Adv M Motshekga (ANC) was elected president of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Development, without any opposition. The draft programme of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Development was consented to without major comment or any dissent.
Election of the Committee Chairperson
Mr Vhonani Ramaano, Committee Secretary, called for nominations for Chairperson of the Committee. He further explained that if there was a single nomination all that would be required was a seconder; otherwise the Committee would be called upon to vote for its preferred nominee. He then called for nominations.
Ms C Pilane-Majake (ANC) nominated Adv M Motshekga (ANC) for Chairperson. This was seconded by Mr B Bongo (ANC).
The Committee Secretary, noting no other nominations declared Adv. Motshekga Chairperson of the Committee.
Opening Remarks by Chairperson
The Chairperson then thanked everyone for the show of confidence in electing him. He said that he would be guided by the words of former Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe, who said that in Parliament's work Members must respect one another and function in equality. He emphasised that superior argument would guide what happens in the Committee; rather than the mere serving of party interests. Rather the focus would be serving the nation, whose interests ought to be paramount.
Consideration of the Draft Programme
The Chairperson then turned to the draft programme, asking the Committee Secretary to take the Committee through the proposed program.
The Committee Secretary ran through the planned program for the Committee spanning the period from the 24th of June to the 11th of July; detailing the proposed activities of the Committee.
The Chairperson then called for comments on the programme from the Members.
Mr J Selfe (DA) said that this was the best programme the Committee could have hoped for, given the truncated period before the budget vote was expected. However, he expressed worry about the future quality of work given to either department for which the Committee was responsible. For example, only one session was set aside for the briefing by Department of Correctional Services, which would normally have taken three sessions.
The Chairperson receiving no other comments from the Members, asked for a proposal for the adoption of the draft program.
Mr Bongo proposed the adoption of the Draft Program, and Ms Pilane-Majake seconded.
The Chairperson said that with the adoption of the Draft Program, all that was required of the Committee was to “hit the ground running”, so that it could do justice to the work before the Members.
The Committee Secretary then said that information packs would be given to the Members by Thursday. Members could read the packet in anticipation of the sittings that would follow.
The Chairperson echoed his earlier words saying that he would have an open door policy for all members, to ensure that there is no marginalisation of members belonging to minority parties.
Ms K Tchabalala (EFF) suggested that perhaps the Committee could be informally spilt according to the various specializations of the Members relating to the two departments. She said that she had studied the criminal justice system through her masters in criminology and therefore had more relevant experience in relation to the Correctional Services Department.
Mr J Selfe (DA) thanked the Chairperson for his open door policy and asked where his door was.
The Chairperson concluded by saying that Members did not need to be lawyers to give valuable contributions to the work of the Committee, but that time would have to be set aside to decide the approach of the Committee. With the scheduling issues exhausted, he closed the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned