South African Police Service (Hawks) Amendment Bill: deliberations

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10 May 2012
Chairperson: Ms L Chikunga (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Members were presented with an updated version of the South African Police Service Amendment Bill, based on changes they had suggested during earlier deliberations. In several cases the changes were what Members had requested, but in others further amendments were proposed.

Members had proposed that the term of office for the head should be a minimum of seven and a maximum of ten years. The length of the term should be set on appointment. The retirement age should remain at sixty. The proposal that the list of specified offences to be investigated by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation was deleted. Parliament could remove the Head from office on specified grounds and the procedure was described. There was discussion on the correct wording for the clause relating to the budget for the Directorate, as Members felt that the Head would still not have full control over the procedure. The procedure around earmarked funding was clarified.

While the powers of the Ministerial Committee had been reduced, Members still felt that there was the potential for interference in the affairs of the Directorate. This had been identified by the Constitutional Court as a threat to independence. Members disagreed with the clause relating to the submission of policy guidelines to Parliament, feeling that this should be relative to the inception of the Act rather than the appointment of the Head. Transitional arrangements would be need to maintain funding for the office of the retired judge who would investigate complaints.

Members raised issues which would be discussed the following day. These included proposals regarding the title of the Head of the Directorate. The location had not been discussed properly and there was a feeling that the decision to locate it within the Police had been forced on Members. Time pressure had been exerted on the Committee. There was disagreement if the changes to the Amendment Bill would satisfy the Court's requirement for adequate independence.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed Members and commented that preparations for the Budget debate of 9 May, had been exhausting.

Clause 3
Gen Anwar Dramat, Head: Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI, known as the Hawks), South African Police Service (SAPS) led Members through the revised Bill. In Clause 3(c), which amended section 16 of the SAPS Act, the phrase 'in consultation' regarding cases to be referred to the DPCI had been changed to 'after consultation'.

Clause 6
Gen Dramat said that the wording of Clause 6, which would insert a new section 17CA, had been changed. The requirements for appointment as Head of the DPCI had been expanded to require the candidate be a “fit and proper person, with due regard to his or her experience, conscientiousness and integrity”. The term of office would be a non-renewable fixed term of seven years, but the Committee had discussed a different term.

Ms A van Wyk (ANC) thought that Members had agreed on having a term of between seven and ten years.

Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) asked if a term of between seven and ten years should be in the Bill. The differentiation would be appropriate when the candidate would reach retirement age during his or her term of office. The concept of a minimum term needed to be discussed while Members had agreed on a maximum term of ten years.

Ms van Wyk said that the Constitutional Court had spoken on the need for a non-renewable term. A number of reasons had been raised for a seven year term being insufficient, while there was also an argument that ten years might be too long. This was why there had been agreement on making provision for some flexibility in the length of the term. Age would be a major consideration in setting the term.

The Chairperson said that the term of the National Commissioner of Police was renewable because of the power this person wielded. No person had served a full ten year term in the former Directorate of Special Operations (DSO, known as the Scorpions). The Head of the DPCI was being given immense powers.

Mr G Lekgetho (ANC) agreed with the provision of a minimum and maximum term.

Mr L Ramatlakane (COPE) understood that the contract should be for seven years, renewable for a maximum of three years.

Ms van Wyk said no proposal had been made on this matter, but it had been discussed. With her suggested wording, there could be an addition to provide for the length of the term to be determined at the time of appointment.

Mr Ndlovu agreed with this.

Gen Dramat said that clause (3) and (4), which related to the appointment of the Deputy and Provincial Heads, had been reworded to be consistent with the requirements for the Head.

Ms van Wyk said that these sub-clauses should only refer to a non-renewable fixed term, the length of which would be determined on appointment.

Gen Dramat said that clause 6(5)(b)(iii) had been reworded said that the salary of the Provincial Head would be that of the most senior Deputy Provincial Commissioner. Clause 6(9)(b) had been reworded to provide that the Minister might appoint the Deputy Head to act for the Head. Clause 6(9)(c) would appoint a suitably qualified person to act as Deputy Head. The Minister would no longer make such appointments in concurrence with Cabinet. Clause 6(10) stipulated that the retirement age would be changed from sixty to 65 years.

Gen Phillip Jacobs, Head: Legal Support, SAPS, said the change to the retirement age had been made because of the previous provision for a two year extension to the term of a person reaching the age of sixty while in office.

Ms van Wyk felt that this change had been slipped in. Members had only discussed the implications of a Head reaching the age of sixty.

Mr Ramatlakane agreed. Members had only requested the norm in the public service.

The Chairperson said that the extension of the retirement age when a Head reached this age during his term would always be a question, no matter what age was stipulated. The retirement age in the public service was sixty, with provision being made for an extra two years.

Mr Ndlovu said that there had been no discussion of extending the retirement age.

Ms van Wyk said that the change was in clause 6(12)(b), which provided that the Head or Deputy Head, while still in good mental and physical health, could be asked to remain in office for an extended period. This would cover the situation of a Head reaching retirement age. All references to retirement age should be changed back to sixty.

The Chairperson said that the previous version had talked about an extension of two years. The wording of the amendment was that the term could be extended to seven years no matter how long he had been in office on reaching the normal retirement age.

Mr Ramatlakane said there was potential for confusion. The seven years should be the instructive provision. The age should not extend the provisions of the Act. The wording must be clear on how much extension would be granted.

Ms van Wyk asked what the Public Service Act said on this matter.

Mr Ramatlakane said that this procedure would be applied by the Minister in the interest of the public. He asked how public interest would be determined. This could be interpreted widely.

Mr Lekgetho agreed that sixty should be the retirement age. Space should be made for younger people. This was the intention of the Act. It would be unfortunate to deny a younger person an opportunity by retaining a pensioner.

Ms van Wyk agreed with Mr Ramatlakane's conclusion on clause 6(12). She suggested that the subjective wording should be removed. The wording should simply be that the Minister could extend the term if the provisions of sub clauses (a) and (b) applied with no further provisions. The length of the term should be changed to 'agreed term' to be consistent with the earlier changes.

Mr Amichand Soman, Director, Civilian Secretariat for Police, agreed with the Chairperson's interpretation that Parliament would have to approve an extended term.

Ms van Wyk requested that the legal team should revisit this clause.

Gen Dramat said that clause 6(16) would make provision that any transfers or dismissals of the members of the DPCI should only be done with the approval of the Head of the DPCI. Sub-clause (17) said that the National Commissioner could only use DPCI members in joint operations with the approval of the DPCI. Sub-clause (18) would provide that the Head would serve no other functions within the SAPS.

Clause 7
Ms Carin Booyse, State Law Advisor (SLA), suggested that the schedule of offences proposed by the Committee should not be included in clause 7, which amended section 17D.

Ms van Wyk said this had been done for clarity. The list could be deleted, provided there was sufficient clarity in the cross-reference. Any changes to the Combating of Corrupt Activities Act would necessitate a change to the SAPS Act.

The Chairperson asked what the clause related to.

Ms Booyse said that the clause specified which offences should be investigated. However, other offences could be investigated. The wording could imply that the offences listed in (a) to (t) were already selected offences.

Ms van Wyk said this list was defined in the Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, but additions could be made by amending that Act.

Mr Ramatlakane said that once the offences were listed, then there was no longer an option not to investigate certain of the offences described. Some flexibility was needed. The list could be included in the Bill as long as it was clear that it was not an exclusive list.

Mr Ndlovu said that inserting a phrase “not limited to” would cover any future amendments to the other Act.

The Chairperson said there was acknowledgement that the DPCI would select their target offences from the list, and might investigate some offences not on the list.

Ms Booyse said that the selection would take place from the Combating of Corrupt Activities Act,
but did not exclude other offences.

Gen Dramat said that there had been a drafting error in clause 7(c).

Ms van Wyk said that the change captured what Members had requested.

Clause 8
Gen Dramat said that the heading for the new section 17DA would be changed to “Removal from office”. A suspended official would continue to receive salary and benefits unless otherwise decided by the Minister. The enquiry to remove the Head would be conducted in accordance with the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act.

Ms Booyse proposed two amendments. The first option was that the Head could be removed on grounds of misconduct, incapacity, incompetence or no longer being fit and proper, which would be determined by a Committee of the National Assembly (NA). The NA would then have to pass a resolution to remove the Head from office, which resolution would only succeed with a two thirds majority. The Minister would suspend the Head for the duration of these proceedings, and would remove the Head on the NA passing the resolution.

Ms Booyse made an alternate proposal that the NA could hold an enquiry and if satisfied that the Head was no longer suitable in terms of the criteria stipulated in the first proposal.

Ms van Wyk agreed with the first proposal but asked the SLA to clean up the wording.

Mr Ramatlakane also agreed with this proposal. It would give more power to Parliament.

Clause 11
Gen Dramat said that clause 11, which dealt with the DPCI's finances, had been reworded. The Head of the DPCI would provide information to the National Commissioner who would then prepare the estimate of expenditure for the Directorate as a separate programme of SAPS. In the event of a dispute between the two officials the Minster would mediate. The National Commissioner would remain the accounting officer with all the resulting responsibilities as prescribed in the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

Ms Booyse added that all monies appropriated for the DPCI would be earmarked for this purpose, and could not be used for any other purpose.

Mr Ramatlakane said that the suggestion made was not in keeping with what Members had requested. The intention had been to give the Head the power to determine the budget. With the wording in front of him there was still a question of subordination.

Ms van Wyk said that the Head would have more power. Provision was made for the Minister to mediate in any dispute. The wording had been changed regarding the PFMA. The Head would draft the budget and go to National Treasury together with the National Commissioner to negotiate the budget.

Mr Ramatlakane read the Bill differently. The operative word was 'prepare' a budget. This version said 'provide'. This was not quite the same. The National Commissioner would still prepare the budget for the DPCI.

Ms van Wyk said the whole section must be read for better understanding. She asked what would be wrong in saying “prepare and provide”.

Ms Booyse read the whole clause. In terms of the PFMA, the National Commissioner was the accounting officer. This included the responsibility of keeping financial records. The word 'provide' would cover the process of preparing the budget. The PFMA had a specific meaning for 'prepare', and this was the responsibility of the accounting officer.

Mr Ramatlakane asked if the issue would be a conflict of powers between the National Commissioner and DPCI.

Ms Booyse was proposing that the Head must be involved. Funds must be exclusively appropriated for the Directorate's use, and such funds should not be available to the National Commissioner. The wording “prepare and provide” information for incorporation in the estimate of expenditure would be included.

Ms van Wyk said that this was stronger wording than the Committee had envisaged. It would still be the Head providing the information, but the National Commissioner would go through the process with the involvement of the Head. The funds would be earmarked for DPCI.

Mr Ndlovu agreed with the previous proposal.

Mr Ramatlakane agreed as well. His earlier concern was addressed. The 8% virement was not covered. However, the request to specify that the virement could not be applied to earmarked DPCI funds had not been included.

Ms van Wyk said that exclusive funds were defined in the PFMA. These funds could not be moved. SAPS had lost a huge amount because funds had been ring-fenced, such as funds set aside for integrated technology. It could be included but was not legally necessary.

Ms Booyse said that funds would be earmarked for the DPCI and would not be subject to virement procedure. National Treasury used this wording where funds had to go to a specific programme.

Mr Ndlovu did not see where the problem was. Clause 11(5)(a) illustrated the ring-fencing concept being applied although the word was not used in the PFMA.

Mr Ramatlakane said that the accounting officer was the National Commissioner in terms of the PFMA. He had certain powers. One of these was preparing the budget for SAPS as a whole. This gave the National Commissioner the power to shift money within the vote up to 8% of the total budget. He asked if this power was prohibited by the use of the exclusive language in this sub-clause.

The Chairperson said that the powers to shift funds would not apply to ring-fenced funding. Any shifts of funding had to be within the same programme.

Ms Booyse said the funds for the DPCI would be exclusive. This was enforced by sub-clause 11(6).

Ms van Wyk stated that the SLA was not answering the question. She also understood that virements could only be applied within a programme.

Mr Ndlovu said that once programmes were discussed there were other issues. Staff expenses could be cited as a reason to shift funding.

Ms Booyse said that the virement could not be applied. Funds could only be used by the Directorate.

Clause 12
Gen Dramat said that clause 12 amended section 17I of the Act. There were minor changes to reflect the new names for government departments, such as Police instead of Safety and Security. Sub-clause 13 would require the Ministerial Committee to meet four times annually and to report to Parliament.

Ms M Molebatsi proposed that the requirement to report annually should be changed to 'when necessary'. The Ministerial Committee should meet when required.

Ms van Wyk gave some examples of problems which might occur, in which case the Committee could require that the Ministerial Committee should meet to discuss the issue.

Mr Lekgetho welcomed the deletion of the provision for the Ministerial Committee to oversee the daily operations of the DPCI. The Directorate now had these powers in their own hands. This satisfied the requirement for independence.

Mr Ramatlakane asked if the intention was for the Ministerial Committee not to make an annual report to Parliament. He thought the proposal meant that the Ministerial Committee would only report when required to do so by Parliament. Annual reports were an important part of the accountability process. Even a declaration that there were no meetings as there were no issues to discuss would suffice.

The Chairperson said that the Ministerial Committee had never met and had never submitted a report. It would be sufficient if the Department's Annual Report included a report on their activities. There might have been no need to meet, but the Ministerial Committee was technically in breach of the law by failing to meet.

Mr van Wyk said that the extent of most Ministerial Committee reports were included in the reports of the respective departments. She suggested that there be a requirement for the report of the Ministerial Committee to be included in the SAPS Annual Report.

Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) quoted from the Glenister judgement. It had spoken to the possibility that members of this Ministerial Committee might themselves be subjects of investigation. She felt that all reference to the Ministerial Committee should be deleted from the Bill. In fact, their powers had now been extended.

Mr Lekgetho said that the powers of the Ministerial Committee had been reduced. It would no longer oversee the DPCI. It was necessary to prescribe that they should meet regularly. It became blurred on what the nature of their activities would be.

Ms van Wyk also felt that the powers had not been extended. There was no longer any role to play in policy guidelines. All that they were left to do was to co-ordinate the activities of the DPCI with other government departments. The Bill as introduced had already lessened their role and further changes during the deliberations had weakened the powers of the Ministerial Committee even further.

Mr Ramatlakane had argued for the report to be included in the SAPS Annual Report.

The Chairperson concluded that the Ministerial Committee must meet regularly and include a report on its activities as part of the SAPS Annual Report. There would still be a provision for Parliament to call for a report at any other time.

Ms van Wyk asked if this would include calling the Ministerial Committee to appear before the Portfolio Committee, even if represented by the Minister.

The Chairperson agreed that this could be personally or in writing.

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked what the reaction of the SLA would be if the Constitutional Court asked why there was still any provision for any sort of co-ordinating role for the Ministerial Committee.

Ms Booyse said that the Constitutional Court had indicated that the issue with the Ministerial Committee was related to the functioning of the DPCI. This provision had been removed.

Ms van Wyk said there had also been a Ministerial Committee for the DSO, with the same representation. Co-ordination must be read within the totality of the Act. She used the example of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) not making personnel available to assist with an investigation. This was where the Ministerial Committee would co-ordinate. They could not co-ordinate the activities of the Hawks. They would only sit to solve problems. There was a co-ordinating committee comprising persons such as the Head of the DPCI, his deputy, a representative of the National Commissioner and other bodies as stipulated in legislation. Surely Ministers spoke amongst themselves about problems shared between departments.

Mr Ramatlakane understood that the Ministerial Committee would serve to relieve tension and blockages between different agencies. He did not think it had anything to do with investigations. In fact they would be breaking the law by interfering with investigations.

Mr Lekgetho said that the Ministerial Committee would strengthen the Committee.

Clause 13
Gen Dramat said that clause 13 had been amended. Where a deputy was sent to the Operational Committee, reference to rank had been replaced by a reference to an official of Chief Director level.

Clause 14
Gen Dramat said that a reference to the incorrect paragraph of the PFMA in clause 14 had been corrected. The budget report to Parliament would include a full breakdown of the DPCI exclusive budget. The reference to “as soon as possible” in terms of submitting policy guidelines had been removed.

Ms van Wyk asked where the provision for six months after the appointment of the Head had come from. This should specify that the guidelines should be submitted within six months of the enactment of the Act. This was another back door change.

Ms Booyse quoted from the intorduced Bill, which did say that policy guidelines should be submitted as soon as possible, but not later than six months after the appointment of the head.

Mr Ramatlakane said that a law could not be subject to the appointment of an individual. He agreed that the time limit given should be relevant to the date that the Act came into force.

Ms van Wyk apologised. Ms Booyse was correct. There had been cases where subsequent changes had been deleted due to typographical errors. She now had to argue against herself. The Head of the Hawks should have a role to play in the drafting of policy guidelines which would eventually be submitted by the Minister.

Mr Ramatlakane said that there might be an acting Head when the legislation came into force. It would be better to let the clock start ticking once the Act was promulgated and became law. The work of the DPCI had to proceed.

Ms Booyse said that the current wording was that guidelines would only be drafted after the appointment of the Head. The Head would be involved with the drafting.

The Chairperson said it would be correct for Head to be responsible. Appointments would only be made after the Act became law.

Ms van Wyk asked that the parties should be allowed to discuss this point before a decision was made. She asked what had been done in the case of the DSO. She was concerned that there would be a delay in the functioning of the unit. The DPCI was already established. There might be a precedent in other legislation, and there should be no unintended consequences. One of these would be a requirement for transitional arrangements as there were already some policies in place.

Mr Ndlovu said that there would be people in office the day the Bill was passed.

Mr Ramatlakane suggested that the matter should be parked. There could be more than one consequence. The budget cycle was also an issue. Cases were being investigated under current policy guidelines.

The Chairperson ruled that the matter should be parked.

Clause 15
Gen Dramat said that clause 15, which amended section 17L, now included a provision making it a criminal offence to interfere with the work of the retired judge who would investigate complaints. The budget for the judge's office would come from the Secretariat's budget, and would not be used to inhibit the work of the judge. The judge and the Secretary for Police would devise a plan to publicise the work of the judge.

Mr Ramatlakane said that the Bill must make provision for the judge not to be inhibited from asking for information from SAPS.

Clause 16
Gen Dramat said that clause 16 would provide for transitional arrangements. Any money already approved for the operations of the retired judge should be transferred to the Secretariat from the SAPS budget as earmarked funding.

Ms van Wyk said this was correct. In subsequent years it should be made clear in subsequent years that this funding should be earmarked.

Mr Ndlovu said there was no provision for that in the Bill.

Mr Ramatlakane said that this clause was to address the current situation, not future situations. This should be made clear.

Ms van Wyk said that it should be clear what the interim arrangements and future arrangements should be.

Ms Booyse wished to suggest a few proposals to strengthen the independence of the DPCI. The first was that a provision should be made for co-operative governance to ensure that SAPS would co-operate with the DPCI when so required. The second proposal was to insert a new section after section 17A. The mandate of the DPCI should be excluded from that of SAPS. The third proposal related to the filling of posts relating to provisions of the Interim Constitution. Any promotions and transfers should be done subject to Chapter 6 and Section 2. The fourth proposal was an amendment where the incorrect section of the Constitution had been cited. The next proposal was regarding uniform recruitment of DPCI personnel. She further proposed that subsection 1(h) to make provision for recruitment of personnel. This should be subject to Chapter 6A.

Ms van Wyk agreed that the proposals would strengthen independence. This could help to capture areas which might have been missed. Under the new Constitution the National Commissioner derived his powers from the SAPS Act. She supported the proposals.

Mr Ramatlakane would also apply his mind to the proposals. Regarding the co-operation of members of SAPS, Chapter 3 of the Constitution spoke of tiers of government. He asked if there was any value in this proposal. He asked if only Chapter 6 of the SAPS Act was affected.

Mr Lekgetho was confused by references to 'Service'. He was unsure whether the reference was to SAPS or the DPCI.

Ms Booyse said that there were provincial and national levels envisaged in Chapter 6. The proposal would strengthen the co-operative governance principles. The 'Service' was SAPS, as defined in the Act. The Service consisted of members at various levels.

Ms van Wyk said that there was some repetition. She could think of cases where there might be a lack of co-operation at some levels.

Mr Ndlovu asked why this paragraph was needed when it was already in the Constitution.

Ms Booyse said the intention was to enforce the principles of the Constitution.

Mr Ndlovu asked if the drafters felt that there might be SAPS members who failed to apply the Constitution.

Ms van Wyk said that there was a similar provision in the Secretariat legislation.

Gen Jacobs said that the Preamble to the Bill was a reminder to all to follow the Constitution.

Mr Ramatlakane said that the inclusion was more for education and advice. He supported the proposal.

The Chairperson noted that Members were in agreement with the proposals.

Mr Ramatlakane asked if this was an opportunity to discuss issues which had been parked, such as the location of the DPCI.

The Chairperson invited Members to put forward any proposals so that Members could discuss the issues in caucus.

Mr Ramatlakane put forward a proposal that, in the spirit of recognising the way SAPS functioned, the unit should have a proper name. He suggested the title National DPCI Commissioner for the Head, with Provincial DPCI Commissioner for the provincial heads. The second proposal arose from the public hearings. Many had called for a Chapter 9 institution. One permutation, which was workable, was to leave the DPCI within SAPS with maximum ring-fencing as was the case with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). This would be less disruptive. The alternate to this was the old model of the DSO. This would go a long way to addressing the concerns of the Constitutional Court. Security of tenure and finances had been addressed, albeit not to his complete satisfaction.

Mr Ndlovu thanked the Chairperson for allowing him the opportunity to return to proposals put forward earlier. He also wanted to see a different title for the Head. The title of Deputy suggested the person was a subordinate. His second concern was preventing undue interference. This impacted on the location. Creating a Chapter 9 institution was beyond the scope of this Committee. There was no such thing as total independence. The unit should be free of perceived interference. The last matter to be considered was whether the Committee had applied its mind to the judgement of the Constitutional Court.

Ms van Wyk would consider the proposal regarding the title of the Head. She proposed National, Deputy and Provincial Head of the DPCI as alternate titles. This would eliminate the reference to Commissioners. The IPID model had been applied to a large extent except for a separate budget. There had been extensive ring-fencing for the DPCI in terms of finance and resources. The biggest argument for keeping the unit within SAPS was the bigger policing capacity achieved. With almost three thousand members, a large number of people would be needed for administration. Already a large percentage of the IPID budget was for administration. The DPCI could become a SAPS cost centre, as was the case with the Secretariat.

The Chairperson said that the National Commissioner would present the budget and report to Parliament, unless he chose to delegate some functions to division heads. He would be compelled to allow the Head of the DPCI to make his own presentation.

Ms Kohler-Barnard said that it had been a problem that Members had received the judgement so late. The Committee had never been given options such as placement elsewhere. Members had been unable to explore other options. The Secretary of Police had pre-determined where the unit would be and Members had no choice to dissent. The Constitutional Court might rule on this. The location of the Hawks had been raised in every substantial submission made to the Committee. The question was of adequate independence, but also of public perception. The lack of partial financial independence had been addressed, but might not satisfy the Constitutional Court. There was no parliamentary role in the selection of the Head. This too might not satisfy the requirements of adequate independence called for by the Constitutional Court. The rank of the Head of the DPCI was also a problem. The Head would have a rank in SAPS and would therefore be subordinate to the National Commissioner. This might also persuade the Constitutional Court that DPCI was not properly independent. It was again an issue of public perception. There were no definitions in the Bill, but these might be added later. The term 'co-ordinate' must be carefully defined. There was no definition in the original SAPS Act. One had to be extremely careful of presuming that there would be a common understanding. Meanings must be absolutely finite. The perception that DPCI was just another SAPS programme would not sit well with the Constitutional Court. The judges had made a clear statement. She feared the Bill might come back to Parliament for the third time.

Mr Ndlovu asked that Members be allowed to consider the proposals overnight. Members had all expressed their opinions.

Ms van Wyk was hearing what other Members said, but said that issues that were not in the Bill should not be put on the table. It was not true that Cabinet was involved in appointing the Head. The provision for the Minister to confer with Cabinet on the appointment had been removed. Qualifications had been stipulated.

Ms Kohler-Barnard noted this, but said that the appointment would still be at the discretion of a single politician.

Ms van Wyk said that politicians would always make such appointments.

Gen Dramat said that the removal of 'in concurrence' was only in relation to the appointment of acting Heads.

Ms van Wyk apologised. The Committee had put criteria in place. Parliament could challenge the Minister's choice should the appointee not match the criteria.

The Chairperson said that some of the submissions were not talking to the Bill, and had rather made calls for a new Bill.

Ms van Wyk asked that the drafters look at the Objects of the Bill. This needed to be corrected following the changes made during the deliberations.

The Chairperson continued that some of the submissions had been taken into account. She re-iterated that Parliament had a procedure of processing Bills. The procedure on this Bill had been correct. It had been advertised, and the deadline for submissions had been extended. None had been received since the public hearings had been held. The same process would have been followed if the Bill had been received earlier. It was up to the Committee to make the required changes, and some wonderful work had been done. When processing the IPID Bill, every submission had said that 'torture' must be defined. The Committee had refused to do this. The forthcoming legislation on torture would be used for the definition. The Committee was not obliged to follow advice given in the submissions. She asked the legal team to clean up the Bill again based on the decisions made in the meeting. The Bill should have been adopted the following day, but this would be left until the following week. This kind of work was what made Parliament the institution that it was. The Chairperson said that there might be disagreements on a number of issues the following day. Members might have to agree to disagree in an unemotional manner. Members had to remember their responsibility to the country.

The meeting was adjourned.


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