July 04, 2020

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.

Our Parliament is based very firmly on the Westminster model, an enduring reminder of our colonial past. But as no effort has so far been taken to replace it, we might as well make use of its hundreds more years of experience than we have had and, at least sometimes, take heed of it when we should.

I talk, of course, about the UK House of Commons’ investigation into allegations of bullying in the House of Commons.

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Notes from the House is an independent online publication that tracks and monitors Parliament’s role in fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities to improve the lives of South African citizens. Published by Moira Levy with the support of the Claude Leon Foundation.

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