members may not misuse their positions of authority to benefit themselves,” he said.
The Deputy President said the Executive Ethics Code is also used to handle conflicts of interest, disclosure of financial interests and receipt of gifts.
He said a Minister is, according to the code, required to declare any personal or private financial or business interest that the member may have in a matter before Cabinet.
“Where such business interest exists, the Minister is required to dispose of that interest or place the administration of the interest under the control of an independent and professional person or agency.
“A Cabinet member may not accept a benefit which amounts to improper influence or which seeks to influence the member in the performance of their duties,” he said to MPs.
The Deputy President said these measures, which also require Cabinet members to declare shares, sponsorships, benefits, foreign travel, land and immovable property, among others, were meant to ensure the highest standards of ethical conduct by members of the executive.
Deputy President Ramaphosa said, meanwhile, that the Moral Regeneration Movement is a society-wide initiative aimed at building ethically and morally conscious communities.
“This means that all of us – members of the executive, members of this House, public servants, business people and all South Africans – share a responsibility to combat corruption.
“The National Development Plan requires us to institutionalise an anti-corruption system that is resilient and that facilitates the coordination of all our anti-corruption capacities and entities.
“To this end, in June 2014, President Jacob Zuma established an Anti-Corruption Inter-Ministerial Committee convened by the Minister Jeff Radebe,” he said.
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International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is in the Russian Federation on a working visit where she is scheduled to co-chair the 13th session of the annual South Africa-Russia Joint Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and…