The Chairperson took the Committee through the revised draft Committee Report dated 5 August 2015. The Committee then discussed the Findings section. The opposition requested that they be given enough time to come up with their own observations as a collective instead of accepting what the ruling party was imposing on them. Opposition members reasoned it was unfair to make decisions on the findings of the Committee Report when these findings were received only on the day of the meeting.
Members of the ruling party were adamant that the findings be discussed and adopted immediately. The bone of contention was the bullet points on pages 6 and 8 of the report. They argued that the opposition has even indicated these bullet points be placed under the Findings section, and no one had disagreed with the bullet points then and even the previous draft had contained these bullet points. They accused the opposition of stalling the work of the Committee and of playing monkey tricks. They indicated that opposition members are welcome to suggest additions and subtractions and these could be debated. The opposition argued that simply noting that the comments in these bullet points are better suited in the Findings section did not mean those were agreed-upon findings.
Members of the opposition stated they were not prepared to delve into the findings unless they were given reasonable time. The Chairperson agreed that opposition members be given time to make a submission on findings.
Documents handed out: Draft Committee Report as of 5 August 2015
Revised draft Committee Report as of 5 August 2015: consideration
The Chairperson took the Committee through the report, page by page.
The Chairperson indicated that in the introduction section, a sentence has been added about the establishment of the Ad Hoc Committee through a resolution of the National Assembly.
Mr S Swart (ACDP) said the Committee needs to be given the rationale for the new additions. For example, the last sentence on page. 1 was not in the previous document.
Adv G Breytenbach (DA) suggested that “his presentation” be changed to “his views” in the last paragraph because the report contained the views of the Minister of Police.
Ms M Kubayi (ANC) indicated “his presentation” means “his report”.
An MP of the ruling party indicated that the Committee should try to follow the rules of parliament when writing reports.
Mr Swart suggested that the last paragraph should include why the Minister of Police did not consider the reports of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and Public Protector.
Dr M Motshekga (ANC) indicated it is a question of English, hence the use of the phrase “amongst other things”. It is not necessary to mention all the items raised. The statement is inclusive.
Adv Breytenbach felt it was grossly unfair not to add: “as well as why he failed to cover other items raised by the Public Protector and SIU” after the last word: “amphitheatre”.
Members of the ANC took a position not to add anything to the last paragraph.
Mr Swart suggested that the bullet point comments in paragraph 2.1 be taken out.
Mr V Smith (ANC) proposed that these bullet points be included under the Findings section.
Adv Breytenbach referred to line 3 of paragraph 1 and suggested that “included” be replaced with “were provided later”.
Ms T Mahambehlala (ANC) indicated it does not mean the documents were not included even if there were missing pages.
Prof N Khubisa (NFP) said it means the documents were not there, but they were presented later.
Mr L Ntshayisa (AIC) suggested members stick to facts. If the documents were not there, that should be mentioned.
The Chairperson suggested the line be rephrased.
Dr Motshekga indicated that the documents were part of the report but the pages were missing and later included.
Ms Kubayi said it must be stated that the report was submitted and accompanied by attachments but it was realised certain pages were missing and were later included. That is a fact.
An opposition MP suggested the line be deleted.
Ms Mahambehlala stated that if it is deleted that would mean there was no report submitted. It should be rephrased.
Ms Kubayi suggested the inclusion of “later” instead of revising the sentence.
Members agreed about the inclusion of “later” so the line would read: “These were included later and constituted source documents in the determination of what constitutes security features”.
Mr Swart, on line 1 of paragraph 2, suggested that “further highlighted” be replaced by “explained”.
Mr Smith, on line 1 of paragraph 3, suggested the insertion of “with potential cost implications” at the end of the sentence.
Mr Swart suggested that all the bullet point comments under (d) should be taken to the Findings section.
Mr J Selfe (DA) suggested that line 12 be re-drafted.
Mr Swart suggested that the second paragraph be moved to the Findings section. He also suggested that the issue raised by Judge Schippers about an engagement with the Public Protector should be stated in paragraph 3.
The Chairperson said not everything should be captured.
Ms Kubayi pointed out that the ruling party did not agree with the view Mr Swart raised.
Dr Motshekga indicated that parliament has a process and the Committee had agreed not to call anybody. To include that in the report would be contradictory.
Mr Swart requested more time to consider the potential findings.
Mr Smith indicated that no one disagreed with the 6 bullet points earlier in the meeting when it was suggested that they should be placed under the Findings section. If Mr Swart wants to add a few, he must put them on the table and get a view on the 6 bullet points and those on page.8.
Mr Swart stated he does not know where statements in the six bullet points came from as it was not his suggestion.
The Chairperson replied about the six bullet points, saying that the drafters were trying to find those areas where there was an agreement reached by members.
Mr Swart stated that the opposition members received the documents on the morning of the discussion, not the night before the discussion like the ruling party members. Hence the request for more time.
Ms Mahambehlala supported the view of Mr Smith. It was unfortunate to be asked where these bullet points came from although that is something they deliberated on earlier. She supported the idea that the bullets points be adopted as findings. She said the opposition is playing monkey tricks.
The Chairperson asked her to withdraw her statement.
Ms Mahambehlala withdrew her statement.
Mr D Gamede (ANC) stated that those who want to make additions and subtractions are welcome to.
Ms C September (ANC) suggested point 1 and 2 of the six bullets points should be merged into one sentence.
Prof Khubisa reminded the Committee that not all Members went to Nkandla. It is strange that certain Members agreed on these findings. He did not agree with all the findings and he does not know how Members arrived at these findings.
Mr Smith stated that both the old draft and the new draft contain all six bullet points. These points should be deliberated. The Committee agreed on 60% of them.
Mr Singh said that these bullet points should be used as a departure point. He pointed out that Dr Mulder and himself are representing the views of the other six minority parties, and they are not prepared to delve into the findings now because that process requires more time. They need reasonable time to look at the findings and make a submission. If they are not granted time, there is no point in having findings.
Ms D Dlakude (ANC) said all the parties were represented and had deliberated on the matter. It was never thought there would be extra time required for Findings and Recommendations. What is needed is the view of the opposition members on the recommendations of the two Ministers. The opposition is stalling the work of the Committee, whether it is legitimate or not.
Mr Smith suggested that the opposition be given a deadline for the submission of their proposal but indicated the findings should be not received at the last hour.
Mr Singh indicated that if they are given enough time, they would meet the deadline, but they do not want to submit half-baked information. He said Members could find each other on the findings, if not, they should carry on with the Recommendations.
Dr Motshekga said the Committee should conclude the findings and see how far it can go.
Mr Gamede said it is not fair to state that some Members had not gone to Nkandla. They could have gotten information about the visit from the other opposition members that went. He suggested that the Committee must continue with its work.
Ms Mahambehlala indicated that members of parties who were not at Nkandla were fairly represented in the delegation that went there. If members earlier in the meeting had said that certain items must be placed under the Findings section, that means these are findings. The opposition had suggested that paragraph 2.1 should be placed under Findings but now it has concerns about them and says it needs more time. Paragraph 2.1 could remain as it was, and the Committee should just jump to Recommendations. The opposition is stalling the process.
The Chairperson indicated there are different views on the table. Some are ready with findings. Others are not.
Mr Swart pointed out that by merely indicating that some statements in the report are better suited in the Findings section, does not mean they are findings.
The Chairperson gave the opposition time for submission of its proposal on Findings.
The meeting was adjourned.
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