General Matters

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Justice and Correctional Services

13 August 2002
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report


14 August 2002

Adv J H De Lange (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Submission by the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) in respect of the Interception and Monitoring Bill.

The Interception and Monitoring Bill was not considered. General announcements were made.

It is the intention of the Committee for the Interception and Monitoring Bill to be debated in the National Assembly on the 17 September 2002.

The Constitutional Amendment Bill public hearings will be held on the 5 and 6 September 2002.

The Child Justice Bill has been introduced into Parliament, and the Chair foresaw substantial public submissions arising from this Bill.

The other bill was the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill which deals with the Steyn Judgement regarding leave to appeal.

In short the chair indicated that there were approximately eleven pieces of legislation that the committee had to deal with in the near future such as Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Amendment Bill

A memo on the Prevention of Corruption Bill was expected by this coming Friday.

The Chair also indicated that he had been given various amendments to the Interception and Monitoring Bill which he would not hand out at this point.

As regards the times when the committee would be sitting, the chair indicated that the committee would be sitting all day next week (on Monday from 10:30 until 5pm).

The Committee approved the TRC salaries unanimously. As to the salaries for the Public Protector while there was no indication that the Department of Finance had agreed to the salaries that would not be accepted until such time as a letter from the Department indicating it had approved the salaries was presented to the Committee.

Moving on to Mr. Nongena, a magistrate who had twice been convicted of drunken driving, the Chair indicated that he was unhappy about the way in which the matter had been approached. While he accepted that this type of behaviour is not impressive it was his contention that if the were to be dismissed then it should be on the grounds that he was not a fit and proper person, and not that he was convicted of drunken driving. Certainly, the Chair argued, it would set a bad precedent if a magistrate must be automatically dismissed if he was convicted of driving while drunk on two occasions. It was seen as unacceptable that this matter had been languishing since 1998, and the chair indicated that he wished to have immediate action on this matter.

Mr Mzizi (IFP) agreed with the Chair's approach on this issue.

Returning to the Interception and Monitoring Bill the chair indicated that two further submissions had been handed to him, one of which was from ICASA. Specifically ICASA wished to be allowed to intercept communications and so be exempt from the Bill. They also question the meaning of 'any device approved by the Telecommunications Act' and whether that should be the wording used in the Interception and Monitoring Bill. The ICD had also indicated that they wished to have the power to intercept communications.

The meeting was adjourned.


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