Deliberations on 2009 submissions

Constitutional Review Committee

29 October 2009
Chairperson: Mr S Holomisa (ANC) and Mr B Mnguni (ANC, Free State)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

No business was transacted, as quorum was not achieved.  The agenda items would be discussed at a later date.  The importance of visiting the Venice Commission was discussed.  That body might be able to fund such a visit.  It was suggested that the Members’ attendance record at Committee meetings be taken into account when Members were selected for overseas visits.

Meeting report

Mr Holomisa noted that the Committee could not proceed with its agenda due the lack of quorum.

Mr N Koornhof (COPE) suggested that some of the submissions should be discussed anyway.

Ms B Mncube (ANC, Gauteng) said that even discussing the items might lead to legal problems later. Even a discussion without quorum would be invalid.

Mr Koornhof said that proposed language amendments had been discussed with various stakeholders.  One of the tribal kings had expressed an opinion that the sun would fall from the sky if Government proceeded with that recommendation.  More representations were needed before a decision could be taken.

The Committee decided that the agenda would be discussed at a later date.

Committee Business
The Chairperson moved on to the minutes of the previous meeting. Although Members present were in agreement that the minutes were correct and properly captured the proceedings, it was not possible to approve them due to the lack of quorum.

The Members then discussed possible dates for the next meeting.  All Members had other commitments, which made it difficult to set a date.  Eventually it was agreed to have the next meeting on 13 November 2009 even though Mr Holomisa would not be available.

Ms M Smuts (DA) said that that date might be too late as it was close to the end of the session.  The Portfolio Committee on Justice would also be sitting for long hours to complete their programme.

Dr M Oriani-Ambrosini (IFP) suggested that the attendance record of Members be taken into account when overseas visits were planned.  He said that it was important for the Committee to visit the Venice Commission.  The Committee’s work revolved around developing the Constitution.  It was a forum for the review of suggested amendments.  The Venice Commission was the only institution that aided governments in this field.  There was no other place in the world that possessed their particular skills.

In addition, Dr Oriani-Ambrosini pointed out that the Venice Commission had been involved in the drafting of the South African Constitution.  They had assisted both the ANC and the Government.  They knew the background and also had funding available.  He suggested that the Chairperson communicate with the chairperson of the Venice Commission.  Some of its members who visited South Africa regularly should be copied into such correspondence.

Mr Holomisa was unsure of what permission was needed from Parliament for such a visit. 

The Committee Secretary said that the route was first to approach the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRC).  They in their turn would liase with the relevant embassy to ascertain the availability of the counterpart organisation in that country.

Mr Holomisa said that Parliament’s Committee Section would liase with DIRC.

Ms Smuts said that there would still have to be some internal arrangements.  These were of less importance if the trip was self-funded.

Mr Holomisa said that Parliament would still have to have some say on the visit even if it was self-funded.  While Ms Ginwala was still there Speaker, there had been some irregularities in this regard.

Ms Mncube said that the Committee would also benefit from a visit to Kenya.  This was not as glamorous as Italy, but the Kenyan Government had a committee similar to this one.  This Committee should have a five-year plan of action.

The meeting was adjourned.


No related


  • We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting

Download as PDF

You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.

See detailed instructions for your browser here.

Share this page: