If Shaw Kgathi were a Cabinet Minister in countries that respect the rule of law he would resign over allegations that he obstructed traffic officers from charging his driver after his official vehicle violated the country’s traffic laws, Sunday Standard can reveal.
A Code of Conduct for Cabinet Ministers includes a requirement that “Members should uphold the law” and a number of ministers in other countries have had to resign over traffic offences.
In 2009 Canada’s British Columbia Minister resigned after he was caught and fined for over speeding. John van Dongen stepped down as British Columbia’s solicitor general, saying his driving record meant he should no longer serve as the province’s top cop, according to the Vancouver Sun newspaper.
Last month Sweden’s youngest ever cabinet minister, announced her resignation after being caught driving under the influence of alcohol. Aida Hadzialic, 29, then Minister for Secondary and Adult Education, revealed that she had been stopped by police in the southern city of Malmo and tests showed she had an alcohol level of 0.2 grammes per litre of blood ÔÇö just the level considered an offence in Sweden.
Again last month, Don McMorris, deputy premier of Saskatchewan, Canada, resigned from his position after he was charged with drunk driving.
“I have no words to describe how sorry I am to my family, to my colleagues, and to all the people of the province of my actions are absolutely unacceptable,” McMorris said in a scrum at the legislative building.
He was driving to Regina from his cabin near Fort Qu’Appelle when the White City RCMP detachment pulled him over and charged him with a DUI.
McMorris was the the deputy premier, the minister of crown investments and the minister responsible for SGI, the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, the Public Service Commission and the lean initiative.
Two years ago Former Lobatse High Court Judge, Onkemetse Tshosa, resigned from the bench after he was found guilty of drunken driving. President Ian Khama is believed to have made things difficult for Tshosa by appointing a tribunal to investigate him.
Executive Secretary of the Law Society of Botswana, Tebogo Moipolai. said at the time that the call for the investigation had not been made at the right time. He said that the President should have waited for the outcome of the Court of Appeal.
It remains to be seen if Kgathi will be charged with obstructing police officers from doing their job, it is however unlikely that he will take political responsibility and resign his cabinet post.