The Committee was scheduled to finalise the Report on the provision for Motions of No Confidence in the Rules of the National Assembly.
The Chairperson had received a letter from the Chief Whip of the majority party requesting that the meeting be postponed. It was argued that consultation with the various political parties had not been finalized and the negotiation was not complete. The Committee agreed to postpone the meeting to the following day.
The Chairperson (Speaker of the National Assembly) welcomed Members of the Committee. After the tendering of apologies by the Secretary to the National Assembly, Mr Masibulele Xaso, the Chairperson presented the agenda of the day to the Committee.
Proposal to postpone meeting
The Chairperson said that he had received a letter from the Chief Whip of the majority party requesting that the meeting be postponed. He requested Ms M Kubayi (ANC) to read the note to the Committee.
Ms Kubayi explained that the Chief Whip of the majority party had written to the Chairperson requesting that the meeting of the Rules Committee be postponed due to the fact that consultation with the various political parties had not been finalised. The written submission from the Democratic Alliance was only received on the previous day. The consultation and negotiations had not been finalised. Unfortunately, an indication had not been received from the other parties on the meeting for the finalisation of the agreement.
The Chairperson noted that it was clear that consultations had not been finalised hence the proposal that the meeting be postponed. He further commented that the meeting could be postponed but expressed concern that if this meeting was postponed, when was the Committee going to meet again as they had to settle the matter before a certain date. If it was agreed that the meeting should be postponed, then definite and firm dates had to be given.
Mr M Skosana (IFP) said that it was obvious that the meeting had to be postponed as the people who were negotiating were not even present.
The Chairperson asked if Members agreed to an adjournment and what dates were practical for the next meeting.
Mr Xaso said that 26 March 2013 was a possible day for the next meeting.
Ms N Mfeketo (ANC), Deputy Speaker, asked if the Committee had no other deadline for the submission of the report to the House before 28 March 2013.
Mr Xaso replied that there was no other deadline for submission before 28 March 2013.
Mr N Koornhof (COPE) said that getting a quorum on 28 March 2013 was not going to be easy as it was the day before Easter.
Mr M Oriani-Ambrosini (IFP) said that he had a background in a professional environment where things were done professionally and on time with set deadlines. If there was report to be given to the Constitutional Court, it had to be done with quick progress. The Committee should give the negotiator a deadline to finish the report before the end of the day so that it could be passed the following day, which was 20 March 2013.
Ms J Fubbs (ANC) said that all courts worked on the principle of reasonableness. It was not reasonable for the Committee to put technical aspects before the substance of the work which was being done. It was also not proper for the Committee to impose a deadline on the negotiators who were not even present as they were trying hard to complete the negotiations.
The Chairperson said that the Committee was quite reasonable but the issue had been going on for quite some time and it was important for a formal decision to be made.
Mr Koornhof suggested that the Committee should meet the next day after the adjournment from the Question Time with the President. Most Members were going to be present and getting a quorum was not going to be a problem.
The Chairperson said that 4pm was an appropriate time. He added that he was not going to present but that the Deputy Speaker was going to Chair the meeting.
Ms Kubayi said that the Chief Whip was not going to be present as he was flying out to attend to a previous commitment. In addition, she stated that she was also not going to be present for the meeting as she was engaged with other activities.
The Chairperson said that the ANC had a big delegation and powers could be delegated to any other member. It was important for the discussions to be held and for a formal decision to be reached.
The meeting was adjourned.
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