OUTA pleased with Parliament's action against Faith Muthambi
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) is pleased that its comprehensive report “No Room To Hide”, handed to Parliament in June last year, is being used to hold those in Government to account for their serious misconduct and transgressions of the law.
On Tuesday, Portfolio Committee on Communications resolved to refer the Faith Muthambi matter to the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests.
“OUTA welcomes the work done by the parliamentary Committee, as this clearly indicates that civil society is being taken seriously and that we have a role to play in holding to account those who abuse their authority and waste taxpayers’ money,” says Ben Theron, OUTA’s Chief Operating Officer.
“We look forward to the Ethics committee’s determination of Ms Muthambi's fate.”
Muthambi, now an ordinary MP, was the Minister of Communications and then Minister of Public Service and Administration.
The committee had considered the section of OUTA’s report on Muthambi, after the Deputy Speaker wrote to ask the committee to consider holding an inquiry into her conduct. They decided that, based on OUTA’s report, it appeared that Muthambi has been involved in the highest degree of corruption. Most of the members of the committee felt the allegations and attached documentation was sufficient to expel Muthambi from Parliament, while some believed she should be prosecuted and serve jail time if the evidence is found to be true.
The committee felt that the evidence against Muthambi was so strong that an inquiry would be a waste of time and that action was needed instead.
It was also felt that the matter falls under the ambit of the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests.
The committee thus decided that the Deputy Speaker should be informed of this consensus.
The committee indicated that Muthambi will be summoned to account, regardless of whether a formal inquiry is established.
The OUTA report includes a section on Muthambi, who is accused of abusing her position in Cabinet to allow the Guptas to manipulate state policy on communications for their own benefit.
In July 2017, OUTA laid criminal charges of corruption and treason against Muthambi over this matter.