Review of Section 25 of Constitution: Summary of Party Recommendations

Constitutional Review Committee

14 November 2018
Chairperson: Mr M Maila (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

VIDEO: Joint Constitutional Review Committee to Consider Report on Land Hearings, 14 November 2018
Draft Observations of Members/Parties on Possible Review of Section 25 of Constitution:  Report available once published Tabled Committee Reports

The Committee was presented a summary document of the party submissions made by Members the previous day. The document comprised four parts: observations about public hearings, observations about the process and the draft recommendations which comprised points of convergence and difference.

It was agreed that party observations should not be argued about and that statements which did not reflect a common view be amended to make it clear that the observations were the views of some Members and not all Members.

Some parties noted that some of their observations were not captured in the document. The parties were asked to speak out the views they felt strongly about. Failing to speak would be seen as a deliberate attempt to raise a challenge later. The Chairperson confirmed that the document would be used as a base document when the Committee voted the following day.

Meeting report

The Chairperson conveyed the apologies of the Co-Chairperson Nzimande who was not able to be present. The Chairperson stated that the secretariat had captured the party submissions and that the document containing the summary was being distributed to Members.

Ms M Mothapo (ANC) proposed that Members be given 15 minutes to go through the document.

Ms T Mokwele (EFF) seconded the proposal and the meeting was adjourned for 15 minutes.

The Chairperson reconvened the meeting. He drew attention to the document titled Draft Observations of Members/Parties on Possible Review of Section 25 of Constitution saying it had four parts: Observations about the public hearings, observations on the process, draft recommendations comprising points of convergence and difference. He asked Members to go through the document page by page and check to see if their observations have been captured. Whether Members agree or disagree with others, Members still remain citizens of South Africa in its diversity. He reiterated that the document is a summary.

Mr F Shivambu (EFF) referred to page 2 which stated that traditional leaders supported the amendment of the Constitution. He said there are those who supported it and those who were against. The statement should be corrected since it is too general. He pointed to page 3 which stated that some Members expressed the view that there was intimidation. That was not a common view and that statement should be qualified to read that according to some Members there were racial attacks.

Mr V Smith (ANC) referred to page 3 and asked that the statement in bullet 4 be qualified. Instead of saying political parties, he suggested that the statement read “some political parties used the land hearings to present misleading information”. He added that there was no deliberate misleading of the public, the Committee allowed the public to comment. He then proposed that the statement be deleted since it is not a statement of fact.

Mr S Swart (ACDP) responded that the statement is capturing an observation. The document is a reflection of observations about the process and it should not be deleted but it should be qualified to read that a Member observed.

Mr S Mncwabe (NFP) commented that the statement must be corrected as it renders the work of the Committee invalid since it communicated that the Committee did not do what it was mandated to do

Mr M Buthelezi (IFP) suggested that Members must not argue about the observations. He gave an example saying he had said some political parties interfered with the process. He clarified that he himself is not in a position to comment on something about a hearings team of which he was not part.

Mr D Stock (ANC, Northern Cape) proposed that the statement be scrapped completely.

Mr Shivambu suggested the statement be put as a point of divergence and be qualified to read “some parties”.

Ms T Mbabama (DA) asked the Committee not to delete items that were observed by Members.

Mr Mncwabe referred to point 2 of the Observations about the process. It stated that some Members observed a degree of intimidation. There were some incidents and it did not define the process. He asked that the statement be amended to read some Members observed some incidents of intimidation.

Mr Swart also referred to point 2 which read that there were racial attacks against speakers. He asked that the statement be amended to read racial attacks against Members and speakers.

Mr Stock proposed that if there was any racial attack, the Member must submit a substantive motion or affidavit.

Mr Shivambu referred to points of convergence, he asked that bullet 3 be amended to read section 25 not section 36 since the Committee is dealing with section 25.

Mr Smith noted that 7.1 and 7.2 are points of difference.

The Chairperson clarified that there are those Members who feel that section 25 is an impediment to land reform and there are those who say that the Constitution should be made more explicit.

Mr Shivambu added that Members are listing all the divergent views and a vote will be taken the following day. He proposed that a point of difference for inclusion is that the state is the custodian of all public land.

Mr Smith responded to Mr Shivambu and said that the issue of custodianship has been covered in point 4 on page 5.

The Chairperson asked if there are Members who feel that the document has not captured an observation by a Member.

Dr C Mulder (FF+) responded that some party recommendations were not captured.

Ms Breytenbach said there are some views by her party which she cannot see in the document.

Mr Smith asked that the parties speak out on the views the parties feel strongly about. He cautioned that if parties fail to speak out, it is a deliberate attempt to raise a challenge later.

Mr M Ndlozi (EFF) said that some of the EFF views also did not make it to the final cut and that it is understandable since everything cannot be captured.

Mr Shivambu said that political parties were allowed to express their submissions in full and that the Committee is summarizing these so that there is clarity.

The Chairperson said that the document on draft observations by Members is the base document to be used the following day when the question will be put before the Committee.

Mr Swart conveyed his apologies that he will not be able to attend the meeting the following day.

Meeting adjourned


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