9 days salary to be deducted from EFF Deputy after failing to disclose money paid to him by VBS bank

The Western Cape High Court struck off the roll the urgent application by Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) Deputy President, Floyd Shivambu, to set aside the decision of the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interest (Ethics Committee) to deduct nine days’ salary from him.

In October 2023, the Ethics Committee adopted a report that found Shivambu failed to disclose the R180 000 that was paid to him in 2017 by Sgameka Projects Pty Ltd. (VBS bank) The Committee recommended that the National Assembly impose a nine-day salary reduction on Shivambu. The report was subsequently adopted on 28 November 2023.

Following the Committee’s decision, Shivambu made a two-part application to the Court. In Part A of his application, he sought an order that the decision of the Ethics Committee to accept the Registrar of Members Interests’ report and the adoption of the report by the NA be suspended pending finalisation of Part B. In Part B, he was seeking an order that the NA’s decision to adopt the report of the Ethics Committee be reviewed and set aside.

In his application to the Court, Shivambu argued that the investigation against him was ‘’grossly unfair’’ as he was denied the right to know what allegations he was facing before the decision of his alleged guilt. He stated that the payments made to him were not gifts but were from his brother and the Ethics Code excludes gifts from family members from the categories of gifts that should be disclosed.

Additionally, Shivambu believed that if the Court agrees to hear this matter on an urgent basis, his political party, the EFF, will enjoy a free and fair opportunity to participate in the elections without the burden of a report that is likely to be set aside on review.

In its order, the Court found Shivambu’s submission that his political party will be disadvantaged if the matter is not heard on an urgent basis to be unsustainable and lacking validity as the EFF is not a participant in the case.

The Court further found the urgency to be self-created as Shivambu already knew of the Ethics Committee’s decision in June 2023 and only filed his application in December.

He was also ordered to pay the costs of the application.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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