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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

25 June 2002

[This is a transcript of the meeting, produced by the Public Accounts Committee Secretariat.]



African National Congress

Mr L Chiba
Mr P Gerber
Mr DM Gumede
Mr BZ Nair
Mr VG Smith

Democratic Party

Mr M Lowe

New National Party

Mr F Beukman (chairperson)

United Democratic Movement

Dr GW Koornhof


Ms N Hlangwana
Mr N Bruce

In attendance from the Office of the Auditor-General: Mr P Mosaka, Mr C Botes, Mr A Van Dyk, and Ms L Less

Welcome and opening by the chairperson.

1. Report back by groups

1.1 Group two: Ms K Mothoagae

The group was briefed by the parliamentary law advisers on Sarafina 2. They advised that the matter be closed down. The information from advocate Lubbe is not available. Members are not in favour of closing the matter down.

Five resolutions were discussed.

GCIS - will be tabled tomorrow.

Education - matters outstanding are internal audit, the performance contract of the CFO and risk assessment. The group will ask the portfolio committee to look at the University of the North.

Sport and Recreation - the resolution has been reserved because the information is not clear. It will be tabled as soon as the information is clarified.

Social Development - the resolution is ready.

Statistics SA - there is an issue of internal audit on the computer network and severance packages.

Correctional Services - the resolution will be tabled soon.

SIU - questions have been sent. There would not be a hearing.

TRC - the reply from National Treasury is inadequate.

ICASA - the hearing has been removed from the program. The group still has to go through the replies.

Mr Lowe mentioned that he has a problem with the legal advise given on the Sarafina matter and added that he will raise his concern during the meeting with the DG.

Mr Smith said that the matter should be discussed in the Committee so that when the Committee meets the DG it does so as SCOPA and not as individuals.

Mr Lowe said that he has concern around the legal advise of the state law adviser, which is based on the SIU, and advocate Lubbe's advise. He added that he would like to probe what the basis of the legal advice is and would also like to probe the settlement between Mr Ngema and the Minister.

Mr Smith wanted to know how the information that Mr Lowe wanted would assist the Committee. He added that the question before SCOPA is what to do with the unauthorised expenditure of R8 million. He said that the Committee needed to look at the advise of the parliamentary law adviser and say whether it agrees or not. He then said that he would be opposed to reopening the investigation.

Mr Lowe responded that the state law adviser conceded that its advise was based in information that was not entirely correct and added that the committee has the responsibility to have all the facts before it before taking a decision. He then said that he would like to see the opinion of advocate Lubbe and would like to know why Ms Shisana and Mr Badenhorst were not pursued.

The Committee agreed that Mr Lowe would prepare questions on those issues where he needs clarity.

1.2 Group one: Mr Gumede

Resolutions on Foreign Affairs and ICD will be tabled. The group received evaluated responses from SARS. The visit to the harbour and the airport will take place on 13 August. Resolutions on Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Labour and Transport will be tabled to 21 August.

Mr Gerber added that the group also discussed the investigation of Transnet by the AG and requested that the Committee be given a report. Mr Mosaka responded that he would make sure that the Committee receives a report.

2. Report back from the JSCI/SCOPA task team: Mr V Smith

The task team meeting on Thursday was attended by a delegation from SCOPA, JSCI, a representative from the Parliamentary Law advice Office, representatives from the OAG office, and departmental officials. Three options were put before the meeting. SCOPA did not have a position. Another meeting will take place on 26 June 2002. SCOPA should decide which option it goes with so that the SCOPA representatives can go to the meeting with a mandate.

The Committee agreed that the matter should be put on the agenda for the following day to allow parties to go and consult.

3. Programme

Mr Botes mentioned that the report on consultants would be available on 12 August so that the hearing can take place on 21 august 2002. He added that the hearings in August should be reevaluated because the committee will start receiving new reports by then.

Mr Gumede said that the resolution on Environmental affairs and Tourism and Transport would be ready on 21 august2002.

4. Report back on the hearing on the State Theatre: Mr DM Gumede

The meeting was attended by the DG of the department of Arts, Culture Science and Technology, an official from the Public Protector, an official from the SIU and the whistleblower.

The Public Protector is still investigating some of the matters and the investigation is not final. The SIU referred matters for possible criminal prosecution to the NDPP. It was agreed that the stakeholders should receive information as the investigation proceeds. It was agreed also that the SIU will look at matters that require prosecution, the Public Protector will look at employment matters and SCOPA will gather information and report to Parliament.

Mr Mosaka added that the OAG were not auditors in the matter so there is nothing it could do.

Mr Lowe wanted to know who would follow up on the issue of the Minister's failure to act.

The chairperson responded that the SIU recommended that no civil or criminal accountability could be ascribed to the Minister.

Mr Nair said that Mr Wixley had to pay the airfares out of her pocket and that the anomaly had to be corrected.

The chairperson responded that the matter was raised in the Committee and Committee decided not to pay for her expenses.

5. Minutes

The Committee adopted the minutes of 12 June 2002.

5.1Matters arising

The chairperson asked the ANC to nominate a person on the task team dealing with the report on the Gordons Bay workshop.

Mr Smith said that the Committee should reflect on whether the 15 minutes allocation during the hearing on the AG's General Report worked.

Mr Lowe responded that it did not work because it limited the number of people who participated and the time was too short.

Ms Mothoagae said that the 15 minutes was too much and it depended on what you wanted to ask within the 15 minutes.

Mr Chiba said that it kept members focused but that he would have preferred more time.

Mr Gerber said that the system was good because everyone participated.

Mr Nair said that the problem was with the responses because they were too long.

The Committee agreed that the method should be tried with another hearing before a decision is taken.

Mr Smith said that Mr Nobunga should be allocated to group three.

Mr Mosaka wanted to know whether it would be appropriate for the AG to brief the Gender Commission on the mandate of SCOPA.

The chairperson mentioned that he received a letter from the Director of Planning and Development of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, which he will forward to the chairperson of APAC. The letter is in regard to the meeting that they intend holding in South Africa.

The meeting adjourned at 12:15.


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