THE Democratic Alliance has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to instruct the Minister of Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu to retract and issue a public apology for undermining the judiciary and casting aspersions on its integrity in a recent opinion piece.
The party said it would also call on the minister to appear before Parliament’s Ethics Committee where she will be asked to explain how, as a Member of Parliament, she reconciles her “attack” on the Judiciary with the Parliamentary Code of Conduct.
Sisulu’s opinion piece was published in IOL at the end of last week, questioning the rule of law in the country.
Steenhuisen said Sisulu’s divisive and race-baiting op-ed on the judiciary means that she has violated her oath and undermined the constitutional principle of separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary.
“Even if no formal finding of wrongdoing has been made on Sisulu’s remarks, President Ramaphosa has an obligation to protect public trust in the constitutional integrity of other arms of government,” said Steenhuisen on Sunday.
“We will also call on the minister to appear before Parliament’s Ethics Committee where she will be asked to explain how, as a Member of Parliament, she reconciles her attack on the Judiciary with the Parliamentary Code of Conduct.”
He added” “This Code stipulates, among others, that members “act on all occasions in accordance with the public trust placed in them”.
“It also demands from members that they “discharge their obligations in terms of the Constitution, to Parliament and the public at large, by placing the public interest above their own interests” and that they “maintain public confidence and trust in the integrity of Parliament and thereby engender the respect and confidence that society needs to have in Parliament as a representative institution.”
Steenhuisen said the overwhelming majority of South Africa’s judicial officers have consistently conducted themselves with integrity and probity in the discharge of their duties.
“It would be highly irresponsible to let politicians, especially a sitting Cabinet Minister, undermine their work through unsubstantiated claims of bias,” he said.
- Inside Politics