The Committee was briefed by the Department of Finance (National Treasury); the Department of Defence and by the SA Police Services on the Border Management Authority Bill [B9B-2016] s75.
The South African Police Services said its main concern on the Border Management Authority Bill [B9B-2016] was clause 4(2) which, if the bill was passed as it had been passed in the National Assembly, would mean the SA Police Services would no longer have a role to play in the border management area.
The Office of the Chief State Law Advisor said it had engaged SA Police Services on the matters raised in its presentation since July 2016, and had participated in many of the meetings and workshops between SA Police Services, and the Department of Home Affairs on the Bill and the issue which had been raised then had been addressed.
National Treasury supported the objective of a more coordinated approach and the Bill, subject to that being done within an affordable budget as currently there was no budget for the Bill. When the Bill was being processed it had been opposed by the Davies Tax Committee, there had been no evidence-based study done on the functions of SA Revenue Services and how the Bill would affect them. The Bill would move away from a fundamental reform introduced under President Mandela and the Katz Commission, which had created SA Revenue Services where Inland Revenue was merged with customs and excise duties. The Border Management Authority bill would reverse all of that and National Treasury and SA Revenue Services felt very strongly against that.
The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Ms Fatima Chohan, agreed that the Border Management Authority Bill was a most important Government endeavour as the Bill had taken nine years to deliberate to date and the reasons for the protracted debate was that Government wanted to establish a single command structure.
What had not been said in the Bill was that if SA Police Services, for example, were following a suspect and the suspect ran into the 10km strip of Border Management area, then SA Police Services would have to stop pursuing the suspect. That instance was not a border facilitation matter or function therefore SA police Services would remain with its concurrent power alongside with the Border Management Authority in the Border Management area. The only facilitation as provided for in clause 5 of the Bill at a Border Management area was the exclusive function of the Border Management Authority. Classic policing, including intelligence about corruption at the Department of Home Affairs at the border would remain the sole preserve of SA Police Services.
The Committee was concerned that that the Department of Home Affairs wanted to create a separate and new unit that would be performing SA Police Services functions. It bemoaned the fact that the discussions before the Committee between stakeholders at border management areas should have been cleared at Executive level.
Members wanted to know what would be at fault with SA Police Services continuing with its police functions at the borders as it always did, and asked SA Police Services whether scenarios A& B as presented were in conflict with SA Police Services’ constitutional role. It looked as if scenario C covered the issues of concern by SA Police Services and could be addressed at clause 4 (2) but would that be in conflict with the aim of the BMA of single a command system?
The Committee also commented that not only families used informal crossings because at Mbuzini was where cars were crossing and undocumented people came into SA.
A Member said the Committee had deliberated for two and a half hours through SAPS’ presentation which was in relation to the cosmetics of the presented BMA bill, and the Committee was expected in four minutes to consider a technical National Treasury presentation and to deliberate on it. As what National Treasury was trying to convey was of utmost importance he proposed that the Committee consider dealing with the remainder of the agenda items on another day.
The Chairperson agreed, that was helpful as the Committee would not have time to interrogate the presentation. The reports from SAPS and National Treasury about not being considered really concerned her and she agreed that National Treasury and the Department of Defence and Military Veterans, together with all the legal advisors had to return to the Committees next meeting to deal with BMA bill.
The Chairperson said in the Committee’s oversight visits to the different border gates it had noted the difficulty in operations of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) as there were multiple Departments managing inflow and exit of people and goods at border management areas.
Issues raised at most borders where that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) rotated its staff complement every six months at the borders of the country, whereas the SAPS placed permanent staff at the borders. The potential for corruption amongst SAPS members was large and could affect the efficiency of the security at the border gates of the country. SANDF also had bemoaned the fact that it would arrest the same individual five times in one day as each time the individual was handed over to SAPS the person would be released and they would return to commit the same offence at the border management area.
SAPS had their own challenges for example, at the Lebombo border in Beitbridge there were no SAPS holding cells. Therefore borderlines, apart from the gates, were a big concern for the Committee.
Deputy Minister’s remarks
Ms Fatima Chohan, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, said the DHA agreed that the Border Management Authority Bill was a most important Government endeavour as the Bill had taken nine years to deliberate to date and the reasons for the protracted debate was that Government wanted to establish a single command structure and the Chairperson had alluded to the main problem at the border management areas. To date there currently was no single command and control system, which meant there were that many Departments operating in the same environment, each with different priorities operating in a silo. Though the idea had always been cooperation between Departments; de facto, that had not worked. International best practise was a single command and control system which included not only ports of entry but a countries entire borderline space, which was what DHA hoped to achieve with the BMA Bill.
Mr M Khawula (IFP; KZN) noted the absence of one of the scheduled invitees amongst the delegations present before the Committee.
The Chairperson said those not before the Committee were still liaising with their delegations within Parliament.
She asked that the presenters had to present on everything including challenges if there were any, as the briefing would not be an interrogation.
Comments on the Border Management Authority Bill Select Committee on Social Services
Lieutenant General (Lt. Gen) SF Masemola, Deputy National Commissioner: Policing, SAPS, submitted the National Commissioner’s apology and said SAPS had participated in the unfolding process and progression of the BMA and submitted its comments. Some had been considered and others not and SAPS would certainly indicate challenges it anticipated with the BMA. The Constitution of South Africa prescribed the mandate of the SANDF regarding borders and also prescribed similarly for the SAPS. The BMA prescribed that along the border within a specific distance, security was a responsibility of the BMA; which was where SAPS was not clear how the provisions would be aligned to the Constitution. He trusted Parliament with the processing of the BMA and SAPS were certainly in support of a single command system through the BMA overseeing ports of entry into SA. SAPS believed that it still had a crucial role to play in classical policing within the border management area.
Major General (Maj. Gen.) David Chilembe, Component Head: Border Policing, Operational Response Service (ORS), SAPS, said the SAPS participated in all the committees involved in the development of the BMA. Though SAPS were in favour of a single command system at border gates a decision had to be taken on who would lead that system. The engagements had proposed a project manager for the BMA seconded from the DHA who would lead the project, but Parliament would decide on the process following that thereafter. He then read with the Committee through the presentation.
Border policing: ports of entry
SAPS was fully present at all land borders. In Gauteng the Committee would notice an international harbour legend which was referring to a dry port in that province called City Deep; which was linked with harbours close to the province.
The Chairperson interjected and asked for clarity about what a dry port was.
Maj. Gen Chilembe said it was similar to a ship container yard but referred to as a dry port as it was linked to harbours; containers in the yard would be en route to their final destinations, which could be outside SA which SAPS did not search.
Ms L Zwane (ANC; KZN) said there was no sea inland in the Gauteng province how could there be a dry port.
The Chairperson asked whether a different designation could not be used in referencing and describing City Deep, as dry port was simply confusing.
Maj. Gen Chilembe replied that the designation was historical and inherited like that. Trans-shipments to Botswana and other land locked countries neighbouring SA went through City Deep from Durban Harbour to their destined countries. Ports of entry into SA were declared by the Minister of Finance and City Deep was such a port only in terms of movement of goods and as such there would be no DHA but only SAPS and customs unit from SARS operating at that environment.
In SA there were commercial, semi-commercial and non-commercial ports. It was the Minister of Finance through customs who designated the ports as listed above, and that was according to international norms.
The Chairperson said that Parliament could not be expected to just agree to things because it was international norms before actually understanding the processes.
Maj. Gen Chilembe said in SA there were also informal crossings which were declared ports of entries. Because colonial borders in the previous dispensation divided families in villages along the borderline SAPS were faced with a challenge where there was movement of people at those informal crossings. Together with the DHA, SAPS had declared one informal crossing, Tshidilamolomo in the North West, between SA and Botswana, where the locals were allowed to move back and forth across that crossing. In Mpumalanga, there was Mbuzini which connected SA, Swaziland and Mozambique at the same area of border management. Previously SANDF would have installed officials across informal crossings to record those using the crossings. To date at Manguzi, where gate 6 and gate 8 were informal crossings where people including school children moved across freely, though there were SANDF and SAPS officials.
Trans-frontier conservation areas were in terms of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) where there were parks that straddled the borderline between two countries. SAPS were saying that though the borders were used for tourism, people eventually used them as declared border posts.
All the white icons on the map before the Committee referred to trans-frontier parks. The Sani Pass located in the West of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN); South Africa on the road between Underberg, KZN and Mokhotlong, Lesotho was 14 kilometres into SA but because of technicalities one remained in Lesotho still though physically one would be in SA.
Comments on the BMA Bill (7)
19(2) (b) (iv) does not prescribe the manner and effect of arrest and it will be uncertain whether the arrest was lawful and whether the subsequent detention will be lawful.
Maj. Gen Chilembe said the issue was mentioned because there currently was a case of the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) hearing – Minister of Home Affairs v Abdul Rahim & Others, where Mr Rahim had been arrested by DHA and then detained at SAPS cells. SAPS had been joined in that case as it had been identified as responsible for detaining Mr Rahim; where also the arrest had been determined to be unlawful.
The Chairperson asked that the Department of Home Affairs as well as Parliament’s Legal Advisors and State law advisors also give input into the SAPS presentation. She asked how the BMA bill had progressed to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
Mr C Hattingh (DA; North West) seconded the Chairperson’s proposal that the State Law advisors give input into the presentation from SAPS.
Legal Opinion: The South African Police Services’ functions in respect of the Border Management and the implication of the Border Management Authority Bill
Ms Yolande Van Aswegen, Principal State Law Advisor, Office of the Chief State Law Advisor (OCSLA), said the OCSLA had engaged SAPS on the matters raised in its presentation since July 2016. The OCSLA had participated in many of the meetings and workshops between SAPS and DHA on the BMA and the issue which had been raised then had been addressed. The issues in the presentation were the same as those raised then. She could provide the Committee with the opinion OCSLA had submitted to the portfolio Committee on Home Affairs regarding the constitutional matters raised by SAPS in its presentation although, she needed direction whether she had to prepare a different opinion for the select Committee or to simply read the old opinion.
The Chairperson said that SAPS had said it was not against the BMA bill but rather had a constitutional mandate which it had to perform. If the BMA proceeded as it was its implications were unclear to the SAPS, specifically its constitutionally mandated role. From Ms Van Aswegen’s understanding, though the matters SAPS had raised were old, had they been factored in the BMA bill?
Ms Van Aswegen said at a meeting between the Director-General (DG) of DHA and the then Acting National Commissioner of SAPS where it had been agreed in a document titled: ‘principal agreements from the meeting between that the Director-General (DG) of DHA and the then Acting National Commissioner of SAPS, 119 September 2016’.
She then read with the Committee through that legal opinion.
Section 218 (1) (j) of the Interim Constitution still stood and had not been repealed. The wording as per that section suggested that the classic policing functions could be included in ordinary legislation in terms of section 75 of SA’s Constitution.
Mr Deon Erasmus, Chief Director: Legal Services, DHA, said the DHA would agree with what had been presented except that in the SAPS presentation it had been alleged that the drafters of eth BMA would not have considered section 119 of the Constitution of SA, which in fact was where DHA had focused on. Section 193 of the constitution allowed the border guard to be an armed service.
The Chairperson asked whether the armed guard referred to would be a new unit established through the BMA; or a role which could be carried out by SAPS.
Mr Erasmus replied that in the border law enforcement area there was a need for someone who could perform armed functions as well: Section 199 (3) of the Constitution allowed for the creation of such an armed guard in terms of the BMA.
The Chairperson reiterated that her concern was that the DHA wanted to create a separate and new unit that would be performing SAPS functions. She bemoaned the fact that the discussions before the Committee should have been cleared at the Executive level.
Brigadier Bert Van der Walt, Legal Advisor, SAPS, said SAPS had no issues with the primary form of the BMA except the exclusion of SAPS especially with regard to clause 4 (2) of the BMA bill which assigned exclusive function to officers of the BMA authority. SAPS previous submission as reflected in the agreement OCSLA referred to had not been on the exclusivity that SAPS had on classic policing but that there would be concurrent function between SAPS and the BMA authority, but when the bill was passed in the National Assembly (NA), the broader principle had disappeared from the BMA, as per clause 4 (2). From that the SAPS appeared to be excluded completely, which was concerning.
The SAPS were simply appealing to be allowed to do its policing function in the border management area in cooperation with the BMA authority. The SAPS proposals would simply reflect that and allow it to have parallel powers to the BMA authority; which would also safeguard against corruption so that SAPS could monitor BMA officials and vice versa could occur.
Ms Sue-Anne Isaacs, Legal Advisor, Parliament, said all the issues under discussion as presented had been thoroughly ventilated at the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs and the B-version of the BMA bill had been the product of those discussions. Indeed, while the Constitution recognised the mandate of SAPS, in terms of section 199 (3) there was room therein for another security service to be created, which was the basis of the creation of the BMA authority. If the Select Committee felt that the PC had fallen short of certain considerations the Committee could add its inputs for the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs to revisit the BMA bill.
The Chairperson asked what would be in error if SAPS was allowed to perform its current classic policing function, apart from the fact that the Constitution allowed for the creation of the BMA authority; was there any legal basis to prevent that from happening?
Ms Isaacs replied that if Parliament felt that the BMA bill would not in its current form fulfil border management imperatives then Parliament had the right to redraft and reject the bill in favour of SAPS continuing with policing at borders the same way that had always happened.
The Chairperson interjected that she was not asking that but rather wanted to know what would be at fault with SAPS continuing with its police functions at the borders as it always did.
Ms Isaacs said she probably was not qualified to respond to that question, as it related to operations at borders rather than a legal premise. Perhaps the DHA would have to respond as to why it felt the BMA bill before the Committee was the better way to proceed.
Ms Zwane said caution had to be exercised because Government had been defeated at the ConCourt for having passed unconstitutional laws. She believed there was no harm in allowing SAPS to perform its classic policing functions as it always did because the clause read:
“Establishment of Border Management Authority 4. (2) The border law enforcement functions within the border law enforcement area and at ports of entry must be performed exclusively by the officers of the Authority”. That excluded SAPS and left like that; the BMA would not serve any good purpose.
The fact that the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs agreed to the B-version of the BMA bill did not mean that the NCOP would agree to it. The Select Committee was legally allowed to return a bill to the NA if it was not satisfied. Her submission was that the proposal by SAPS be inserted into the BMA bill.
Ms P Samka (ANC; Eastern Cape) said the SAPS presentation from her reading showed that most of the classic policing work would be done by SAPS though the leading Department was DHA and that was concerning to her. She seconded Ms Zwane’s proposal regarding the insertion.
Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana said the BMA bill was silent about human trafficking and from her experience with legislation; a spade had to be called a spade clearly. Why had the BMA been silent on Airstrips, airfields, Slipways, Small Harbours and informal crossings?
Mr Khawula shared the sentiments of the Committee, during his school days his teachers always made a clear distinction between book knowledge and practical experience and what the OCSLA had given had been book knowledge but what SAPS had presented on had been practical issues. The very same members and staff as community members were the same people who would complain about the high crime rate, but if Parliament allowed SAPS to be stripped of its Constitutional functions and powers to perform its Constitutional mandate that had to be cautioned against. The BMA had to cater for the practicalities of policing at border gates especially regarding clause 4(2). From his understanding the BMA bill was before the Committee and the support staff had to affect what the Committee instructed it to effect.
Mr Hattingh said he had not heard how the SAPS proposals would negatively impact the BMA Act once passed, or the function of the BMA authority. His opinion was that the SAPS amendments were efficiency driven and his experience was that with law enforcement agencies; there usually were turf wars that arose from time to time. Hopefully that was not the case and he wanted a response from the DHA in that regard and wanted the SAPS to speak to whether there was any place else, in the country where SAPS was prevented from doing its job by law.
Mr D Stock (ANC; Northern Cape) said the Committee, during oversight, had been concerned about the responsibilities of the BMA authority versus the responsibilities of SAPS. Since then the Committee had been convinced that it could not be that SAPS responsibilities would be usurped or replaced by the BMA authority. Concerning for him was the sentiment that the NCOP had to simply agree to the BMA bill because the NA had agreed. The Committee would not agree to replacing SAPS responsibilities through the BMA.
Mr Khawula asked SAPS whether scenarios A& B as presented were not in conflict with SAPS constitutional role. It looked as if scenario C covered the issues of concern by SAPS and could be addressed at clause 4 (2) but would that not be in conflict with the aim of the BMA of single a command system?
What were the other stakeholders input in response to SAPS scenario C proposal?
The Chairperson said it was important that Government had to develop a product which all stakeholders could take ownership of. Even in a single command centre, the Committee understood that the unique roles played by each Department at the border management area would remain roles played by those Departments and entities. From her hearing of the OCSLA input, since there was no exclusivity in classic policing; if a crime occurred at the Department of Human Settlements (DHS) then SAPS could not go and perform its function there as the DHS could simply establish its own security agency.
Additionally, her understanding was that crime prevention and safety of SA citizens was SAPS’ primary responsibility across all sectors.
If indeed classic policing would be done by the BMA authority what would happen to those officers trained in border management control; if there was corruption at SAPS then that had to be dealt with, but having a parallel and secondary force seemed wasteful.
She also asked for clarity on why Airstrips, airfields, Slipways, Small Harbours and informal crossings had not been included though it appeared in the BMA, and had been reported as SANDF responsibilities.
Not only families used informal crossings because at Mbuzini cars were crossing and undocumented people came into SA.
She was also concerned about the matter of international norms and standards when she was not aware of any international exchange which had taken place where Parliament could have seen what other countries were doing in terms of border management. There were countries with multiple Departments at border management areas and had good coordination.
As long as what the DG’s at DHA and the acting National Commissioner’s agreement was not captured in the BMA; it could not be enforceable.
Did immigration officers have separate cells from SAPS and processed criminals and illegal persons separately until before a magistrate?
The Chairperson said she thought the matter of who would lead the BMA authority had been addressed and that the DHA would lead, therefore she saw no reason why Parliament would have to be consulted again in that regard.
She asked that the issue of the interim Constitution versus the current Constitution be ventilated in terms of the BMA bill as it was not clear.
Deputy Minister Chohan said it would surprise the Committee that the DHA supported everything which had been said up to that point; the problem she thought arose from a confusion which had been unnecessarily brought to the Committee. She would be the first to argue against any legislation which sought to minimise the SAPS’ presence and the fulfilling of its Constitutional mandate. When it came to crime, SAPS had to be involved.
Currently there were various Departments at border management areas and essentially the idea was that their functions had to be coordinated: So that when an operation was underway; all the departments and entities there would prioritise said operation. For example, if the operation was around hijacked cars which were moved across informal crossings, one needed a range of players to be cooperating but quite often one would find that at least two other players would be having other priorities, therefore the operation would not be optimally carried out. The single command and control model was hoping to address that. Of course, when speaking about that, one would not want to start off by excluding those charged with crime prevention and one in fact would also not want to deal with intelligence but border management.
She then read:
Establishment of Border Management Authority
(2) The border law enforcement functions within the border law enforcement area and at ports of entry must be performed exclusively by the officers of the Authority.
She also read the definition:
‘‘border law enforcement functions’’ means functions conferred on the Authority by law and in terms of this Act;
Deputy Minister Chohan further read that:
Functions of Authority
5. The functions of the Authority are to—
(a) Facilitate and manage the legitimate movement of persons within the border law enforcement area and at ports of entry;
(b) Facilitate and manage the legitimate movement of goods within the border law enforcement area and at ports of entry;
(c) Facilitate the collection of revenue within the border law enforcement area and at ports of entry; and
(d) Cooperate and coordinate its border law enforcement functions with other organs of state, border communities or any other persons.
She said (d) covered where SAPS would get involved through the coordination as provided for and what was not said in the BMA was that if SAPS for example, were following a suspect and the suspect ran into the 10km strip of BM area, then SAPS would have to stop pursuing the suspect. That instance was not a border facilitation matter or function therefore SAPS would remain with its concurrent power alongside with the BMA authority in the BM area. Only facilitation as provided for in clause 5 of the BMA bill at a BM area was the exclusive function of the BMA authority. Classic policing, including intelligence about corruption at DHA at the border would remain the sole preserve of SAPS.
Having said that many of the existing officials across the departments and entities involved at BM areas would be co-opted into the BMA authority, therefore there would be that duality.
Facilitation of movement included various things like checking of correctness of papers, scanning persons to insure they had been vaccinated and fingerprint checking. Those were not classical policing functions and that was the BMA bill was conferring to the BMA authority for the purposes of a single command and control structure because of the failure of the multiple Departments and entities at BM areas to cooperate effectively. The result of that failure could be seen in the number of undocumented persons making SA their home, the trafficking of people and inflow of illicit goods into the country. That had informed the notion of a single agency to be responsible for BM. That was also why the BM had been defined in the BMA.
The point about why Airstrips, airfields, Slipways, Small Harbours and informal crossings were included was taken and would be considered as those were big vulnerabilities but the DHA believed that there had to be a start somewhere. Those vulnerabilities did not have to be within the BMA authority but one or two entities of the state had to be in-charge of those vulnerable spaces.
The Chairperson was concerned that the Deputy Minister would not be everywhere to give the clarity she had just given the Committee. Why had the term ‘exclusive’ been used therein at clause 4 (2); since from the Chairperson’s understanding its use stemmed from trying to prevent an ongoing occurrence from continuing. All of the clarity that the Deputy Minister had just given the Committee also had to simply be written down into the BMA so that the concerns of SAPS could be allayed.
Ms Zwane said she had always thought that SAPS was categorised as law enforcement and what she had heard up to then surprised her, especially that SAPS could then be excluded from that category. She maintained her original proposal and Committee sentiment which was; what harm would it do if scenario C as presented by SAPS was incorporated into the BMA.
The Chairperson asked Parliament’s legal advisors to respond to Ms Zwane’s question.
Ms Isaacs replied that legally there would be no harm if the insertion into clause 4 (2) of the BMA bill was made as presented by SAPS.
The Chairperson said that was the Committee’s recommendation to the NA in terms of the SAPS.
She asked what a slipway was.
Deputy Minister Chohan replied that it was akin to a jetty.
The Chairperson said the Committee would want to know from the DHA what would happen with those vulnerable areas.
Border Management Authority Bill Presentation by the National Treasury to the Select Committee on Social Services
Mr Ismail Momoniat, DDG: Tax, Financial Sector Policy, National Treasury (NT), apologised for being late. NT were pleading for a small change with amendment of clause 4, which was the exclusion of SARS from the provisions of the BMA bill. The request had been put to the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs and NT had been quite unhappy with the processing of the BMA bill at the PC Home Affairs as that Committee had disallowed SARS to make inputs. No one then had looked into the fact that the BMA would affect 30% of the country’s revenue or R300 billion; as the BMA if it were to be passed as it was would generate huge uncertainty at SARS. People would have to be moved whilst there was no agreement on who would move and other issues.
Having said that NT supported the objective of a more coordinated approach and the BMA subject to that being done within an affordable budget, as currently there was no budget for the BMA. When the BMA was being processed it had been opposed by the Davies Tax Committee, there had been no evidence-based study done on the functions of SARS and what the BMA would mean for SARS. The BMA would move away from a fundamental reform introduced under President Mandela and the Katz Commission, which had created SARS where Inland Revenue was merged with customs and excise duties. The BMA bill would reverse all of that and NT and SARS felt very strongly against that. Moreover, both felt the processing of the BMA bill had not been collegial and NT and SARS were only going to be heard only if they allowed SARS to be fragmented.
NT and SARS support objective of Bill
Mr Momoniat then read with the Committee through NT’s presentation.
He reiterated that the BMA bill would fragment the tax collection system as the drafters did not want to understand that the way it had been drafted would split the value chain.
The Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC) study could not be construed as a NT study as it was a unit within NT. In fact, the GTAC recommendations had not been considered in the drafting of the BMA bill; the socio-economic impact assessment and the Davies tax commission had all been ignored and both pointed to the fact that the tax administration system could not be fragmented.
Mr Hattingh said the Committee had deliberated for two and a half hours through SAPS’ presentation which was in relation to the cosmetics of the presented BMA bill, and the Committee was expected in four minutes to consider a technical NT presentation and to deliberate on it. Because he had only received the document on the morning of the meeting he had not prepared to engage NT and from his listening what Mr Momoniat was trying to convey was of utmost importance. His proposal was that the Committee consider dealing with the remainder of the agenda items on another day.
The Chairperson said NT had requested to brief the Committee even before the Committee invited it. Parliament always worked on the premise of what it was told by NT officials who bemoaned the financial strain the country was undergoing. That had been part of the Committee’s thrust in its feeling about why the BMA had to have a parallel unit, separate from SAPS to effectively be doing the same work as SAPS. However; always using the excuse that there was no money would mean nothing would ever be passed.
Ms Zwane seconded Mr Hattingh’s proposal about the Committee adjourning for another day to deal with NT. Moreover, it was frightening for her to hear from the little that NT had presented about how much more work still had to be done to get the BMA bill finalised and she cautioned against rushing through a bill which would be un-implementable.
Mr Khawula asked if the Committee could not allow NT to finish its presentation and then the Committee could deliberate on a way forward.
The Chairperson said that Mr Hattingh’s intervention had been helpful as the Committee indeed would not have time to interrogate the presentation. The reports from SAPS and NT about not being considered really concerned her and she was agreeing with the Committee that indeed the NT and the Department of Defence and Military Veterans (DOD& MV), together with all the legal advisors had to return to the Committees next meeting to deal with BMA bill.
Ms Van Aswegen asked for clarity as to what she needed to prepare in her new legal opinion as she could not delve into the NT matters as they were policy issues.
The Chairperson said what Ms Van Aswegen was saying had to be put in writing and that together with the legal advisors from Parliament, had to prepare for the next meeting regarding the issue raised by SAPS.
Mr Momoniat said NT would certainly prefer a longer session to inform the Committee about the nitty gritty and he asked that the Committee consider what he had proposed regarding removal of SARS from clause 4 of the BMA bill.
The Chairperson said that as she had said above, the Committee wanted NT to return and present as it just had at a longer session in future.
Mr Khawula said he would like to know what was the position of the then Minister of Home Affairs regarding the BMA bill when the issues had been presented to him and what was the current Minister of Finance’s position to date regarding the same bill.
The Chairperson said she knew the position of the former Minister of Home Affairs but did not know the position of Finance.
The meeting was then adjourned.
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