The Committee Chairperson expressed her annoyance at the continuing problem of Members being absent from meetings without apology, which was discourteous to her and the Committee.
The Committee met to decide a shortlist of candidates to be interviewed for the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Appeal Board. 23 candidates had been nominated, and the Committee Content Advisor and Parliamentary Legal Advisor guided the Members by pointing out what were the specific requirements of the Act and the advertisement. The Act required that at least one member must be a practising attorney or advocate with at least two years experience, and that candidates in general should should have special knowledge and expertise relating to safety and security and disaster management at events. In order to be eligible, candidates should have included a CV and certified qualifications. Of the 23 candidates nominated, only 19 had fulfilled all these requirements. It was further noted that the Board should be representative of both gender and disability, and one Member suggested that a youth representative should also be considered.
The Committee had originally intended to short-list 14 candidates but ended up by short-listing 15, and this was not disputed, so it was decided that all would be interviewed. Members, after discussion, decided that the interviews should be conducted over a period of three consecutive days. The list would be announced after the Committee had contacted them and cleared the publication.
The names of the 15 eligible candidates, which is known to PMG, will be made known once it has been published in the ATC.
Chairperson's Opening remarks
The Chairperson expressed her concern at the continuing problem of Members being absent without having tabled apologies, which she noted as discourteous to herself and the Committee.
She noted that the agenda prioritised the deliberations on the South African Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act (SASREA) Appeal Board recommendation process.
Mr Teboho Thebehae, Content Advisor to the Committee, said that after the conclusion of today’s meeting the Committee should be in a position to publish the names of the shortlisted candidates for the SASREA Appeal Board. He reminded Members that they had asked, in the last meeting, that a Parliamentary legal advisor be present to take the Committee through the process, and noted that Ms Phumelele Ngema was present to assist Members.
SASREA Appeal Board process: Committee deliberations
The Chairperson suggested that the deliberations process should follow the route of Members proposing the names of their preferred candidates, after which others would be allowed to comment, agree or disagree on those proposals.
Ms Phumelele Ngema, Parliamentary Legal Advisor, agreed that this was an appropriate way to deal with the matter. She said that if Committee Members had not yet had the chance to go through the CVs of the candidates, that could be done briefly. Members should then make their nominations, for others to agree or object to the candidates. Fourteen were to be short-listed.
Ms D Manana (ANC) questioned Ms Ngema on the process of nominating, and the number of candidates that each Member may propose.
Ms Ngema suggested that, after going through the CVs, Members should possibly make nominations of one or two candidates. These nominations must, however, be accompanied by reasons why that Member is moving for a particular candidate. This would help the process move forward.
Mr Thebehae summarised the criteria for eligibility of the candidates, which would depend on whether they had met certain minimum requirements. These included that eligible candidates:
- had been nominated by a member of public
- had produced their CV and certified qualifications
- have included an acceptance of nomination letter.
Last week, the Committee agreed to short-list 14 candidates for interview, and so it was necessary to eliminate enough from the list of those who were eligible, to get to that number. He reminded Members that a further requirement was that the Board had to be representative of gender, demographic groups and disability. The relevant portions of section 26 of the Act affecting the second part of the process provided that included in the list of nominations must be at least one candidate who was an admitted and practising attorney or advocate, with at least two years’ experience in legal practice. Candidates should have special knowledge and expertise relating to safety and security and disaster management at events. When the 14 candidates had been selected, the Committee could then look to deciding the composition of the final Board. The process of determining the seven successful candidates should be completed after conducting the interviews.
Mr Thebehae suggested that, to conclude the first stage of the elimination process, Members should go through the eligibility requirements of the candidates, and ensure that they did meet the criteria set out by the Act and the advertisement.
The Committee proceeded to go through the summaries.
Mr S Mmusi (ANC) and M Malatsi (DA) asked whether the advertisement had stipulated that applicants must have completed their studies already, or if they would be eligible if they were in the process of completing a particular qualification.
Mr Thebehae replied that the advertisement had required that applicants provide certified copies of their completed qualifications. However, nothing specific was stipulated in the Act besides the fact that at least one candidate on the Board must be a practising attorney or advocate.
Ms Manana suggested that the candidates who had not sent through their certified qualifications, as requested already, should be excluded now from further consideration.
Mr Mmusi agreed.
Mr D Bergman (DA) said that it might be a mistake to put aside candidates that had unique qualifications and had not yet submitted proof of their certificates. It was suggested that these candidates, if shortlisted, should bring their proof of their qualifications to the interview in order to be verified.
Mr S Ralegoma (ANC) agreed with Mr Bergman’s suggestion, but added that this process must be followed in exactly the same way for all four candidates in question, to avoid any suggestion of bias.
The Chairperson pointed out that if Members agreed with Mr Bergman's proposal, then dates would have to be set for the office to contact them.
Mr Thebehae identified the eligible candidates at this stage. 19 of the original 23 candidates had advanced from the first round of elimination. Candidates R and W did not submit proof of their qualifications, and candidates U and V did not provide sufficient information.
Mr L Ntshayisa (ANC) asked for the advertisement to be read out, so that Members were quite clear on the requirements.
A short break was taken, to allow the advertisement to be copied and distributed. On recommencement, the Chairperson noted that the advertisement specifically directed all applicants to submit "verified qualifications". The four who had failed to do so had not complied with the terms and were consequently eliminated already. That meant that 19 were now under consideration.
Mr Thebehae then said that the second part of the process entailed the scrutinising of the candidates against the experience and expertise required by a Board member as stipulated by the Act. It would help if the candidates could be divided into two groups, male and female, to assist the Committee in reaching a Board that was correctly gender-sensitive.
Mr Mmusi said that disability should also be taken into account.
Mr Malatsi added that the youth should also be considered.
The Chairperson agreed with both suggestions and started the process by first looking at the three female candidates, and then the disabled candidate and said that youth issues could be considered with the remainder.
Mr Thebehae clarified that the female candidates were B, E and K, and the disabled candidate was P, and they should be considered first for the shortlist.
The Chairperson agreed but noted that the correct procedure must be followed.
Mr Ralegoma moved that candidates B, E and K be shortlisted, and this was seconded.
Ms Manana proposed that candidate P be shortlisted, and this was seconded.
Mr Thebehae then noted that the Chairperson of the Board must be a practising attorney or advocate. He suggested that four or five out of the ten candidates might be shortlisted for consideration as Chairman.
Mr Ralegoma disagreed with the suggestion, referring to the Act, which stipulated who had the prerogative of nominating the Chairman, and said that this onus did not rest on the Committee, and that instead, the Committee must merely select a mix of candidates that would include practising attorneys and / or advocates.
The Chairperson agreed with his. She reminded Members that there was a specific requirement for practising attorneys or advocates on the Board. She asked that ten more names now be proposed and seconded.
Ms Manana proposed, and Ms B Dlomo (ANC) seconded candidate A.
Mr Malatsi asked for clarity on the situation of candidates with possible conflict of interests, referring to candidate C.
Ms P Ngema clarified that any consideration of conflict of interest should be restricted to whether there was a real conflict with the business of the Appeal Board.
Different Members of the Committee then moved, and the proposals were seconded, for the candidates C, J, L, S, N, T, H, I, M and D
The Chairperson confirmed that this now created a shortlist of 15 candidates. They would be contacted and their names could, after contacting them, be published as soon as possible. The next step of the process would be to determine how many may be contacted on each day.
She added that it was acceptable to have 15 candidates nominated, as this was not objected to by any Committee Member.
She requested that the Content Advisor and Legal Advisor should draft a list of possible questions, after research, to pose to candidates in interview, and that these must be made available to Members. She noted that she would like the questions to be carefully divided to avoid the same questions being asked by different Members and encroaching too far on the Committee's time.
Mr Thebehae asked whether the vetting would be done on the day of interview, or afterwards.
The Chairperson replied that the process of vetting would be dealt with by the Office of the Parliamentary Legal Advisors, who were aware of the process. This should be done prior to, not after the interviews, to avoid any waste of time or money.
Mr Bergman asked for a summary of the names of the 15 candidates who were nominated and these were read out. They would be made public only once the Committee had officially published all names.
Members discussed the days that would be suitable for interviews.
Mr Mmusi suggested that the interviews be staggered over three consecutive Wednesdays.
Mr Thebehae suggested that Members rather set aside three consecutive days in one week.
Mr D Bergman proposed that eight candidates be interviewed on the first day and seven on the second, to save time and money.
Ms Ngema pointed out that staging the interviews over three weeks might give candidates being interviewed later or last an unfair advantage in having more time to prepare, over candidates being interviewed first.
Mr Mmusi accepted that point and proposed then that the interviews be conducted over three consecutive days.
The Committee noted general agreement with this, and asked that the necessary arrangements be made by the Committee Secretary.
The meeting was adjourned.
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