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President Cyril Ramaphosa suspends deputy minister for breaching Ethics Code

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has suspended the Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Dipuo Peters, after Parliament found her guilty of violating the ethics code and banned her for one term.

This follows the findings of the Ethics Committee that Peters had violated her oath of office when she was transport minister between 2013 and 2017.

The complaint was lodged by #UnitedBehind that Peters was neglectful in her duties as transport minister when she failed to appoint a Group CEO at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

The organisation said Peters had also used Prasa buses for African National Congress (ANC) events between 2014 and 2015 and the ruling party did not pay for the use of buses.

It was also found that Peters had axed the Prasa board, chaired by Popo Molefe, because it had uncovered irregular expenditure of R14 billion and was instituting investigations into this.

At the end of January, Peters went to the Western Cape High Court to stop parliament from implementing the findings of the ethics committee, but her application was rejected.

Ramaphosa announced on Friday he has suspended Peters for a month.

“This decision follows a sanction adopted by parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests against the deputy minister,” said Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya.

“The committee found that Peters had breached the Code of Ethical Conduct in her former portfolio as minister of transport. Consequently, Peters was sanctioned and suspended for one term.”

He said the suspension came into effect on February 28 and will end on March 28.

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