The Committee met with the intention to shortlist suitable candidates for the Commission on Gender Equality as the Committee had been unable to fulfil the task the previous week due to process delays.
The previous week, the Committee had mandated the Chairperson and other Members to report the concerns of the Committee to the Speaker of the House. Members who had attended the meeting reported back. The Speaker had recommended that the Committee proceed to the short-listing process and she would speak to the relevant Minister about completing the screening process before interviews were conducted.
The Committee expressed concern at the delay caused by the fingerprinting process and the State Security Agency not delivering the required information. The Committee was concerned about completing the appointment of candidates for the Commission on Gender Equality before the rising of Parliament and suggested ways in which the process could be improved by future Committees to prevent such delays. Members suggested that applicants submit required documentation at the time of application.
Each Committee Member read out his or her own shortlist of 24 nominations by number and not by name. Those nominations were consolidated to create the final shortlist of candidates. The criteria for shortlisted candidates included that candidates had to be South African; be fit and proper persons; have proven commitment to the promotion of gender equality; and have applicable knowledge in matters connected with the objectives of the Commission. Any criminal records were to be assessed on a case by case basis. In addition, the shortlist was to reflect differences in province, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability status. The shortlist had to contain mixed age representation and persons currently serving in the Commission and eligible for re-appointment.
There were no objections by any of the Members to the short-listed candidates. It was agreed that the Committee had been as fair, open and transparent as far as possible and that the consolidated list reflected the criteria as set out by the Committee.
The Committee agreed to request the State Security Agency to focus only on the shortlisted candidates. Interviews would take place on 12 and 13 March 2019.
Before getting to the business of the day the Chairperson voiced her support on behalf of the Ad Hoc Committee for the golden girl of South Africa, Caster Semenya, in addition to the support conveyed by the President of the Republic of South Africa and the entire South African population. She stated that the Ad Hoc Committee was firmly behind Caster Semenya in her fight against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and was certain that she would emerge victorious and a winner, as always. The Chairperson encouraged Caster Semenya to stay on the track as the current process was just a hurdle that would soon be behind her as she raced to the finishing line. The Chairperson urged the Court of Arbitration for Sport to deliver a just and fair judgment that upheld Caster Semenya’s human rights. She invited and encouraged all South Africans to pray for Caster Semenya and to give her support in those hard times. The Chairperson thanked the Committee and declared the meeting officially open.
Mrs D Robinson (DA) associated herself with the Chairperson as it was the view of the Committee that Caster Semenya had brought great glory to the country and to herself. As somebody who had been discriminated against, the Committee was wholeheartedly against all discrimination – whether it was sexual orientation, religion, race etc.
The Chairperson hoped that the calibre of Commissioners, and the candidates to be shortlisted that day, was such that they would ensure that people were protected and did not have to suffer as was currently happening.
The Chairperson moved on to apologies, adding that she was sure the Committee would have noticed that Dr Z Luyenge (ANC) was no longer a Member of the Committee as he had resigned as a Member of Parliament. The ANC had replaced him with Dr P Maesela (ANC) who was, at first, an Alternate Member but had become a Full-time Member.
The Chairperson asked where Ms M Khawula’s (EFF) interpreter was and requested someone to check on the interpreter.
The Chairperson reminded the Committee that it had given a mandate to meet with the Speaker the previous week, together with one or two Members. She requested Ms Khawula and Ms D Robinson (DA) to present the outcome of that meeting.
Report on the Meeting with the Speaker of the House of Assembly
Mrs Robinson explained that the Committee had had a very cordial meeting and were glad that the Speaker had been available to meet them. The Deputy Speaker had joined the meeting.
Mrs Robinson said that the Committee representatives had expressed their concern that the process was being delayed by getting the fingerprints and that the State Security Agency had not yet delivered the information that had been required. The Committee representatives had not accepted the excuses about the State of the Nation Address, for example, because the process had been going on since the previous year. The Speaker undertook to meet with the relevant Minister and to apply a little gentle pressure. The Speaker agreed with the Committee representatives that they had to complete the job before the rising of Parliament.
Mrs Robinson stated that everyone was convinced that the deadline was very important, and it was suggested that the carry on with the shortlisting. In the final analysis, the process was to carry on and the Committee had to finish the job. As far as Mrs Robinson could remember, that was the only part of the discussion that affected the Ad Hoc Committee. They had spoken about some other things as well but those were not relevant there.
Ms M Khawula continued to explain in her mother tongue. A translator was not present to interpret her statement.
The Chairperson agreed with what Mrs Robinson and Ms Khawula had said and added that the Committee had been given permission and support to continue with its work and not feel intimidated by anybody. The Committee was not rescinding any of the decisions that it had taken as the Committee. All decisions stood as agreed.
Discussion on process
Ms T Stander (DA) thought that in future the Committee should note that, as soon as the date for applications closed, the applications should be consolidated as quickly as possible. Once the date for public comments had expired, shortlisting should take place immediately. She explained that that shortlisting could be done with the information in the CVs and with the public comments. It was not an absolute requirement that the Committee receive the vetting and the fingerprinting before shortlisting.
Ms Stander recommended that, for the next process, shortlisting be conducted once applications and public commentary had been received and the outcome of that shortlisting be sent to the State Security Agency (SSA) for the fingerprinting and background checks. When those reports came back, the Committee could decide who would be interviewed. Whilst she did not accept that the SSA should have taken more than six or so weeks to complete the process, there had been 89 applications. If the Committee had shortlisted even down to 50, perhaps they would have been a little less under pressure. She was just trying to think of a different way to proceed with the process and to reduce time in future.
She suggested that perhaps the Human Resources (HR) unit could provide input on that, and whether the Committee included it in the advertisement as a requirement that candidates had to submit their fingerprints with their application, or whether, once the Committee had completed the initial shortlisting whether it should notify those people to submit fingerprints within a certain time frame. She made the suggestion because that had also caused a delay as it was not a requirement in the advertisement for the candidates to go to police stations and to pay to courier fingerprints. She hoped that either one of these two, whichever the Committee felt was more appropriate, with HR input, could be used as a recommendation for future processes.
Dr Maesela thought that what Ms Stander had suggested would make the process subject to lobbying and undue pressure. For now, what they were doing meant nobody knew who the Committee was going to shortlist so candidates could not start pressurising the Committee, lobbying and saying that person had to go in because of this or that reason until there are a thousand people rooting for somebody who the Committee might not have shortlisted. He thought that, if they had shortlisted candidates and people started commenting about the people who had been shortlisted, it was acceptable because they were saying something about people who the Committee agreed could be successful candidates. But if the Committee opens before that, then everybody would be subject to pressure and the Committee might have all the people lobbied by thousands of people sending in nice comments about them. He said that it would then be vast and would not be what the Committee had agreed was the best among the best.
Ms Stander respected the views of Dr Maesela but responded that, firstly, there was going to be shortlisting anyway and Members of the Committee or the public could be lobbied at any time, even from the time that they submitted their applications as they could automatically start asking for people to support them and send in a whole lot of positive commentary. Secondly, she said that the proposal was to have a first shortlisting and second shortlisting. Even if the Committee only had one shortlisting, any of the Committee Members could be lobbied after that shortlisting. Thirdly, she hoped and believed that that Committee and the next Committee would always stay unbiased and put this process first.
The Chairperson said that the Committee would continue the meeting as some of the things being discussed were things that had already been discussed by the Committee and agreed upon. Since the Committee had seen that the SSA needed the fingerprints of candidates for the screening part, the Committee would advise HR that when it sent out the advertisement, it needed to include that the candidates had to ensure that they submitted their fingerprints when they applied. That was necessary because that was the only part that had not been included and, even then, the Committee could not penalise people as it had not been stipulated in the advertisement.
However, that did not stop the Committee from continuing to do their job. Any candidate who had not submitted his or her fingerprints would be asked about it during the interview because the Committee Secretary had spoken to all of them and had sent them forms to take to the police station for fingerprinting so that they could submit the completed forms. If a person had not submitted fingerprints, during the interviews the person could be asked why they had not submitted their fingerprints as required and requested by Parliament. That was not a train-smash because the Committee could continue.
Criteria for shortlisting
The Chairperson said that, because they were going to be dealing with the shortlisting, she wanted to read the Committee’s summarised version of their criteria for shortlisting. Members had agreed, as the Committee, that all candidates should be South African citizens in terms of the Citizenship Act No. 88 of 1995 and should be fit and proper persons – meaning persons of sound mind with integrity, loyalty, and efficiency. The Committee had also agreed that it would not be considering persons with a known history of sowing divisions or those who had brought disrepute to their previous or current organisations. Candidates who had served two terms as Commissioners of CGE would also not be considered, but those who have served one term would be considered if they had proved efficient and hard-working during their term of serving the Commission.
The Chairperson stated that it was not a given that if one was already a Commissioner who has served one term and reapplied that one would automatically be re-appointed. She said that the Committee was to make its own determination whether that person met their required standards in terms of efficiency and productivity and commitment. The Committee could not keep Commissioners who had not shown that they were efficient in their work. The Committee needed to make sure that whoever it was going to retain as a Commissioner, had to meet all the required standards so that people should not assume that because they were current serving Commissioners, appointment was automatic. They had to prove that they were the best of the best.
The Committee had also agreed that the issue of criminal records of candidates would be treated on a case by case basis with qualifiers given an opportunity to clarify their case during the interviews. She mentioned that had the current Committee Members been a Member in the previous Ad Hoc Committee, they would have seen from a report that was presented to the Committee by the SSA, that there were candidates who had criminal records. During the interviews, when those candidates were asked to explain what the case was or what criminal record they had, candidates had been able to tell the Committee that, in fact, it was not a criminal activity or act, but that, during the Apartheid era, they had been arrested as activists. They were classified as having committed a criminal action, when they had not. That was why it was important that when candidates came in for interviews, the Committee gave a person space to explain what it was about. She said that the Committee was not going to penalise people because of a criminal record as Members had seen the reasoning behind it.
The Chairperson continued. Shortlisted candidates had to have a proven commitment to the promotion of gender equality. She said that if Members had read through the ‘Master List of Candidates for CGE Appointment of CGE Commissioner’ which contained the list candidates with their CVs or had even googled some of them, as she had done, to see who the candidates were, they would find that some of the candidates had not indicated most of the things they were doing in their CVs. When one googled a person, that was when one got the details on who a person was because some people, when writing their CVs, did not know what to write. She said that candidates needed to get a record of their activism and, if they had written that they were an attorney or lawyer, that should be verified since the Committee did not have a verified report from the HR Department. The Chairperson had thought that by that day the HR Department would have given them a report in which it would have/ had verified all the qualifications of candidates but up until then, she had not received it. Perhaps the Content Advisor had the report.
The Chairperson continued, saying that the Committee had said that shortlisted candidates should have applicable knowledge in matters connected with the objectives of the Commission which was in the Commission for Gender Equality Act No. 39 of 1996 and convenient qualifications related to Gender Equality. However, the Committee was not placing an emphasis on educational qualifications as the advertisement did not stipulate minimum educational qualifications. The Committee could agree that it was not in the criteria and that even the advertisement had not determined a specific qualification. However, she emphasised, that that did not mean that the Committee should take on a person who could not read or write. The Committee had not wanted to specify that they should have a degree or diploma but having that would be a bonus. That would mean the person was able to interpret the law and would know exactly how they could represent the people and do their work as Commissioners.
The Committee had said that shortlisted candidates must have applicable experience in the tasks connected with the objectives of the Commission. This would mean involvement in research projects and having worked as Gender Equality Officers in any organisation. Some people, in the organisations where they were working, were representing offices of Gender Equality, which gave them an opportunity to be considered because there was proof that the person was working on the issues.
The Chairperson concluded the summarised list of criteria. Due to time constraints, the Committee had to make sure that by the following week, the staff would have informed candidates that they were on the shortlist so that the candidates could start preparing themselves and for Parliament to start making arrangements so that those who were not from Cape Town be accommodated in terms of flights and accommodation as some of them would have to sleep in Cape Town, although some would have to fly in the morning. As yet, the Committee did not know where the candidates were coming from.
The Chairperson asked the Committee whether any Members remembered that in the previous Ad Hoc Committee, when Members were shortlisting, they had used numbers as they took it that all Members had read the CVs of candidates. The Committee would then consolidate the applicants who got the most votes The Chairperson said that this year they would do as they had done the previous year – each Member would just read out the numbers of the candidates, not the names. She pointed out that the candidates were listed in the Master List and that there were numbers on the side. She explained that the Committee would open their Master List and from that list Members would give the number of the candidates that they wanted. The Secretary and Content Advisor would then consolidate the numbers and give the Committee the final list because there was no way that the Committee Members could do that as they were nominating the candidates.
Ms Khawula interrupted in her mother tongue. There was no translator present.
The Chairperson recommended a ten-minute break to sort out the problem of Ms Khawula’s need for a translator to do her justice.
After the break, the Chairperson stated that Ms Khawula’s interpreter was present. Before she started, she said that it was unfortunate that the translator had not been there so that at least some of the things the Committee had spoken about could be interpreted for Ms Khawula. However, the Chairperson took it that Ms Khawula had heard what the Committee was saying. In terms of the process, she said that what the Committee had said was that they were not going to read the names of the candidates but were going to read numbers of the candidates. She instructed the interpreter to listen to Ms Khawula and to give the numbers to the Committee. The interpreter was to listen to Ms Khawula and interpret what the Chairperson was saying. She said that the Committee had read the criteria and that the document was before him.
The Chairperson addressed Ms Khawula saying that the Secretary had raised something with her. There was a CV that Ms Khawula had submitted. The Secretary had called her, and the Chairperson had instructed her to verify that the person had applied or posted his or her CV on time so that the Committee could discuss it before they started with the shortlisting. She asked the Secretary whether the CV should be considered so that the Committee could move forward. Lastly, the Chairperson said that Ms L Van der Merwe (IFP) had forwarded an apology as well as the list of people she felt should be shortlisted. The Chairperson presented the list to the Committee to consider its status, saying that it was up to the Committee to decide whether or not the IFP list should be considered.
Ms Khawula thanked the Chairperson and Committee for being patient towards her and for respecting her rights. One thing that she wanted the Committee to consider was that the message requesting a translator, according to the Secretary, had been conveyed but, unfortunately, it had not reached the relevant people. She therefore proposed that the matter be investigated instead of the blaming the interpreters.
Ms Khawula addressed the issue of Ms Van der Merwe, saying that she believed that Members worked as a collective and that it was therefore imperative that the Committee should not see themselves as different political parties but as one. Ms Van der Merwe was just supposed to indicate which candidates she thought fit.
Ms Stander provided further input for the next advertisement and suggested that in the advertisement it should include a requirement for the applicant to include a proof of qualification so that that would reduce time, as well as a certified copy of their ID and proof of address in the form of an official document. Secondly, she said that she had noticed that some of applicants had not signed the consent form and proposed that any applicant who had not submitted the signed consent form, which was explicit in the advertisement, be automatically disqualified. She requested HR to inform the Committee of any updates on all of the applicants, as she had seen one or two cases in the Master List.
Thirdly, for the summary, Ms Stander told the Secretary that most of the Committee knew the acronyms when it came to the nominators but proposed an acronym key detailing the acronym plus the full name. Lastly, looking at candidates 45 and 52, she said that for candidate 45 the nominee was one person and the nominator another person, then looking at 54, the applicant was the same person who nominated No. 45. She said that she did not think that this should be a particular issue seeing as though they were looking for eight positions but wanted to draw the point to the attention of the Committee in case it might be an issue. She then pointed out that the notes for No. 89 just said nominated, but not by whom.
The Chairperson interrupted Ms Stander, saying that she was doing something wrong as the Committee was past that stage. She said that Ms Stander was just seeing this Master List now but that some of the issues had been dealt with and the Committee had said that they would not deal with that now because that day they were dealing with the shortlisting of candidates. She said that the staff had processed the list and that was why they had even cleaned the list. The Chairperson said that what the Committee was going to do at that point was choose the numbers of the candidates that they felt should be shortlisted. She stated that they were going to leave the other candidates as it was going to take the Committee’s time. Some things had been an oversight from the staff’s side. When the Committee had started with the list, the Chairperson said that she wanted to start with the process first so that when they got to the list, they could start talking about some of the discrepancies.
The Chairperson still had the issue of the CV that was submitted by Ms Khawula. The Secretary had to confirm to the Committee to whether that CV had been submitted at the right time. The Committee had to take a decision as to whether, if that person had submitted a CV on time, to include it but if there was no proof of that CV being on time, then that meant that it would fall out. The Committee had to start with those things first and that the Committee would get to the list after it had completed the other matter that they were dealing with first.
Ms Stander explained that the only reason why she had raised those issues was because the list had not been updated and that the errors that she had mentioned were present in the list that was handed to them that day. The list should have at least said ‘No.5 withdrawn’ or ‘No.3 no consent form’. She emphasised that the list that they had been given to the Committee that day was the list they were to consider. If they were to consider numbers 45, 50, 89 and 25, even though there had already been an explicit decision taken to exclude no 25, then that was the list they had to work from. She then commented that if the list had not been cleaned, then how would the Committee know which number was or was not included?
In response to the issue on Ms Van der Merwe’s input, Ms Stander thought that as she was a permanent Member of the Committee, it would do absolutely no harm to include her list when tallying up the numbers to see which 24 candidates got the highest numbers.
Ms Robinson agreed that the Committee should accept the input from Ms Van der Merwe. She said that this was because she thought Ms Van der Merwe to be a discerning person and the Committee valued her commitment throughout. In response to what the Chairperson had said earlier about some candidates who might have had a single term and that have to be evaluated, she said that she agreed completely. Mrs Robinson said that, in the Portfolio Committee, Members had received a report on the input of the performance of those Commissioners. She wondered if the report had been made available to the Ad Hoc Committee Members because if they had to evaluate whether somebody had been a good Commissioner and has done all the things that were needed, that would be essential. She stated that she did not have the report with her at the moment but had looked through it and thought that it was a very good recommendation for the Committee to ask whether the Commissioners had done their work or not.
The Chairperson thought that it was important and that it was going to be helpful for the Committee. As the Committee Members shortlisted candidates, they would know how the Commissioners were performing in the Commission. It would be useless to reappoint a person who was not going to add value or take the CGE forward. The Committee could not have a CGE that was stagnant and, from the look of things, the only time they had seen CGE active was when they had recommended the latest four candidates. The Committee started seeing CGE in the media and the Committee was grateful that the Deputy Chairperson and now Acting Chairperson was one of the Commissioners who had been appointed. That showed the kind of Commissioners that the Committee gave them, which was good-quality Commissioners. The Chairperson said that she was still confident that this Committee was going to select the best of the best. This was why it was important for the Committee to take their work seriously and the report would help them a lot. As Mrs Robinson was privileged to have the report but some of the other Member did not, she asked if Mrs Robinson could ask the staff of her Committee to give them the report. She said that they were not doing justice to the Ad Hoc Committee because the report was critical for the Committee.
In terms of consent forms, the Chairperson said that the Secretary had sent the candidates their forms because they were required to complete them. This was why, even when a person did not submit their consent forms, the Committee could call that person to be interrogated by them to ask why they had not signed the consent form. She said that the Committee took it that those candidates disqualified themselves because they could not submit a consent form when it was a prerequisite in the advertisement. The Chairperson asked if it was stipulated in the advertisement.
Ms Stander read out the relevant part of the advertisement which said, ‘nomination must contain… a signed acceptance of the nomination by the nominee’.
The Chairperson said that the staff had sent the consent forms when they were asking for fingerprints.
Ms G Tseke thought that the process was very clear. She agreed with the other Members in saying that the Committee would decide on people who had been identified. She said that the Master List contained all the candidates from whom the Committee was to shortlist that day and that it was up to everyone in the Committee to say who they wished to nominate. The Master List had 90 names and only two people had explanations on the side to say, for example, No.34 who had drowned four babies because he could not impregnate a woman. She said that the Committee was only left with 88 applicants out of which 24 applicants had to be shortlisted in terms of the principles and criteria set out by the Committee and as outlined by the Chairperson in her remarks.
Dr S Thembekwayo (EFF) said that even though it was her first attendance at the Ad Hoc Committee, she asked if the Committee could record some progress as they could not keep going back and forth. Certain things were self-explanatory to the Committee as they proceeded with the process itself and the agreed principle because the Members formed an Ad Hoc Committee. On the issue of the list, she asked how long the IFP’s list was. She explained that the Committee could not just say that they agree as it could be the whole list of 88 people which could not be accepted.
The Chairperson responded saying that the Committee had agreed that they would shortlist only 24 candidates and that the Members who were present were also going to read 24 numbers. Anything above 24 numbers would jeopardise a Member’s chance of those persons being considered. She thus said that Ms Van der Merwe’s list was fine as she was within the number as there were even less than 24 numbers of her list.
Dr Maesela said that he understood that the Chairperson was talking about the evaluation report and that procedurally the Committee could not just get an evaluation report from anybody. He suggested the Committee ask somebody neutral to evaluate those Commissioners to see if they had been doing what they were supposed to be doing if the Committee wanted to be procedural and take a valid report.
The Chairperson agree with Dr Maesela. She said that it was going to be an advantage for the Committee because it was sent in the Women’s Portfolio Committee. The report that was being talked about was the report that had been sent to the Portfolio Committee. She said that although the Committee was not shortlisting according to the report, that was where Members could see how candidates were performing and so on. She emphasised that they were not discussing the report as the Portfolio Committee knew the candidates better and the Ad Hoc Committee did not. It was also an advantage that some of the Members did not serve in that Committee and did not know its Commissioners, besides those that the Committee had appointed, because they could see their work and were even diligently representing people outside. She said that it was not going to make an impact on the Ad Hoc Committee’s work.
Ms B Maluleke (ANC) agreed with the Chairperson on the last part of the evaluation report as the Committee now did not want to see that anything else besides the list that they had or the people who had applied or been nominated. She said that the Committee should just continue because she would be seeing the name, reading the CV and if she was impressed, then she would call that number. If the number was supported, that person would be shortlisted. She agreed with the Chairperson again in that Members should not consider other things.
Ms W Newhoudt-Druchen (ANC) thanked the Chairperson for giving her the opportunity to suggest something that, with hindsight, should be stated so that the next Parliament could include it. She said that it was really painful for her to see what Ms Khawula had to go through in order to get access to the meeting and make sure that people out there understood what she was saying and so that people had access to Parliament in their own languages. What she would have liked Parliament to know was that she had an advantage when she had come in because Parliament had gone to her previous work and asked her what her needs would be when she came to Parliament. The two sign language interpreters that she had were provided by her political party. She said that she had always been told that she could not saying anything about Parliament interpreters because she was a political representative and not an administrative appointee.
Ms Newhoudt-Druchen said that people with disabilities were the experts in their fields and knew what they needed. For example, parliamentary interpreters sometimes behaved unethically as sometimes, on the screen, sign-language interpreters were seen wearing a beanie that has a pom-pom which moved around as they interpreted. Sign-language interpreters had to behave ethically and had to dress appropriately to make sign-language accessible to the viewers. She said that when she had entered Parliament in 2016, she had not had her own sign language interpreter and had to request Parliament to send one of their interpreters immediately. That request was turned down by Parliament for reasons still unknown. She said that it might be that she came in as a political representative as she came from the ANC, but she emphasised that she had come in as a Member of Parliament. Parliament had to see to the requests for immediate access to parliamentary procedures. Ms Khawula should not need to beg for interpreters and the meeting should not be delayed so that she could get an interpreter.
Ms Newhoudt-Druchen noted what Ms Khawula had said in that the interpreters should not be blamed. It was the office that was supposed to provide the service to Members in an appropriate way.
The Chairperson thought that what Ms Newhoudt-Druchen had raised was profound and that when recommendations were being done, that should be put under the recommendations as that was very unfair. She then said that she was watching the gentleman who was interpreting for Ms Khawula and that sometimes it looked like he was not listening to what the Committee was saying. The Committee wanted him to inform Ms Khawula.
The Interpreter responded that he was listening.
The Secretary that Ms Khawula had given her a CV, indicating that it was for someone. She said that she did go through her email address to check and could not find the email from her. The Secretary said that she had told Ms Khawula that she had not received the email.
The Chairperson said that in terms of the Committee’s recommendations, organisations had the right to nominate candidates. Members would have seen that some of the candidates were nominated by the IFP or the Women’s League as anybody could nominate and had the right to nominate a candidate. In relation to the Members, she said that any Member has the right to write anything. She said that this did not separate the Committee from being Members of the ANC deployed to be a Member of Parliament and that there was nothing wrong. When the Committee worked, it worked as a team and as a collective. Eventually, when the Committee gave their report, it gave the report as a Committee because it was a team in charge of that responsibility at that time. The Chairperson said that that was why she did not say anything because there was no way that the Committee would divorce their services from being politicians and activists from the ANC, DA, IFP etc. She thus repeated that there was no way that Members could separate themselves from their political parties.
The Chairperson pointed out that the Committee was at least agreeing with the criteria as agreed upon in the last meeting and thanked Ms Khawula for helping them as, if there was no proof that the CV had been submitted earlier then the Committee could not consider it. That was because the Committee could not break the rules and had to be in line with the policies and roles. She said that the Committee was doing justice to everybody and that they were being very accommodative to each and every one. They had even been lenient to people who had not managed to submit their fingerprints in time by giving them a grace period. She said that some candidates had called the Secretary telling stories but said that when Members were shortlisting and interviewing the candidates, the Committee would ask them why they had not submitted their fingerprints. Some of the candidates would be penalised because the Committee had gone to extremes, waited and had given people a chance to submit, despite being late. The Committee took into consideration that couriering was expensive and had asked the other Members if they were in the Western Cape and could find Mrs Robinson to give her their fingerprints as the Committee had to have the original set of fingerprints.
The Chairperson said that Members had agreed that the IFP list would be included and read it out: Ms Van der Merwe had listed No. 13, 20, 23, 32, 37, 38, 43, 49, 52, 58, 59, 64, 69, 75, 78, and 82.
The Chairperson explained that there were two lists – the Master List and the SAPS Fingerprint Submission List. She said that she did not want the Committee to use the SAPS Fingerprint Submission List and instructed them to use the Master List. She said that the Secretary had already written the number and name of the candidates, so what the Committee needed to check was the name in the Master List.
Each Member read out a list of the numbers of proposed candidates for short-listing:
The Chairperson: No. 88, 38, 71, 37, 76, 20, 15, 23, 64, 58, 75, 72, 13, 79, 27, 56, 63, 68, 70, 65, 69, 43, 55 and 51.
Ms Newhoudt-Druchen: No. 13, 15, 20, 23, 27, 37, 38, 43, 51, 56, 58, 63, 64, 65, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 75, 76, 79, 85, and 88.
Dr Thembekwayo: No. 88, 38, 71, 37, 76, 20, 15, 23, 64, 58, 75, 72, 13, 79, 27, 56, 63, 68, 70, 43, 65, 69, 51, and 85.
Dr Maesela: No. 88, 38, 71, 37, 76, 20, 15, 23, 64, 58, 75, 72, 18, 79, 27, 56, 63, 68, 70, 43, 65, 69, 85, and 51.
Ms Khawula: No. 85, 51, 69, 65, 43, 70, 68, 63, 56, 57, 79, 13, 72, 75, 58, 64, 23, 15, 20, 76, 37, 71, 38, and 88.
Mrs Robinson apologised, explaining that she had not worked on it in that format and was unfortunately not ready to present her shortlist and suggested that the Chairperson take the other people first. She said that she had put names and crosses, not in the list format, as she had not been aware of it.
Ms Tseke: No. 63, 68, 70, 43, 15, 23, 20, 62, 27, 13, 58, 75, 72, 79, 51, 65, 85, 69, 56, 38, 37, 88, 71, and 76.
Ms Maluleke: No. 51, 23, 15, 88, 71, 38, 37, 64, 75, 76, 20, 13, 72, 58, 56, 70, 69, 79, 85, 27, 68, 65, 43, and 63.
The Chairperson allowed Mrs Robinson and Ms Stander a few minutes by giving the Committee a ten-minute break.
After the break, the Chairperson resumed the meeting. She said that enough time had been given and asked Ms Robinson to read out her list.
Ms Robinson apologised, saying she was a bit muddled as she had it completely differently. She listed No. 7, 25, 34, 66, and 13. She then realised that she had the wrong list and said that she was happy for Ms Stander to go on as she was more organised. She continued listing No. 27, and 51, apologising again for being delayed.
The Chairperson asked Ms Robinson if she had not used the Master List.
Ms Robinson responded, saying that she had done it on the SAPS Fingerprint Submission form and that she had worked out a spreadsheet as well. She thought that the Committee was going to have more discussion as they had done when she was previously involved. She said that did approve of the way the Committee was doing it and thought that it was actually good but stated that she was not prepared to sing her numbers right now. She requested that Ms Stander go on, after which she would carry on.
The Chairperson read out the numbers listed by Mrs Robinson as No. 7, 25, 34, 66, 13, 27 and 51. She said that they would stop there for now and would continue as soon as Mrs Robinson has consolidated her numbers.
Mrs Robinson continued listing No. 13, 20, 23, 31, 32, 33, 37, 38, 45, and 48.
The Chairperson asked Mrs Robinson if the Committee was to disregard the first seven numbers she had listed. She then stated that she would give Ms Robinson a chance to consolidate her numbers properly.
Ms Stander listed No. 13, 20, 23, 31, 32, 33, 37, 38, 44, 45, 48, 52, 53, 55, 58, 66, 69, 72, 75, 76, 77, 78, and 82. She stopped there as she did not just want to put candidates on the list to make numbers.
The Chairperson confirmed that Ms Stander’s list was one short.
Mrs Robinson added No. 82 to her list as well.
The Chairperson asked Mrs Robinson to start afresh.
Mrs Robinson begged the Chairperson to be excused as she was in a thorough muddle and was feeling nauseous. Mrs Robinson stated that she was having to go with what her colleague had said and agreed with her list, but that she herself was in a muddle now. She asked to be excused as she needed to go to the bathroom and said that the meeting could go on without her.
The Chairperson asked Mrs Robinson if Ms Stander could read her numbers.
Ms Tseke explained that that would not be necessary. She said that Ms Stander should assist Mrs Robinson as Mrs Robinson should surely know the candidates, but the numbering would be something else.
Dr Thembekwayo repeated that Ms Robinson had listed No. 7, 25, 34, 66, 13, 27, 51, 20, 23, 31, and 82.
Ms Stander commented that the Committee should then capture those numbers and leave it there.
Ms Khawula and the Chairperson conversed in an indigenous language. The translator did not translate.
Ms Stander mentioned that before the break, Mrs Robinson had said that she was not feeling well.
The Chairperson asked Mrs Robinson and Ms Stander to take the SAPS Fingerprint Submission with the Master List and check whether the numbers coordinated.
Members conversed with one another in indigenous languages, but no translation was provided.
The Chairperson asked Mrs Robinson if her list was fine.
Mrs Robinson apologised to the Chairperson and asked if she could be excused as she was not feeling well and thought that she should rather go. She gave her list to Ms Stander and said that she would go with Ms Stander’s list apart from what she had already said. Mrs Robinson packed up and stated that she did not know what had come over her.
The Chairperson wanted Mrs Robinson to know that the Committee was working as a team. She said that after the consultation and after all the number have been consolidated, she would have loved Mrs Robinson to be present. The Chairperson said that, if there was any other candidate that Mrs Robinson or any Member felt strongly about after the numbers have been consolidated, she would allow Members the opportunity to motivate for someone to be interviewed.
The Chairperson explained that the Committee had to convince each other instead of saying that the numbers were done after they had been consolidated. If Members felt strongly about one of the candidates and that the candidate needed to be considered, the Chairperson said that Members were free to lobby the Committee so that the Committee could see why the candidate was worth considering. The Chairperson stated that it should not be many candidates, but that she would allow one or two candidates to be discussed. She explained that Members must not give the name of the candidate, just the number. The Committee would then agree or disagree.
Mrs Robinson asked how long the Committee was going to be busy? She said that she was going to go to her office and could possibly just consolidate the numbers. However, she thought that she needed to leave the meeting as she was not feeling comfortable being there. She apologised.
Ms Stander read out Ms Robinson’s list after attempting to consolidate it with the Master List. Ms Stander said that she did not know which numbers Mrs Robinson had given the Committee and wanted to start from the beginning.
The Chairperson asked Mrs Robinson, before she could leave, if she agreed with Ms Stander. As Mrs Robinson had already given some numbers, the Chairperson wanted her to agree that she was satisfied with the first numbers given to the Committee. She listed the numbers given by Mrs Robinson as No. 7, 25, 34, 13, 66, 27, 51, 20, 23, 31, and 82. Mrs Robinson could still change whatever she wanted to change, but the Chairperson wanted to read the numbers she had given to the Committee so that Mrs Robinson could continue with the other numbers.
Mrs Robinson felt that she should rather leave as she did not want to embarrass herself. She left her list and powers in the hands of Ms Stander and the Committee but had to go.
Ms Khawula spoke, but no translation was provided.
The Chairperson wanted the Committee to agree first. She said that Ms Stander was going to give the Committee the numbers and asked whether the first numbers should be considered.
Ms Tseke responded that they had to consider the numbers as they were given by Mrs Robinson.
Ms Stander asked if she could do it her way as she was working from the Master List, notes and what Mrs Robinson had given her three times. She proposed that she gave the deciphered list, as she had deciphered it. If there was a number previously provided that did not appear on the list, the Committee could add it to the list. If a number was a duplicate of the numbers, then it would be a correlation.
The Chairperson agreed with Ms Stander because No. 25 and No. 19 and would fall away. She added that No. 34 would also be removed as she had been appointed at the Department of Women and had withdrawn.
Ms Stander, on behalf of Mrs Robinson, listed No. 13, 20, 23, 75, 51, 56, 37, 62, 17, 19, 22, 27, 82, 31, 69, 72, 49, 52, 66, 44, 32, and 38. She asked the Committee if they could start the calculations whilst she checked the numbers as she could not read what Mrs Robinson had written.
The Chairperson repeated the list, saying that the list was short of two candidates. She suggested that the Committee consolidate what Mrs Robinson had given them. When looking at the list in terms of all of the numbers, she said that it should reflect candidates from different provinces, different races, different genders – males, females and non-binaries, different sexual-orientations – LGBTQIS+, mixed age representation – young, middle-aged and old persons, different disability statuses, South African citizens, and persons currently serving in the Commission.
Mrs Khawula said that the Committee had agreed that when selecting, they were going to ensure that there was gender representation. She asked how the Committee was to identify from the list that a person was disabled or belonging to the LGBTQI+ unless they knew that person from before. Candidates had not listed their disabilities or sexual orientation.
The Chairperson agreed with Ms Khawula but said that when looking at the Committee’s criteria, it already included all of the things that Ms Khawula had mentioned. She added that when going through the candidate’s CVs, you could also see that candidates were living with a certain kind or representation of sexual orientation, race or disability. She said that Members were assisting the Committee by naming some of the candidates. The Members, and even the staff, were assisting the Committee as they wanted their Commission to be inclusive. Thus, all these people were accommodated. She mentioned that when the Committee finalised its report, it had to ensure that what it had set out was accomplished because they were currently shortlisting according to what the CVs were saying. At the end of the day, the criteria that the Committee had drafted and adopted had to produce results that were reflective of what Members had set as criteria. She said that the Committee knew the people that had applied and which category they were representing.
The Chairperson stated that if a category of persons was not accommodated, Members should be able to lobby and convince one another with regards to a certain category of persons that could be left out and must be represented. The Committee was to identify those shortfalls.
The Chairperson explained to Ms Khawula in an indigenous language. No translation was provided.
Ms Khawula was concerned and said that she was not blaming the Chairperson on the matter as the Committee had agreed. She stated that her concern lay with the mode of communication not being good enough as people from rural areas were concerned that the information was not reaching them when they were supposed to receive it.
The Chairperson reiterated that Ms Khawula was concerned about the information dissemination not reaching people in the rural areas. That was something that the Communication Division had to consider the next time the Committee had such advertisements. She mentioned that the advertisement went to all the newspapers.
Ms Maluleke interrupted to say that the Committee should not go back to what had already been done because Members were there for the shortlisting of candidates. She said that the Committee had shortlisted and was now waiting for the results. She emphasised that Members should not open up things that had been discussed earlier.
The Chairperson said that they would get back to the results but that they were just not some of the concerns brought forward by Ms Khawula.
Ms Khawula responded in and indigenous. No translation was provided.
Results of the short-listing process
The Content Advisor read out the results from the shortlisting, indicating the number of nominations per candidate number.
No 13: 10 nominations
No 15: 7 nominations
No 17: 1 nomination
No 19: 1 nomination
No 20: 10 nominations
No 22: 1 nomination
No 23: 10 nominations
No 27: 7 nominations
No 31: 2 nominations
No 32: 3 nominations
No 33: 1 nomination
No 37: 10 nominations
No 38: 10 nominations
No 43: 8 nominations
No 44: 2 nominations
No 45: 1 nomination
No 48: 1 nomination
No 49: 2 nominations
No 51: 8 nominations
No 52: 3 nominations
No 53: 1 nomination
No 55: 2 nominations
No 56: 8 nominations
No 57: 1 nomination
No 58: 9 nominations
No 59: 1 nomination
No 62: 1 nomination
No 63: 7 nominations
No 64: 8 nominations
No 65: 7 nominations
No 66: 2 nominations
No 68: 7 nominations
No 69: 10 nominations
No 70: 7 nominations
No 71: 6 nominations
No 72: 9 nominations
No 75: 10 nominations
No 76: 7 nominations
No 77: 1 nomination
No 78: 2 nominations
No 79: 7 nominations
No 82: 3 nominations
No 85: 6 nominations and
No 88: 7 nominations.
The Chairperson then read out the results of the consolidated list:
Candidates who had 10 nominations were: No 13, 20, 23, 37, 38, 69, and 75.
Candidates who had received 9 nominations were: No 72 and 58.
Candidates who had received 8 nominations were: No 64, 56, 51, and 43.
Candidates who had received 7 nominations were: No 15, 27, 63, 65, 68, 70, 76, 79, and 88.
Candidates who had received 6 nominations were: No 85 and 71.
Candidates who had received 3 nominations were: No 32, 52, and 82.
She asked the Committee to check their lists as the consolidated list of 24 shortlisted candidates now read as: No 13, 20, 23, 37, 38, 69, 75, 72, 58, 64, 56, 51, 43, 15, 27, 63, 65, 68, 70, 76, 79, 88, 85 and 71.
Ms Stander noted that if there was a particular candidate that someone wanted to lobby for or against as a Member might know that there is a big problem with a candidate. She asked if Members could explain a particular objection or, where a Member proposed a candidate who only received one nomination, be allowed the opportunity to fight for that candidate. She proposed that this opportunity be opened to the Committee in case one of the Members was aware of a particular issue with a candidate and wanted to convince the Committee of an objection or, perhaps a candidate had received only one nomination and the nominator might have a strong case as to why that person should be included. This would be a last opportunity before the list of 24 candidates was concluded.
Dr Thembekwayo responded to Ms Stander, saying that the Committee was counting from highest number of nominated candidates to the lowest. As it was, for the Committee to reach the list of 24 candidates, those who had the most votes had been considered. It would thus be very unfair to consider a candidate who had received one vote and include them irrespective of what the reason could be. She said that this would open up a can of worms, especially thinking about those who had received 5, 4, 3 and 2 votes as well.
Ms Khawula responded in an indigenous language. No translation was provided.
The Chairperson wanted to respond to objections. She said that Ms Stander would know that, as she had been part of the Committee before, what Committee had done was to publish all the CVs of the candidates for public comment. That meant that everyone had been given the opportunity to comment on each and every candidate whose CV had been published on the Parliamentary website. The Committee had received the report of all of the objections and comments. The Committee had not received objections from any other civil society organisation regarding the candidates who had applied. Anybody who had wanted to raise an objection should have done so in the time frame provided to allow for objections. However, the process was far ahead of that point, and the Committee had closed the opportunity for anybody to make an objection.
Ms Stander explained that it was not that she had or did not have an objection or recommendation but said that South Africa was a multi-party democracy and that she was considering the minority. For example, Ms Van der Merwe could have submitted a list in which one of the submitted candidates had only received one nomination, however, she could be aware of a strong motivational letter that could accompany the recommendation. Ms Stander pointed out that not every Committee Member had read the reports. When the Committee was handling a serious process like that, if there was a material issue on an exceptional basis, it should be considered. She asked whether there was anyone who had an objection to one of the 24 candidates or whether there was someone who was not included. In the interests of a minority, multi-party democracy, she felt that the opportunity should be given, and the question asked. If refused by the Committee, Ms Stander said that the matter could then be put to rest.
The Chairperson noted what Ms Stander had said and responded. She said that the Committee had followed each and every process to the letter. She said everyone in the Committee was present and that Members had been given an opportunity of about three weeks to go through the document. Members could thus not come forward and say that they had not have a chance to read the document. The Chairperson added that the Committee had even accommodated Alternate Members from parties and that it was, unfortunately, hard luck for those individuals as the Committee had tried to be fair, open and transparent as much as could be. Even those who did not understand certain things had been given an opportunity to raise the matters with the Committee. It would thus be unfair to the Committee for a Member to be raising objections after all the processes had been gone through, especially as the process was already being delayed. She said that the reports had to be done and that the Committee had tried their best.
The Chairperson took it that the Members would have do an injustice to the Committee to raise things outside of the Committee processes. She reiterated that the Committee had done their very best in accommodating everybody. She mentioned that the Committee had even accommodated a person who was absent but had sent through a shortlist of candidates and had adjourned the meeting to accommodate Mrs Robinson who was feeling sick. She commented that the Committee was very patient until Mrs Robinson afforded Ms Stander the opportunity to present on her behalf. If Ms Stander had misrepresented her it was hard luck as Mrs Robinson had given her the power to represent her to the Committee, even when the Committee had offered Mrs Robinson another chance.
The Chairperson reiterated that the Committee was working as a team and that everyone should take ownership. Any candidate that Members felt strongly about being afforded the opportunity to be shortlisted, that was the time the Committee would allow Members to motivate whoever. Unfortunately, if there was nothing, Members would be agreeing with the 24 shortlisted candidates.
The Chairperson asked the Committee if the process had been free and fair as she would take it as having been free, fair and transparent. She asked Members to indicate whether they were satisfied.
Ms Stander replied, saying that she did not want to be misrepresented.
The Chairperson explained that Ms Stander was not misrepresented. She was just raising the question so that viewers would know which processes the Committee had followed. Sometimes Members took it very lightly that certain processes were not seen to be done. She thus said that the Members had done justice to the process.
Dr Maesela said that Members had worked honourably well, despite all of the shortcomings that they had had. He wanted to know, for the sake of the record, what exceptional circumstances could arise? If the exceptional circumstances were not addressed now, it would be too late as after that meeting, candidates would have already been shortlisted.
Ms Khawula said that according to her everything had gone well, as Members had indicated, including the numbers that were shortlisted. She said that everyone was happy concerning the processes and that if the Committee was to open up another process, it would not be fair to that process.
Ms Stander pleaded with the Committee to not misunderstand her. She said that she was not saying that the Committee had to redo the list and that as far as she was concerned, it was free, fair and had followed due process. It had been said that after the numbers had been consolidated that the Committee would deliberate, which was what she was referring to by any matters that might arise. She agreed that it was said that the Committee would take the top 24 but emphasised that the question should be asked: Was there any material objection to or case for one of the candidates? She said that was to ask the question but that she did not have any input to give. She had asked the question in the interests of democracy and representing minority interests. That was the context in which she had made the suggestion as the opportunity had to be made available before the list of 24 candidates was confirmed.
Ms Stander said that from her side, and what she represented, she was happy and accepted the 24 candidates as they appeared before her.
The Secretary read out the consolidated list as follows: No 13, 20, 23, 37, 38, 69, 75, 58, 72, 64, 56, 51, 43, 15, 27, 63, 65, 68, 70, 76, 79, 88, 85, and 71.
The Chairperson asked the Committee if they were satisfied.
Ms Tseke moved for the adoption of the 24 candidates that had been shortlisted to be a true reflection of what had transpired today.
Ms Stander seconded the proposal for the adoption of the shortlist of candidates.
The Chairperson asked what should be done with the shortlist. Should it be put up on the website or should the candidates just be informed?
Ms Stander asked if the Committee was going to communicate with SSA to say that the officials should not worry about the candidates who had not been shortlisted and instruct them to focus on those who have been shortlisted.
The Chairperson agreed that that could help fast-track the process and stated that the list should be communicated to the SSA.
Ms Stander said that this was what she had recommended at the last meeting – that the shortlisting of candidates be done first and then those names be submitted for checking.
Ms Maluleke mentioned that she had the Committee report that she needed to do the declaration on.
The Chairperson said that that was fine.
The Secretary said that staff would contact all candidates who had been shortlisted. A programme would be drafted for interviews which would be on 12 and 13 March 2019. She said that she would email that to the Chairperson. She said that the Committee would have to pay for those who were from outside of Cape Town in terms of flights, accommodation, transport etc. The Committee thus had to submit the financial applications to the parliamentary budget office for all candidates’ interviews.
Ms Khawula asked the Chairperson a question in an indigenous language. No translation was provided. The Chairperson agreed with Ms Khawula.
The meet was adjourned.