Home South African One-month suspension for Deputy Minister Peters not good enough, says FF Plus

One-month suspension for Deputy Minister Peters not good enough, says FF Plus

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The Freedom Front Plus has slammed President Cyril Ramaphosa for imposing a “lenient” one-month suspension on the Deputy Minister of Small Business and Development, Dipuo Peters, who is accused of breaching Parliament’s Code of Ethical Conduct.

Deputy Minister of Small Business and Development, Dipuo Peters. File picture: Leon Nicholas

THE FREEDOM Front Plus has slammed President Cyril Ramaphosa for imposing a “lenient” one-month suspension on the Deputy Minister of Small Business and Development, Dipuo Peters, who is accused of breaching Parliament’s Code of Ethical Conduct.

On Friday, the Presidency announced Peters’ suspension, which began on February 28 and ends on March 28.

According to the president’s office, Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests brought the sanction against Peters for breaching the Code of Ethical Conduct during her time as minister of transport.

The complaint was brought before the committee after three complaints lodged by #UniteBehind, a non-profit organisation, were laid against her in September 2022.

However, the FF Plus said it is not pleased by this suspension, which it said was purely for show.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa’s one-month suspension of Deputy Minister Dipuo Peters for breaching the Code of Ethics while serving as minister of transport is barely a rap across the knuckles and demonstrates how the ANC protects its cadres,” said FF Plus spokesperson Wouter Wessels.

It was found that Peters, among other things, failed to appoint a CEO for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), and that she dismissed the Prasa board chaired by Popo Molefe after it had instituted investigations into corruption.

She also failed to investigate the allegation that Swifambo Rail unlawfully channelled R79 million in Prasa funds to the ANC’s coffers, and she used Prasa buses for ANC events in 2014 and 2015.

Wessels said the allegations against Peters were serious enough for her to be dismissed, adding that the one-month sanction does not send a strong enough message to other corrupt officials.

“These are serious allegations and the president should have dismissed her at once based on the committee’s recommendations.The suspension for just one month sends the message that the government will tolerate fraud and corruption, and even protect offenders as long as it benefits the ANC,” Wessels said.

The FF Plus said it has become all too common for ANC ministers to be embroiled in alleged unethical and corrupt practices.

“Ministers are meant to act honestly and with integrity at all times. These allegations serve as proof of dishonesty. President Ramaphosa is clearly not serious about rooting out corruption. If an office-bearer gets off so lightly for such serious offences, the FF Plus wonders what a minister will have to do to be dismissed,” he said.

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