JC Review: 2011 public submissions; SePedi and Northern Sotho Matter

Constitutional Review Committee

20 October 2011
Chairperson: Mr S P Holomisa and Mr B A Mnguni (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee briefly considered and adopted the draft report on 2011 public submissions as well as several outstanding minutes. It was agreed that if Members found any errors in the report, they would send inform the Committee Secretary of this within one week.

The most significant discussion was around the outstanding matter of the omission of the SePedi and Northern Sotho languages in the list of official languages of South Africa. The Committee Secretary and the researcher were tasked to investigate this matter and report on it at the next meeting as a matter of urgency.

Meeting report

Mr S Holomisa (ANC)welcomed Committee members, recited apologies and then opened the meeting by asking Members to peruse the minutes of prior meetings after which they would go through them page by page to make amendments where needed.  .

Outstanding Minutes
The minutes dated 19 August, 2 September and 7 September 2011 were approved without any changes.

The Committee discussed one item concerning the minutes dated 3 June 2011 before adopting it. The Chairperson referred to point number five and said that it had been decided that the matter must be taken back to the members’ caucuses as taking a decision on it stood to have an impact on other committees.

SePedi and Northern Sotho Matter
Mr Holomisa suggested that the Committee should deal with the issue of the omission of SePedi and Northern Sotho as official languages during the drafting of the Constitution.

Mr S Swart (ACDP) said that the unanswered question was about whether the omission was politically motivated or simply an oversight.

It was decided that the matter was now urgent and that the Committee Secretary and the Committee Researcher were responsible for following up on the matter either by contacting persons who were involved in the drafting of the Constitution or by consulting the archived documentation, or both.

It was agreed that a full report would be available for the next meeting of the Committee, and with that the issue was closed.

Report on Submissions
Mr Holomisa said that the report on public submissions had been drafted based on minutes. He asked if Committee Members wanted time to look over it to satisfy themselves that it was in order.

Mr N Koornhof (COPE) proposed that since the Members at this meeting comprised a quorum, which was rare, that they adopt the document with amendments.

This suggestion was seconded.

Mr Holomisa added that the report would be adopted unless any Member found corrections, in which case they must be passed on to the Secretary within one week.

Dr Ambrosini’s Letter
Dr Ambrosini apologised profusely for the fact that the letter he was to have written had escaped his mind completely. He promised to do it immediately.

Mr Holomisa closed the meeting with thanks and a request for Members to please confirm their attendance ahead of time.


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