The departure of Mr V Smith meant that there was a vacancy in the Committee leadership. Following a close vote (4 in favour and 3 for another candidate), Dr M Motshekga was elected co-chairperson of the Committee.
The Committee agreed that its next meeting will take place on Wednesday, 12 September 2018 and that at some stage it will get an update about the disciplinary process against the Secretary to Parliament.
Election of Co-Chairperson
Mr Monakedi stated that with the departure of Mr V Smith there was a vacancy in the Committee leadership and asked Members to nominate a replacement.
Mr Masondo nominated Dr M Motshekga to be the co-chairperson of the Committee.
The nomination was seconded.
Mr Monakedi asked if there were further nominations from the floor
Mr M Waters (DA) nominated Mr J Steenhuisen (DA)
The nomination was seconded.
Mr Monakedi noted that in terms of the procedure, the Committee would have to vote on the candidates and asked Members to show their support by raising their hands for either candidate.
Mr Monakedi noted that Dr Motshekga was duly elected as a Member and co-chairperson of the Committee after receiving 5 votes versus the 3 received by Mr Steenhuisen.
Mr N Singh (IFP) questioned how the vote was tallied. By his count it should be 4-3 in foavour of Dr Motshekga. He pointed that Mr Shaik Emam was an alternate member and could not vote when the main member is present
Mr Monakedi corrected this for the record – 4 Members voted in support of Dr Motshekga instead of 5.
Opening Remarks by incoming co-chairperson
Dr Motshekga thanked all those who expressed their confidence in him. He believed that this is the Committee where Members would put aside their party political interests and work for the interest of all the citizens. He noted that the division in the voting was an exercise of democratic rights and should not be the culture of the Committee. The culture should be about upholding the interest of all the people in the country. He thanked everyone even those who did not vote for him.
Mr Monakedi congratulated the Co-chairperson.
Committee Schedule and Future Agenda
Mr Monakedi noted that the next item on the agenda is about the upcoming meetings which are scheduled for 12 and 13 September. There is a proposal that the meetings should be collapsed into one day, and take place on 12 September.
Members were in support of the proposal. There was agreement that the meeting will start at 9am on Wednesday.
Mr Monakedi said the Committee would push and see how far it is able to go in terms of the issues that will be on the agenda
Mr Singh congratulated Dr Motshekga and said that he will get his party’s fullest cooperation. The IFP normally works very well on this Committee to hold Parliament accountable. Further, he pointed out that the Committee normally has a pre-meeting and then a post-meeting and asked how that will be scheduled. He asked if 9-10am is for the pre-meeting and 10-13:00pm for the post-meeting. The Committee could work the times out. He also noted that on that day the plenary sitting in the NA is starting late, at 3pm.
Mr Steenhuisen noted that Members were not asked to submit agenda items and he did not know what the correct procedure is in this regard. He believed that at some stage during the next few meetings the Committee should facilitate an interaction with the Secretary to Parliament to get an update on the disciplinary process of the Secretary to Parliament who is sitting drawing a huge salary and was suspended on full pay. “We were told it was supposed to start in April the disciplinary process; it is now September and I would like to get an understanding of where the process is and how long it is going to take”
Mr Monakedi noted the proposal and asked if the Committee agreed for that particular item to be be added to the agenda.
Mr A Masondo (ANC) did not agree that this is the way to go about it.
His understanding is that the discussion of the suspension and disciplinary process is something that has to arise from the minutes and the new co-chairperson has to be given time to think through the matters. This is just one of the matters and the issues can be looked at in the next meeting.
Mr Singh said the Secretariat must help the Committee on this issue to see if it is a matter in the minutes or arising. It is an important mater that the Committee gets briefed on.
Mr Monakedi said the Committee agreed that the chairpersonship should check with the secretariat to see if it is in the minutes and it will arise from there and if it not it will be put on the agenda.
Mr Steenhuisen said he was happy with that and recalled that the last time the committee discussed this was in February or March. The Committee has since approved a whole set of minutes after that. He did not believe it was unreasonable for Members of this committee to ask about this. This is parliamentary money that is being used to pay somebody’s salary who is not doing the work. He was not asking for the full record of decision and transcripts of hearings. He was just asking for an update on where we are at in the process going forward.
Mr Monakedi said there is agreement; if the matter is not arising in the minutes then it will be put on the agenda. The purpose is to get an update on the process and how far it is.
Mr Monakedi asked Members to look at the question about the pre-meeting that Mr Singh had raised and asked the parliamentary staff to address this.
A Parliamentary staff member advised that this can either take place on the Tuesday or on the same day (Wednesday) but start at 8:30 or 9am for an hour and then the post meeting will commence. She further advised that the meeting would have to end by 2pm because the NA plenary sitting starts at 3pm and the NCOP sitting at 2pm
Mr Masondo said he did not know how Dr Motshekga was familiar with how this Committee works. He would prefer a situation where the co-chairpersons discuss, taking into account what has been said, and report back to that meeting accordingly. Why do we want to conclude all of these matters now?
Mr Monakedi explained that the Committee, had in principle, agreed that there should be 1 meeting on the 12th. If Mr Masondo is proposing that the chairpersonship should discuss with the secretariat and issue a notice advising what time the meeting will happen and agenda etc..that could be acceptable can we go that way.
Ms E Coleman (ANC) said that she had agreed to be part of that meeting because she was told that the meeting will start at 6pm. Her Committee has a bill that it is processing. She will therefore not be present at the meeting on the 12th.
Dr Motshekga said that he is not familiar with the work of the Committee so what Mr Masondo is proposing would help.
Mr Monakedi said what the Committee is agreeing to is for the co-chairpersons to sit down with the secretariat and plan the day in terms of what should happen and this will be communicated to Members.
A Member reminder Mr Monakedi that he is a member of the Select Committee on Appropriations that is schedule to meet at 10am on that day. There were other members of this committee who also served on that Committee.
Mr Monakedi said that the meeting will take place on 12th and the actual time will be confirmed after meeting with the Secretariat.
Dr Motshekga reiterated that he is humbled and honoured to be co-chair of this Committee because he believed the interest of the people of South Africa as a whole transcends the interest of any individual party. He is looking forward to the work of the committee putting the interest of the people above all other interests.
The meeting was adjourned.
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