Home Affairs Portfolio Committee Legacy Report, with Minister

Home Affairs

19 March 2019
Chairperson: Mr D Gumede (ANC) (Acting)
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Meeting Summary

Available here once published: Legacy Reports

The Committee considered and adopted all of their outstanding minutes dated from 20 November 2018 to 13 March 2019.

Members raised concern that the Gupta Naturalisation Inquiry Report which was added to the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports was not the same report which the Committee had adopted. More specifically, the decision not to single out Mr Malusi Gigaba, the former Minister of Home Affairs,in the naturalisation of the Gupta family was highlighted. Members raised concern that this was removed from the report which had already been tabled with the Speaker of Parliament. The Committee agreed to amend its minutes to include this as the report could not be withdrawn now. The Committee Legacy Report was also adopted and Mr Siyabonga Cwele, the Minister of Home Affairs, was in attendance.

Meeting report

The Acting Chairperson greeted members and said it was the last meeting as a Committee.

Apologies were read out and noted.

Mr M Hoosen (DA) said he is under the impression that the report adopted last week was not the final report (Report on Gupta Naturalisation). Which is the final report? Can the Secretary provide members with a copy of the report which was tabled with Parliament?

The Acting Chairperson confirmed that members have the final report before them.

Mr M Kekana (ANC) asked whether the Committee could go through its Legacy Report while there is still a pending report on the naturalisation of the Gupta’s? The latter needs to be addressed first and the former thereafter.

Ms D Raphuti (ANC) agreed with Mr Kekana’s suggestion.

The Acting Chairperson replied that the naturalisation report will be addressed during the consideration of the outstanding minutes

Mr Hoosen said the Chairperson gave him an impression that the report adopted last week was not the final report. Before members deal with the outstanding minutes, can the Committee have a look at the final report? If members have the incorrect report before them it will affect the minutes.

Mr Kekana said the Chairperson made a mistake by saying the report is in draft form and hasn’t been adopted

Mr Eddie Mathonsi, Committee Secretary, said the report was adopted in the last meeting and has been published in the parliamentary papers.

The Acting Chairperson said it was adopted procedurally but the wording still has to be finalised.

Mr Hoosen said it is not parliamentary procedure to adopt a report and finalise the wording thereafter.Who was involved in that process in the absence of the Committee? Any report that has been changed thereafter is not the report of this Committee. Those changes are unlawful. For this reason, it was requested that a hardcopy of the report be given to members immediately after it was adopted. It has not been circulated to members yet but it has been added to the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports (ATC’d). May a copy be given to members to see if it’s the same report that was adopted last week?

Mr Mathonsi replied that it has been emailed to members and hardcopies will also be provided by the end of the meeting.

Ms B Dambuza (ANC) suggested members start with the consideration of the outstanding minutes.

Mr Kekana seconded this.

Consideration and adoption of outstanding minutes

The Acting Chairperson began with the minutes dated 20 November 2018. He agreed with the content but there are some spelling errors. He asked if these minutes can be adopted?

Ms Raphuti moved for an adoption of the minutes.

Ms Dambuza seconded the move for adoption.

The Acting Chairperson went onto the minutes dated 21 November 2018.

Ms N Shabalala (ANC) recalled that she had submitted an apology but it was not noted.

Mr Kekana said his initials must be corrected.

The Acting Chairperson asked if there were any other amendments?

Ms Dambuza moved for the adoption of the minutes.

Mr Kekana seconded the move for adoption.

The Acting Chairperson went onto the minutes dated 22 November 2018.

Mr Kekana asked for his initials to be amended again.

Ms Dambuza asked why the recommendations taken by the Committee were not included at the end of the report. Can these be included? These were critical issues and must be included. All of the minutes should include the recommendations made by members.

The Acting Chairperson replied that the resolution is part of the body of the report but it should be noted in a sub-heading.

He went onto the minutes dated 27 November 2018 and asked if these minutes can be adopted.

Ms Raphuti moved for an adoption of the minutes dated 27 November 2018.

Mr Kekana seconded this.

The Acting Chairperson went onto the minutes dated 28 November 2018.

Ms Shabalala pointed out that she submitted an apology but it was not noted.

The Acting Chairperson asked for any movers.

Ms Raphuti moved for  the adoption of the minutes.

Ms Shabalala seconded this.

The Acting Chairperson went onto the minutes dated 5 December 2018. Any movers?

Ms Dambuza moved for an adoption of the minutes.

Mr Kekana seconded this.

The Acting Chairperson went onto the minutes dated 12 February 2019. Any movers?

Ms Shabalala moved for an adoption of the minutes.

Ms Raphuti seconded this.

The Acting Chairperson went onto the minutes dated 19 February 2019. When members deal with the Legacy Report, keep in mind the date of 2014 as it pertains to Denel and Fireblade Aviation.

Ms Dambuza asked that ‘relevant’ be added in so that it reads ‘relevant Ministers’.

The Acting Chairperson asked for any movers.

Ms Dambuza moved for an adoption of the minutes.

Ms Shabalala seconded this.

The Acting Chairperson went onto the minutes dated 26 February 2019.

Ms Shabalala said her apology was not noted.

The Acting chairperson asked for movers.

Mr Kekana moved for an adoption of the minutes.

Ms Raphuti seconded this.

The Acting Chairperson went onto the minutes dated 5 March 2019.

Mr Kekana moved for an adoption of the minutes.

Ms Dambuza seconded this.

The Acting Chairperson went onto the minutes dated 12 March 2019.

Ms Dambuza moved for an adoption of the minutes.

Mr Kekana seconded this.

The Acting Chairperson went onto the minutes dated 13 March 2019.

Ms Shabalala said she was present and this was not noted.

The Acting Chairperson said these minutes will be read in conjunction with the Legacy Report

Mr Hoosen asked for clarity. What did that mean Chair?

The Acting Chairperson replied that it is important to have consensus on the matters discussed. The report has already been ATC’d in Parliament. The only thing to do would be to withdraw it but if it is withdrawn, it will have to be discussed in the next Parliament.

Mr Hoosen said the minutes is a reflection of what transpired at the last meeting. What did the Chairperson mean that the Committee has to find consensus on the content.

The Acting Chairperson asked him to make a proposal.

Mr Hoosen said he was responding to the Chair’s proposal of having a discussion to reach consensus. What is it that you are expecting us to do on your proposal?

The Acting Chairperson replied that it is to see whether the report is accurate or not and what it reflects. The report is part of the minutes and it is in this context that his proposal was made.

Ms Dambuza said she is concerned that the minutes are very shallow. Those who read the report must understand and be able to follow the proceedings easily. For instance, where members agreed to change the findings to observations, this should be clearly spelt out. The minutes need to be detailed because of the critical nature of the report. Specific issues were raised and these details are not included in the minutes. There were also specific issues directed to the Minister. Where it says there was a dispute or an amendment, this must be reflected in detail.

Mr Hoosen said if these minutes are adopted as they stand, it does not reflect the changes made to the draft report.Specifically, the amendments proposed by Ms Dambuza were agreed to by the Committee and this is not reflected clearly.

Ms Shabalala said the amendments were agreed to by the Committee so the minutes should reflect this. If they aren’t included in the minutes, the amendments should be in the report then.

Mr Kekana said those issues which should be taken to the Minister and the criminal issues which should be taken to the Zondo Commission must be reflected clearly. Under the recommendations, there is an error. It was not mere representation. It was fraud and deliberate misleading. This must be corrected.

Ms Dambuza said the Committee can’t change what is in the report that has already been ATC’d. The minutes are what must be changed and reflected as agreed upon by the Committee.

The Acting Chairperson said the report about observations and recommendations was the work of the last meeting. The question raised was whether Mr Malusi Gigaba should be singled out.

Mr Hoosen said there is a parliamentary record of what was agreed upon and what was disputed.

The Acting Chairperson replied that these minutes are also a record of the meeting.

Mr Hoosen said these minutes are a broad overview. The parliamentary record is a precise, word-for-word overview. There was a lengthy discussion about the wording ‘prior to and during the tenure of the former Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Malusi Gigaba’. This wording was included in the report when members left the meeting. When he received copy of the report thereafter, those words were deleted. Has there been any amendments to the report after the Committee adopted it?

The Acting Chairperson asked if this was according to his recollection.

Mr Hoosen replied that normal meeting procedure is that the document before members is the one which is adopted. Were there any changes to the document?

The Acting Chairperson asked about his recollection.

Mr Hoosen said he has explained his recollection quite clearly. The Committee adopted the report but none of the members were given a hard copy of the document. A copy of the parliamentary record and audio recording will be able to show what transpired. This can be avoided by asking the Secretary directly, were those words removed after members left the meeting?

Mr Adam Salmon, Committee Content Advisor, agreed that the parliamentary record and audio be checked.

The Acting Chairperson said the wording was intended to raise the question of why Mr Gigaba was being singled out. Is the wording here or not?

Mr Hoosen replied that it is not. Not only Mr Gigaba may have been involved in the naturalisation of the Gupta family. Those words were added in and now they have been removed. As a result, the wrong report has been ATC’d.

Mr Kekana said it is true that those words were included and debated on. How can we resolve this?

The Acting Chairperson replied that a phrase must be included to explain that the arrangement happened before the tenure of Mr Gigaba, indicating that it could be a systemic problem.

Ms Dambuza said the bone of contention was why Mr Gigaba was singled out. Members debated on it until it was agreed that ‘prior to and during the tenure of the former Minister’ should be included. The parliamentary audio can confirm this. After the inclusion of the wording was proposed, all members agreed to it.

Mr Hoosen agreed. Ms Dambuza had played an important role in proposing the inclusion of the words and finding a consensus with members. Most of the recommendations made were her own. The Committee reached consensus on adding those words to not single out Mr Gigaba. Those words were deleted and the incorrect report was ATC’d with the Speaker of Parliament. How do we deal with this going forward?

Mr Salmon replied that the minutes can be amended. The report needs to be debated in the House either today or tomorrow. When it is debated in the House, these matters of contention can be raised with support of the parliamentary audio.

Mr Hoosen said there is no disagreement on it so there is no need to fight about it in the House. The minutes must make reference to the fact that consensus was agreed on by the Committee and the words were included.

Ms Dambuza said there should be an addition to say that the Committee resolved the issue of allowing an opportunity to be given to the former Director-General. He has not been given the findings of the report so he can answer to them before the report is adopted. It is important to reflect this in the minutes.

Mr Salmon said this was debated on previously in the minutes.

Ms Dambuza said members reiterated that it must be put in the report. Since it isn’t in the report, it must be in the minutes.

Ms T Kenye(ANC) agreed that it was reiterated by members.

Mr Salmon said the minutes have now been edited to include the wording ‘prior to and during the tenure of the former Minister’.

 

Mr Hoosen asked if members can get a hardcopy before the minutes are adopted.

Ms Kenye said members didn’t get a hardcopy the last time and it should have been given to them.

The Acting Chairperson said the solution is to correct the minutes to supplement what was in the report. When the report is debated in the House, members can raise issues.

Ms Dambuza agreed.

The Acting Chairperson said it is on record that the Zondo Commission has asked for the minutes of this Committee. These minutes will go to them. Whatever is debated in the House, counter-debates can be raised if members are not satisfied. Can we adopt these minutes?

Mr Hoosen asked for a hardcopy of the minutes before members adopt it.

The Acting Chairperson agreed.

Adoption of the Committee Legacy Report and Minutes dated 13 March 2019

Mr Salmon said he added in the overview of the State Capture Inquiry, the number of meetings the Committee held and the Committee recommendations into the report.

Mr Hoosen asked why only 3 recommendations were listed and not all 5 of them. A correction can also be made to include the wording, as members have just discussed.

Mr Salmon replied that the first 2 recommendations were conflated to make it shorter and he would undo this to leave them as 2 separate points.

Ms Dambuza said members agreed that they didn’t recommend Mr Ashu Chawla’s status be revoked. Members recommended that he must be charged and it was the Zondo Commission that would take that decision.

The Acting chairperson said the Legacy Report doesn’t need to be that detailed.

Ms Dambuza said she is not satisfied. She spoke in isiXhosa.

Ms Kenye spoke in isiXhosa.

Mr Siyabonga Cwele, Minister of Home Affairs, said it is bad to say revoke because this means to cancel. Review provides an opportunity, it gives the person a notification that there will be an intention to revoke one’s status should they fail to respond. If you say revoke, people will use it as a basis not to come to the criminal proceedings and extradition issues would also come into it. It should be review rather than revoke. The problem is not in the legislation but rather the regulations which will have to be changed.

Mr Hoosen said the recommendations were already agreed to. It won’t be correct to change it now. The Minister is not incorrect, but to change it here won’t be a true reflection of the legacy. The Legacy Report indicates what members did and what was agreed upon. They are merely recommendations of Parliament and it can’t make instructions to the Minister. When the Minister considers the recommendations, he may not implement them exactly as is but change the regulations rather than legislation.

 

The Acting Chairperson said the Legacy Report is a macro picture of 5 years of meetings and happenings. Can we adopt it?

Ms Dambuza said it must be corrected to say there were 14 total meetings held. She moved for an adoption of the report.

Ms Kenye seconded the adoption of the report.

The Acting Chairperson asked if the minutes dated 13 March 2019 can be adopted now that they have been corrected.

Ms Dambuza moved for an adoption of the minutes

Ms Shabalala seconded this.

The Acting Chairperson thanked members and adjourned the meeting.

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