A bizarre accusation was made in parliament on Wednesday that “hundreds” of the special leather-bound copies of the SA constitution that are issued to each member of parliament once they take up their seats have gone missing.
Reportedly, the cause was that some MPs took more copies than the one they were entitled to.
DA MP Belinda Bozzoli tweeted that when she “went to fetch one of the smart new leather-bound little copies of the Constitution all MPs are given”, she found that they had “all been stolen”.
Busy settling into new Parliament. Lots of admin. Went to fetch one of the smart new leather-bound little copies of the Constitution all MPs are given only to find they had ALL BEEN STOLEN.
— Belinda Bozzoli (@belbozz) June 12, 2019
MPs are meant to sign for the individual copies they are issued with.
When this was brought to the attention of National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise, she expressed concern and asked any MP who had more than one in their possession to return it. While not using the word ‘theft’ outright, she said that the conduct needed to be seen for what it was, and that is was unacceptable.
DA MP Natasha Mazzone on Thursday asked for security footage to be checked.
“Speaker, it really embarrasses me to say this because it’s the most sacred document our country has, and they disappeared, and now we have members who don’t have copies of these constitutions. We need to address this rather urgently, please.”
Modise agreed it was no laughing matter: “We shouldn’t even be jesting about it. It is bad. Taking what doesn’t belong to you and what has not been allocated to you must be categorised as it is.”