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Mapisa-Nqakula slap on the wrist? Ramaphosa has power to fire Cabinet ministers

28 September 2020 7:33 AM
Tags:
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula
ANC Zimbabwe trip

Public law specialist, Cathy Powell comments on the Defence Minister's mild sanction for allowing ANC to use SANDF plane to Zim.

Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula will have three months' salary docked and instead paid into the Solidarity Fund, because she allowed ANC members to catch a flight on a government plane, to Zimbabwe.

Opposition parties are instead calling for her to be sacked.

UCT's public law specialist, associate professor, Cathy Powell, speaks to Refilwe Moloto about the President's decision.

The starting point is to know he (President Ramaphosa) could have fired her. He has the power to fire his members of Cabinet at will.

Cathy Powell, Public Law Specialist - UCT

The Constitution makes provision for the President to hire and fire his Cabinet ministers, she adds.

There are no sanctions against the ministers of transport and finance as it is unlikely they had knowledge of the actions.

But that is also something we should be incensed about, that we were told so little. We have a right to know who made the decision.

Cathy Powell, Public Law Specialist - UCT

However, Powell says, though such actions by a public official can be found to be unlawful, it does not necessarily make them criminal.

The ANC has said it will pay the money back.

The act will become invalid but will not be charged unless corruption is found to be involved, such as a gratification made to someone in order for them to break the law.

She outlines what Parliament could do in this situation. The first step would be to investigate exactly who made the decisions for the delegation to fly on the SANDF plane to Zimbabwe.

The second step, she says, would then be for Parliament to impose a sanction on those responsible.

What Parliament cannot do is fire an individual minister. Parliament has the power to fire the entire Cabinet with or without the President, but not an individual minister.

Cathy Powell, Public Law Specialist - UCT

Powell does not think the 3-month pay docking is anywhere near sufficient for taking a private contingency to another country without permission.

Quite frankly, I think the woman should be fired.

Cathy Powell, Public Law Specialist - UCT

Listen to the interview below:


28 September 2020 7:33 AM
Tags:
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula
ANC Zimbabwe trip

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