Traditional Courts Bill [B1-2012]: shortlisting of submissions for public hearings

NCOP Security and Justice

11 September 2012
Chairperson: Mr T Mofokeng (ANC, Free State)
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Meeting Summary

Members met to debate which of the 67 bodies making submissions would be invited to make oral submissions on the Traditional Courts Bill. It was agreed that, in view of the confusion between the departments to date, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, The Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities and the National House of Traditional Leaders would be invited.

In addition, the following would be invited to make oral submissions:
T Ndawo and others (1), Melmoth Ekuthuleni CPA Farm (2), Sizani Ngubane Rural Women’s Movement (3), Makuleke Traditioanl Community and CPA (4), Hosi Duvula (13), Democratic Left Front (14), Silwanendlala Ubuntu Farmers Agicultural Cooperative (17), Women’s Legal Centre (18), UCT Law, Race and Gender Research Unit (19) and UCT Customary Law unit (19A), Vulamasango Singene Mnquma District (21C), Law Society of South Africa (24), Manyeleti Community Land Claim (27), Mary de Haas (28), Lesbian and Gay Equality Project (36), Community Law Centre (51), Peter Mahase,Tseseng Witsieshoek (52), Cheryl Carolus (63), Sonke Gender Justice Network (64) and Land Access Movement of South Africa (67).

Public hearings were scheduled for 19 to 21 September, commencing at 09:00

Meeting report

Traditional Courts Bill: shortlisting of submissions for public hearings
The Chairperson announced that public hearings would be held, from 19 to 21 September, on the Traditional Courts Bill (the Bill). 67 submissions had been received, and further late submissions were now included in a separate document. He proposed that, in view of the uncertainties in the various departments, oral submissions would be invited from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ), Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities (DWCPD) and National House of Traditional Leaders, who would clarify their position.

Mr D Bloem (COPE, Free State) noted that COPE had written to the Chairperson of the NCOP, asking Mr Mahlangu to withdraw the Bill from the House, in view of the confusion surrounding the Bill. The Ministers were saying contradictory things. COPE, notwithstanding the decision to hold the public hearings, still felt strongly that the Bill should be withdrawn and completely re-worked. However, he would abide by the Chairperson’s ruling.

The Chairperson said that he had not received a copy of the letter from Mr Mahlangu and therefore could not comment on that. The public hearings platform would be used to clear confusion and for that reason he thought it apposite that the public hearings continue.

Mr L Nzimande (ANC, KwaZulu Natal) noted that the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities had spoken during the last Committee meeting on this Bill, and she had not proposed that the Bill be withdrawn, despite what the media had said. He agreed that the process should be run to its logical conclusion. Provinces had considered the matter as well.

The Chairperson noted that this Committee had had a workshop with the Legal Resources Centre, and Profs Himonga and Nhlapo from UCT. He proposed that members of the Customary Law Unit of the Faculty of Law, UCT be invited (submissions 19 and 19A).

Mr M Mokgobi (ANC, Limpopo) proposed that Makulele Traditional Community (submission 4), represented by Webber Wentzel, be included.

Mr Nzimande proposed that the Durban KwaZulu Natal Rural Women’s Movement (submissions 3 and 3A) be invited to present an oral submission.

Mr J Gunda (ID, Northern Cape) suggested that Hosi Davula (Woman Independent Traditional Leaders (submission 13) and number 63.

Mr Maziya (ANC, Mpumalanga) proposed Manyeleti Community Land Claim, Mpumalanga (submission 27).

Mr D Joseph (DA, Western Cape) proposed the inclusion of Law Society of South Africa (submission 24) and Community Law Centre, University of Western Cape (submission 51).

Mr Gunda proposed the inclusion of Thobeka Mayekiso from the Vulamasango Singene Mnquma District, Eastern Cape (submission 21C).

Mr Bloem asked how many oral submissions would be taken. He felt that motivations were perhaps needed.

Mr Joseph asked that consideration be given to the provinces who had not yet been included.

The Chairperson suggested that Peter Mahase (submission no 52) and Mary de Haas (submission 28) be included. He noted that submission number 27 was from Mpumalanga.

Mr Maziya suggested that no 17 be included.

Mr Nzimande urged that the balance needed to be assessed not only across the provinces, but also the rural and gender balances.

Mr Bloem agreed that motivations were necessary.

Mr Mokgobi noted that numbers 13 and 4 covered the rural and gender balance.

Mr Nzimande questioned whether the traditional leader from North West was part of the House of Traditional Leaders. He asked how the figure of 15 submissions was selected, and whether perhaps consideration should be given to having two from each province.

The Chairperson noted that women and academics were represented, and a legal firm would also be presenting.

Mr Joseph added that the input from the provincial public hearings must also be taken into account.

Mr Bloem took up Mr Nzimande’s point, pointing out that some of those invited may not attend, and he wondered if perhaps another five names should be added.

Mr Makhubele suggested that Land Access Movement of South Africa, North West (number 67) could perhaps be invited as well.

Mr Nzimande noted that Lesbian and Gay Equality Project (36) might be useful.

The Chairperson noted that Bafokeng Land Buyers Association (26) had been mentioned.

Mr Bloem suggested that the Sonke Gender Justice Network (64) be invited. The Democratic Left Front (14) was another possibility.

The Chairperson proposed that Women’s Legal Centre (18) be included.

Mr Nzimande proposed Babanango, Melmohth and Ulundi (1) and Mr W Mnyandu (Melmoth CPA Farm (2).

The Chairperson noted that the meetings would now be rescheduled for 09:00. He summarised that, in addition to the two departments and the NHTL, the following would be invited to make oral submissions:
T Ndawo and others (1), Melmoth Ekuthuleni CPA Farm (2), Sizani Ngubane Rural Women’s Movement (3), Makuleke Traditioanl Community and CPA (4), Hosi Duvula (13), Democratic Left Front (14), Silwanendlala Ubuntu Farmers Agicultural Cooperative (17), Women’s Legal Centre (18), UCT Law, Race and Gender Research Unit (19) and UCT Customary Law unit (19A), Vulamasango Singene Mnquma District (21C), Law Society of South Africa (24), Manyeleti Community Land Claim (27), Mary de Haas (28), Lesbian and Gay Equality Project (36), Community Law Centre (51), Peter Mahase,Tseseng Witsieshoek (52), Cheryl Carolus (63), Sonke Gender Justice Network (64) and Land Access Movement of South Africa (67).

Mr Bloem asked if South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) was included, suggesting that this was an oversight if they were not, and suggested that perhaps it should be included on a “reserve” list if possible.

Other business
The Chairperson noted that a further meeting would be held on the following day to deal with the submissions from the magistrates, and a notice would be sent to Members.
He also introduced the new Committee Assistant.

The meeting was adjourned.


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