February 17, 2019

The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) and the Dullah Omar Institute (DOI) held a public meeting late in January to mobilise civil society behind a demand for accountability and oversight within parliament's admininstration in the wake of the protest suicide of senior manager Lennox Garane, who shot himself in his parliamentary office last year. The meeting, held at the offices of the IJR, was attended by the Public Service Accountability Monitor, the Parliamentary Monitoring Group as well as public policy experts and social justice activists in the field of accountability to express their serious concern about the functionality of parliament and its impact on the country’s state of governance.

Academic research on the best digital tools for monitoring southern African parliaments shows Uganda tweets live from parliamentary session, while Kenya has Mzalendo, a top website similar to the UK’s TheyWorkForYou.com. The study argues that digital tools such as these must be developed to ensure that citizens are able to follow the debates taking place in their respective official parliamentary chambers.

Disgraced Secretary to Parliament, Gengezi Mgidlana, who has spent more than a year suspended while Parliament investigates various charges against him of mismanagement and abuse of power, and who is currently the subject of a protracted disciplinary hearing, has declared himself “aggrieved” because the EFF’s Floyd Shivambu once called him “corrupt”.

What better way to derail an anti-corruption campaign than to beat it at its own game? You might damage or derail democracy in the process, but that is the country’s problem, not yours, writes STEVEN FRIEDMAN in a recent article in The Conversation.

The last we heard of proposed amendments to the Executive Members' Code of Ethics was back in 2011 when draft amendments to the Executive Members’ Ethics Act were published for public comment. This was intended to fill the gaps identified by then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. GARY PIENAAR and ASHLEY FISCHHOFF point out that right now we cannot be sure that President Cyril Ramaphosa and his cabinet have made timely and full disclosure.

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Notes from the House is an independent weekly email newsletter that tracks and monitors Parliament in its role of holding government to account and passing legislation to improve people’s lives. It aims to bring you the news from Parliament that you don’t get elsewhere. Published by Moira Levy with the support of the Claude Leon Foundation.

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