The Committee adopted, unanimously, the minutes of its previous meetings on 19 and 25 September and 24 October. The Committee had received a draft Report, which noted that, for the reasons outlined, the Committee was unable to take any further the matter referred to the Speaker by the Public Protector. Members unanimously agreed to the adoption of that report, with one minor change, which was to set out the mandate of the Committee. One Member then said that as it had been clear that the Committee was unable to accede to the requests for legal and constitutional grounds, it would be advisable for Parliament, at a later stage, to consider investigating and dealing with the anomalies and gaps in the law. Others agreed and pointed out that there was some degree of urgency. That would be taken further.
Adoption of Committee Minutes
The minutes of 19 September were adopted, with one amendment, which was to note that Mr J de Lange (ANC) had noted his apologies for his inability to attend.
The minutes of 25 September were agreed to, with no amendments.
The minutes of 24 October were agreed to, without amendments.
Committee draft Report
The Chairperson confirmed that all Members had received a copy of the draft Report.
Mr J de Lange (ANC) thanked the Chairperson and Mr J Selfe (DA) for drafting the report, which captured everything raised at the previous meeting of the Committee.
Mr J van der Merwe (IFP) suggested that in the first paragraph, the mandate of the Committee should perhaps be inserted.
Mr de Lange suggested that this would repeat the wording of the resolution, but would have no problem with that.
Members adopted the Report, unanimously, with that amendment.
Mr de Lange wanted to thank all parties for dealing with the matter in a mature and excellent way. It would have been easy, in a matter of this nature, to have played political games, prior to the election. This was a prime instance of all parties being mature enough to treat matters on their merits.
He particularly wanted to thank Mr J Selfe (DA) for all his work on the matter, which was of a high quality and very helpful.
Mr Selfe pointed out that, as set out in the Report, this Committee had been unable to deal with the matters for legal and constitutional reasons. However, there were loopholes in the law and he suggested that Parliament, at some future date, may need to consider how it should address this.
Mr De Lange fully agreed that the matter needed further investigation. He pointed out that the courts had no investigative powers, and that in itself was something that needed to be looked at, and there were also some other matters needing urgent attention.
The Chairperson thanked all Members and echoed the appreciation of Mr de Lange for their cooperation. The Report would be ATCed, and should be published in the following week.
The meeting was adjourned, and the business of the Committee concluded.
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