Speaker Thandi Modise angry as MPs' copies of constitution go missing
The leather-bound copies of the constitution meant for MPs as part of their induction programme went walkabout in parliamentary corridors this week.
Now an investigation is under way to find where they disappeared to.
During the National Assembly's programme committee meeting on Thursday, DA MP Natasha Mazzone revealed that when she and other MPs went to collect their copies of the sacred document they were informed "all the constitutions had been stolen".
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She said, in other words, MPs may have taken numerous copies rather than a single copy per person.
"Could we please look into where all the leather-bound constitutions are because there is one per member, as I understand, that has to be signed for. They all disappeared yesterday," she appealed to National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise, who was chairing Thursday's meeting.
Mazzone said she had noticed there was a security camera right above the area where the copies were. This was at the foyer outside the Old Assembly chamber where the induction attended by hundreds of MPs was taking place. She suggested that parliament check the security cameras to see who may have "appropriated these constitutions without offering any compensation".
"It really embarrasses me to say this, because it is the most sacred document our country has, and they disappeared. And now we have members that don't have copies of these constitutions and we really need to address that rather urgently, please," she said.
A visibly annoyed Modise vowed to take action.
"I think we shouldn't even be jesting about it. It is bad. Taking what doesn't belong to you, what has not been allocated to you, must be categorised as it is.
"I hope those members will return them before we even go after them. They are starting very badly off because then they are not honourable at all. We need to deal with it and nip it in the bud as early as now," said Modise.
Copies of the constitution are given to MPs as part of their tools of trade in parliament.