Mayibuye Road Transport Corporation Petition; Second Term Programme; 2014 Quarterly report deferred

NCOP Petitions and Executive Undertakings

18 March 2015
Chairperson: Mr S Thobejane (ANC, Limpopo)
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Meeting Summary

The Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings convened to consider and adopt reports and minutes. Only the Second Term Programme was adopted.

The Committee considered its draft report on the Mayibuye Road Transport Petition, but Members noted that it had come out that Mr Matshaya had been paid for submitting a petition to the Parliament. It was not clear what his status was and Members noted that submission of petitions to Parliament was not something that would normally be allowed to be charged, but the situation might be different if he was an attorney briefed to deal with the matter. The Committee agreed, firstly, to solicit a legal opinion on the circumstances and would then decide whether Mr Matshaya's conduct needed to be commented upon or corrected. Members also suggested the need to speak to the Communications Unit of the Parliament to ensure that the public was aware of the procedure and their rights. The adoption of this report was deferred.

Minutes of the meeting held on 18 February 2015 were not adopted because they omitted recommendations made by some Members of the Committee, around the methodology of subpoenas; Public Protector and Chapter 9 institutions; and the oversight role the Committee played in provinces.

The 2014 Third Term Quarterly Report was not adopted because of administrative glitches to do with incorrect numbering, attendance register and style of reporting; one Member asked whether it was in line with the template because different Committees were submitting dissimilar reports.

The Second Term Programme was adopted without changes, although one Member asked that block weeks be set aside to deal with petitions fully.

Meeting report

Mayibuye Road Transport Corporation Petition: Draft Committee Report dated 9 February 2015
The Chairperson tabled the report and took the Members through the document, page by page.

Mr M Chetty (DA, KwaZulu Natal) remarked on the incorrect numbering on the section that dealt with the recommendations.

Mr G Michalakis (DA, Free State) commented that Section 8 of the recommendations, which dealt with Mr Matshaya’s position, should not be ignored. Mr Matshaya accepted money on behalf of the people to submit a petition to Parliament. He proposed the Committee must state this and make a recommendation on his position.

Mr T Mhlanga (ANC, Mpumalanga) advised the Committee to look at the guidelines for the Committee on this issue. If Mr Matshaya is running a legal firm, then he was within his rights to charge for services rendered.

Mr L Nzimande (ANC, KwaZulu Natal) said it was unlawful of Mr Matshaya to collect money for submitting a petition. The Committee should try and balance this in its resolution.

Ms G Manopole (ANC, Northern Cape) indicated Recommendation 8.5 dealt with the acknowledgment of the debt, and stated that Mr Matshaya was not aware he had to do the work without charge. She suggested that the NCOP must write a letter to him and inform him the service should have been rendered for free. This matter should also be brought to the attention of the Public Participation Unit of the Parliament.

Mr Michalakis stated that the Committee should find out whether any person was allowed to receive money or not, and believed that if not, then Mr Matshaya should be questioned further on the point. If the law allowed for the receipt of money, this would be open to abuse and open a floodgate.

The Content Advisor of the Committee proposed that the Committee should state it had concerns about the issue of charging money.

Mr Nzimande made a suggestion that the Committee should ask legal counsel to approach Mr Matshaya and let him know he was not supposed to charge money because the service was free. The Committee should also approach the Communication Unit of  Parliament to ask it to make it clear to the public that the process of submitting petitions is free.

Mr Michalakis suggested that the Committee should get a legal opinion on the legality of what Mr Matshaya done. If he was found to have done something illegal, the Committee would have to decide on steps to be taken. If he was an attorney and was charging for a professional service, then that was acceptable, but if he was a consultant there may be a problem.

The Committee agreed not to adopt the report until a legal opinion had been sought and received.

Committee Minutes dated 18 February 2015
The Chairperson tabled the minutes and took the Members through the document, page by page.

Mr Michalakis pointed out that point. 8 on page 2 did not mention a recommendation he had made about the methodology of using a subpoena, which would be an effective way of making sure people came to Parliament.

Ms Manopole remarked that issues around the Public Protector and Chapter 9 institutions that Mr Mohapi raised were also not included in the minutes.

Mr J Julius (DA) said that a point he raised to be mentioned in the petition guide around the oversight role the Committee plays on provinces was not documented in the minutes.

Mr Michalakis noted that the document the Chairperson was reading from was not the same as that of the Members and there were missing pages.

Mr Chetty commented that the fact that Members had received two different sets of documents for the same meeting was a serious matter that needed to be addressed.

The Chairperson proposed the adoption of the minutes be deferred.

2014 Third Term Quarterly Report
The Chairperson tabled the report and took the Members through the document, page by page.

Ms Manopole referred to page 4 and wanted to know if the template of reporting used was the standard one. She said suggestions should be forwarded to the Rules Committee about templates for reporting because all Committees seemed to be using different documents.

Mr Chetty stated that the attendance register had to be re-aligned, to reflect the provinces the Members were from, not party affiliation.

The Chairperson suggested the Committee Secretary must attend to the points Members had raised.

The report was not adopted.

Adoption of Second Term Programme
Mr Michalakis proposed to the Committee that by 29 April 2015 all the subpoenas should be in order so as to avoid what happened in KwaZulu-Natal.

He suggested further that the minutes of 29 April should be approved on 6 May 2015 and the minutes of 13 May approved on 20 May 2015. The Committee should avoid delaying the approval of minutes because that left it with less time for focusing on its core business. He further enquired why the Indaba was going to be staged in Johannesburg, and not in the Cape Town Parliament, in order to save money.

The Chairperson clarified that from 29 April to 13 May there would no meetings, only public hearings, and that was why no minutes could be adopted. In relation to the Indaba, he stated that Gauteng seemed to be the most accessible point and everything would be held around the OR Tambo Airport.

Ms Manopole asked the Committee Secretary to organise interpreters for the Indaba.

Mr Chetty felt that the Committee Secretary should try doing his work more thoroughly so that Members did not waste time on administrative matters like incorrect numbering and missing pages from documents.

Mr Julius urged the Committee to seriously consider having "block weeks" so that it could have time to focus on the petitions.

The programme was adopted.

The meeting was adjourned.


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