Protection of State Information Bill: Committee Report on formal proposals for amendments

Ad Hoc Committee on Protection of State Information Bill (NA)

17 November 2011
Chairperson: Mr C Burgess (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met to adopt its Report on the meeting the previous day to consider the amendments to the Protection of State Information Bill, as proposed by Dr M Oriani-Ambrosini. A minor adjustment was made to the Report, to reflect that all Members, with the exception of Dr Oriani-Ambrosini, had voted to reject each of the amendments proposed. The Report was then adopted, with amendments. The Chairperson thanked all Members for their professional approach to the Bill.

Meeting report

Draft Committee Report on proposals for amendments to Protection of State Information Bill
The Chairperson noted that the Committee would merely be required to adopt the Committee’s report on the proceedings of the meeting on the previous day, which had been called to consider the 123 amendments proposed by Dr M Oriani-Ambrosini (IFP) to the Protection of State Information Bill.

He noted the apologies, including one from Dr M Oriani-Ambrosini (IFP).

Mr L Landers (ANC) asked for reasons for the apologies being given.

The Chairperson noted that Mr Coetzee had indicated, on the previous day, that he was not able to be present for the remainder of the meeting on the previous day, as well as noting his apology for today. Prof Ndabandaba was busy with examinations at UCT. A phone call had been made on that morning, although he had not spoken to the person making the call, on Dr Oriani-Ambrosini’s behalf, indicating his inability to attend.

Ms A van Wyk (ANC) expressed the opinion that Dr Oriani-Ambrosini’s failure to attend, or to notify Members that he would not be able to attend, was disrespectful, since he had started the process.

Ms Smuts agreed. She also noted that Mr D Maynier (DA) was attending another meeting and had tendered his apologies.

The Chairperson said that Rule 134 of the National Assembly Rules allowed the Chairperson of a Committee to co-opt any other Member on the Committee if a Member of the Committee was not present. He noted that Mr Maynier’s apology. He proposed, and Members agreed, that Mr J Stibbe (DA) be co-opted under this Rule, for the purposes of today’s meeting.

The Chairperson also noted that a draft Report had been circulated, and drew attention to an insertion in the Report to clarify matters.

Mr S Swart (ACDP) said that the last sentence of the second last paragraph contained a statement that all amendments had been rejected. He thought that this should be amended to reflect that all parties, apart from Dr Oriani-Ambrosini, had voted to reject them.

Ms Smuts wondered if the voting numbers could be reflected instead

The Chairperson noted that different numbers of Members had attended and voted at different times during that meeting.

Mr Swart suggested that the wording “all amendments were rejected by all members of the Committee, save for Dr Ambrosini” should be used.

Other Members agreed.

The Chairperson noted that there were no other amendments suggested to the draft Report.

Members unanimously approved the adoption of the Report, as amended.

The Chairperson thanked all Members for their thoroughly professional participation in the proceedings. The Rules, in their current form, had to be followed to the letter, and he believed that the Committee had attended to the matters professionally, and in good time.

The DA and ANC expressed their appreciation for the way the Chairperson had chaired the meetings.

The meeting was adjourned.


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