The Committee adopted the Members Register without amendments, and the report on Non-disclosure of Members Interest in terms of the Auditor Generals findings, with minor amendments. The Committee briefly discussed what to do about draft legislation that had been submitted by Mr I Davidson (DA) and Mr L Greyling (ID). Mr Davidson submitted two Bills. The first one referred to the procedure to be followed by the President when he received gifts. The second one dealt with the question of whether elected public representatives should be allowed to do business with the Government. Mr L Greyling (ID) submitted a draft legislation that outlawed the funding of political parties by private organisations.
Members concerns included the need for amending the laws on disclosure to include gifts accepted by the President. Other Members felt that the Committee should consult the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Development regarding gifts offered to the President.
Adoption of Register of Members Interests’
The Chairperson informed Members that all Members had declared all their interest and the Register had been completed by the Registrar. He then invited comments from Members.
Members did not raise any objections and adopted the Register without any amendments.
Adoption of Report on Non-disclosure of Members Interest in terms of the Auditor Generals findings
The Chairperson noted that the Committee’s concerns had been captured in the Report and that the document could now be considered for adoption.
Mr B Rhadebe (ANC) asked for clarity regarding sanctions applied to Members as part of that report.
Ms Fazila Mohamed, Registrar of Members Interest, explained that the Members concerned were expected to attend the compulsory workshop. Three days had been allocated for the workshop. The workshop was held before the recess break and Members had made plans already for that time. Some Members had been out of the country and could not attend, while others simply did not attend at all. The Committee could make a decision on further sanctions. She suggested that perhaps another workshop should be arranged to cater for those who had missed out.
Ms (D) Nhlengethwa (ANC) said that the decision about workshops was made in a meeting situation; she felt that the Committee could not decide to give another chance to Members who did not avail themselves to attend workshops.
The Chairperson advised the Committee to adopt the report on condition that further steps would be taken against those who did not attend the workshop.
Members agreed to this suggestion and approved the report with minor amendments.
The Chairperson informed Members that Mr Ian Davidson (DA) had submitted 2 draft pieces of legislation. The first one referred to the procedure to be followed by the President when he received gifts. He said that Cabinet Members were required obtain a permission from the President before accepting a gift. The draft Bill would be dealing with who did the President report to when he received gifts. The second one dealt with the question of whether elected public representatives should be allowed to do business with the Government. Mr L Greyling (ID) had also submitted a draft legislation that outlawed the funding of political parties by private organisations.
The Chairperson said that Mr Davidson proposals fell within the mandate of the Committee while the third one by Mr Greyling was referred to the Committee by the former house Chairperson Mr Obed Bapela.
Ms D Kohler Barnard (DA) said that Mr Greyling’s draft Bill was outside the mandate of the Committee, and should instead be dealt with by the Private Members Legislative Proposals Committee
Mr A Mlangeni (ANC) said that the Committee needed sufficient time to discuss the matter, he cited an example of gifts offered by the Chinese Premier, that would mean that the President should have declared the gift before accepting it. The need to declare protocol gifts would negate the purpose of diplomacy.
The Chairperson concurred with Mr Mlangeni.
Ms Barnard said that she understood the nuances of protocol, but felt that the Committee should look at that draft Bill regarding gifts accepted by the President.
The Committee agreed to deal with it later.
Mr Rhadebe suggested that the Chairperson should consult with the Minister of Justice on that issue, and the Committee agreed to the suggestion
The meeting was adjourned
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