Peters previously denied being involved in wrongdoing at Prasa during her tenure as Transport Minister.
Small Business Development Deputy Minister Dipuo Peters has been found guilty of breaching the MPs’ ethics code for various transgressions committed when she was Transport Minister.
Peters was hauled before the Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests following three complaints laid against her in September last year.
The complaints, one of which was filed by non-profit organization (NPO) #UniteBehind related to Peters’ failure to appoint a group CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).
Her actions resulted in a financial loss of R1.7 million for Prasa which was paid to a recruitment company.
Another complaint related to her dismissal of the Prasa board led by former chairperson Popo Molefe, seemingly because it had uncovered R14 billion of irregular expenditure and instituted investigations into corruption at the railway agency.
In 2017, the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled Peters’ conduct in getting rid of the board and attempting to stop the investigations into Prasa corruption was irrational, unreasonable and unlawful.
The African National Congress (ANC) MP was also accused of failing to investigate claims of “R79-million of Prasa money paid by Swifambo to other people for alleged distribution” to the governing party, despite her duty to root out corruption.
Another allegation was that Peters approved the use of Prasa buses for ANC events during 2014 and 2015 without ensuring payment from the ANC.
The Ethics Committee sanctioned the former Transport Minister on three breaches of the ethics code.
“The member failed to act on all occasions in accordance with the public trust placed in her, and discharge her obligations, in terms of the Constitution, to Parliament and the public at large, by placing the public interest above her own interests,” the committee’s statement reads.
The committee, therefore, recommended that Peters be suspended from her seat in all parliamentary debates and sittings, and committee meetings for one term.
“Also, the committee will recommend that the suspension in respect of all three breaches run concurrently during a term of the parliamentary program, as determined by the House.”