The Committee held a closed meeting with the senior parliamentary legal advisor to receive guidance on when it is appropriate to close a meeting. This was for the Committee to decide whether to close that day's meeting with PetroSA to discuss the forensic audit report on the R14.5bn impairment. As a consequence of this discussion, the Committee decided to postpone the PetroSA meeting.
The Chairperson stated that the meeting was supposed to be closed in order for the Committee to receive the sensitive forensic report from PetroSA. He assured the Committee that he had taken the necessary procedures to close the meeting. The Chair of Chairs had responded in a letter that the decision to close a meeting rests within the Committee.
Senior parliamentary legal advisor, Mr Frank Jenkins, was present to advise the Committee on its decision on whether to close the meeting or not. The Chairperson however suggested that the meeting with the legal advisor be closed to the public, the PetroSA board as well as the Department.
Mr P Van Dalen (DA) responded that it was strange that the agenda did not state that the meeting was to be closed. His concern was that members of public had made an effort to come all the way to the meeting only to be informed that the meeting was closed. He requested the Committee see the letter that the chair had received from the Chair of Chairs.
Mr M Dlamini (EFF) asked the Chairperson to explain why it was necessary to separate the closed meetings.
The Chairperson explained that the first closed meeting was to be exclusively for the Committee to be briefed by the legal advisor about whether to proceed with a closed meeting with the Department and the PetroSA board. Ultimately the decision of whether to close the meeting lay in the hands on the Committee.
Ms T Mahambehlala (ANC) commented that she was not interested in seeing the letter the chair had received and stated that there was not enough time to continue discussing that and still have a meeting. She therefore seconded the chairperson in having a closed meeting with the legal advisor.
The Chairperson proceeded to dismiss the public, PetroSA board as well as the Department and requested them to sit in a separate holding area.
The PetroSA board and the Department were later called back and informed that the meeting was postponed until a later date.
The meeting was adjourned.
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