The Committee met on a virtual platform to address two matters referred to the Committee by the Speaker of the National Assembly: a complaint by Dr K M Makhubela on alleged misrepresentation in a Portfolio Committee meeting; a complaint by the Chief Whip of the Opposition regarding the conduct of a fellow Member of Parliament.
Following the initial meeting of the Committee on the matters, considerable background work had been done. Correspondence with the various players involved in the matter relating to Dr Makhubela had revealed that he was a former CEO of BrandSA and the point in question was whether he had taken leave of absence or whether he had been suspended as CEO. A parliamentary Legal Advisor briefed the Committee on the relevant legislation and rules of Parliament and the process that had been followed in investigating the matter. He suggested that a determination of whether the suspension of the former CEO had been legal or not might pertain to the case. Members debated whether there had been wilful intent on the part of the Chairperson of BrandSA to mislead the Portfolio Committee. Members raised concern about the reason for the former CEO’s suspension but that was not the focus of the Committee’s mandate. After reviewing the information, the Committee came to a conclusion that the Chairperson of BrandSA did not mislead Parliament or make any disparaging remarks as alleged by Dr Makhubela. The Committee therefore decided to consider this matter closed. Members were unanimous in the decision made by the Committee.
The second matter was far more contentious as it related to an altercation between four Members of Parliament during a sitting in the National Assembly. Parliament had approached Senior Counsel requesting an opinion on whether there was a case to be answered. Counsel had concluded that, in his view, there was prima facie evidence to sustain a charge of threatened assault in contravention of section 7(d) of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliaments and Provincial Legislatures Act against at least two Members of Parliament.
It was proposed that the Committee should accept Counsel’s opinion and resolve to hold a formal inquiry into allegations against Mr Paulsen (EFF MP) by Ms Mazzone, and that the Committee should recommend that an initiator should be appointed in line with Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliaments and Provincial Legislatures Act to help the Committee address the matter, and that the appointment should be done in consultation with the Chairperson of Parliament and the Chairperson of the Committee.
The majority of Members agreed with the proposal but the EFF angrily rejected the proposed course of action, stating that Mr Paulsen had already been punished and the other Members engaged in the altercation should be charged. The meeting became emotionally charged as the Chairperson insisted that democratic processes be followed in deciding upon a course of action.
An EFF Member was removed from the virtual meeting platform. The Chairperson expressed serious reservation about the Member’s behaviour and described his conduct as inconsistent with the Rules of Parliament.
The Chairperson welcomed all the Members. He requested a moment of silence in honour of Ms Joyce Maluleke (ANC) who had passed away recently and was buried the previous Sunday. She had been a Member of the Committee.
The minutes of 30 April 2021 were adopted without alterations or objections.
The Chairperson noted that there were two matters on the agenda. When the Committee had met on 30 April 2021, insufficient preparation had been done for the Committee to take the matters forward. He was happy to report that substantial work had been undertaken on both matters and the Committee should be able to move forward. The documentation that had been sent to the Committee included the two legal reports that would be presented as well as the letters sent to and received from the various parties.
Dr K M Makhubela had complained about the alleged misrepresentation by Ms T Tobias-Pokolo (Chairperson of BrandSA) during the meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration (PSA) on 10 March 2021. The second issue was the complaint by the Chief Whip of the Opposition, Hon. N W A Mazzone, regarding an incident involving her, hon. M N Paulsen and former MP, Ms P T Van Damme.
The Chairperson and the staff assisting him with Committee matters had done work on both issues. He listed the letters and other documentation circulated to members: Letter of Complaint to the Speaker dated 12/03/21; letter to Chairperson of Powers and Privileges Committee from the Speaker of Parliament dated 24/03/21; letters from the Chairperson of that Committee to the Minister in the Presidency on 6 and 21 May 2021; letter to the Chairperson of the BrandSA board on 6 May 2021; response from the Chairperson of the Board of BrandSA 11 and 26 July 2021; a letter from Dr Makhubela to the Chairperson of the Committee dated 4 June 2021; A transcript of the Portfolio Committee meeting of PSA, 10 March 2021; a letter from Legal Services in Parliament to the Chairperson of that Committee; a detailed Report from Legal Services to the Committee; a letter of response from the Acting Minister in the Presidency dated 31 May 2021 but received on 28 July 2021.
The Chairperson apologised for the delay since the previous meeting but referred Members to the correspondence in explanation of the length of time that processes had taken. To obtain the transcript, Parliament had also been obliged to engage a service provider to provide a transcript of the recording of the meeting. He invited a Legal Advisor from the Office of Constitutional and Legal Services in Parliament, Andile Tetyana, to brief the Committee on his report.
Briefing on the matter of Dr Makhubela by the Legal Advisor
Adv Andile Tetyana stated that the Chairperson had captured the chronology of events. On 12 March 2021, the Speaker had addressed the request from Dr Makhubela to the Committee in terms of section 25 of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliaments and Provincial Legislatures Act, 2004 (PPI):
Protection of members of public
25. (1) A person, other than a member, who feels aggrieved by a statement or remark made by a member or a witness in or before a House or committee about that person, may submit a written request to the Secretary to have a response recorded.
(2) The committee referred to in section 12(2) must, subject to the standing rules, consider the request and, if approved, publish the response of the person in the appropriate parliamentary paper.
Adv Tetyana explained that the only relief that the Committee could offer was to consider the request. If one read the letter from Dr Makhubela, there was a plethora of issues as captured in Adv Tetyana’s report of 22 July 2021. On 10 March, there was a report in the Business Day that Dr Makhubela had been suspended in 2019 following allegations of misconduct. An independent hearing had recommended that he be fired but he had been allowed to finish his contract which expired at the end of July 2020.
Adv Tetyana explained that all parties concerned had been asked to explain what had happened. The transcript of the meeting presented a verbatim report of what was said at the meeting. Reference was made to Dr Makhubela in three instances during the meeting. The first instance was on page 3 of the transcript where the Deputy Minister in the Presidency referred to Dr Makhubela as the former CEO. On page 10 of the transcript, the Chairperson of the Board, Ms Tobias spoke of “the suspended CEO in inverted commas”. Finally, Dr Makhubela was mentioned by a member of the board of BrandSA, Mr Mlungisi Johnson who spoke of the former CEO. In his letter of 4 June 2021, Dr Makhubela said he had been on voluntary leave of absence from 20 April 2018 to 19 May 2018. The letter did not say what had happened from 29 May 2018 to 31 July 2020 during which time he had not set foot in the organisation, although he did say that “the Board was happy to keep him away from BrandSA”, which suggested that it was not his choice to stay away. Adv Tetyana referred to a set of minutes of 3 October 2018 which stated that the CEO should be kept on suspension until the new enquiry had been completed.
The response by BrandSA confirmed that the Chairperson had said “suspended”. The legal definition of “suspension” is that one is kept away from one’s place of employment by the employer; “leave of absence” means that a person’s absence is voluntary. The bone of contention was whether Dr Makhubela had been suspended. The report of the investigation showed that Dr Makhubela had, indeed, been suspended.
The second point relating to the matter was whether the suspension was lawful or not. The letter from the Presidency, together with the submissions made by Dr Makhubela, showed that issues of discipline relating to the CEO had to be made by the board in concurrence with the Executive authority and the Executive had asked that the matter be settled amicably. Factually, a disciplinary process had taken place and the process had suspended the CEO but apparently the Executive authority had not been in agreement with the decision.
Adv Tetyana stated that if the Committee was of the view that the statement by the CEO of BrandSA to the Portfolio Committee on 10 March 2021 was misleading, the Committee could ask Dr Makhubela to provide something in writing and the Committee could look at it and publish it in the parliamentary publication.
He reminded Members that in terms of section 72(b) of the Act, there had to be wilful intent to mislead Parliament. Was there a wilful intent by the chairperson of BrandSA to mislead the Committee? He thought that because the chairperson had said “suspended CEO” in inverted commas, the chairperson was alive to the issue. One had to remember that the current Board had only been appointed after the relevant disciplinary process in 2019.
He said that it might make good sense to refer to Dr Makhubela as the “former CEO” but he could not say, in good conscience, that the chairperson of the board had intended to mislead the Committee. He informed the Committee that the only two reasons for BrandSA being called to appear before the Committee had been to inform Members of the status of the CEO and how the board was bringing stability to the organisation.
Adv Tetyana stated that parliamentary rule 214(4)(b) stated that the Committee could deal with the matter on the basis of oral or written submissions. If the Committee wanted to interact with all the parties concerned, an oral hearing could be held.
The Chairperson thanked the Legal Advisor and called for discussion.
Dr M Ndlozi (EFF) did not have a good connection to the virtual platform but seemed to say that he had a question of clarity.
The Chairperson noted the poor connectivity but gathered that Dr Ndlozi’s point was something about a clarity seeking question.
The Chairperson said that the recommendation to the Committee was that a formal hearing be held where Dr Makhubela is invited to give evidence and the Chairperson of BrandSA and the Minister, or Acting Minister, in the Presidency also be invited. That would enable the Committee to deliberate on the matter. He called for questions of clarity before the Committee deliberated on the matter.
Dr Ndlozi stated that, following the Chairperson’s comments, he understood the recommendation and he wished to engage with the recommendation.
The Chairperson stated that the floor was open for engaging with the substantial recommendation.
Dr Ndlozi stated that there was nothing further to investigate and he did not see the need for a hearing. There had been no misrepresentation of anything. The robust democratic discourse meant that people should be entitled to express their opinions. He did not see the need for a hearing as, if people could not express their opinions, it would limit freedom of speech. There was no wilful intent and anyone could have arrived at the opinion of the chairperson of the Board. It was a waste of the Committee’s time to discuss the matter further. It should be closed at that point. The chairperson of BrandSA had used inverted commas around the words so it was simply discursive.
Mr H Hoosen (DA) noted from the documents that there were two issues at play: a labour dispute between Dr Makhubela and BrandSA and a complaint that Dr Tobias had misled Parliament. The labour issue was not a matter for Parliament. He believed that Dr Makhubela was on a fishing expedition and that there had been no misleading of Parliament. The case should end there. There was no matter for Parliament; there had been more than enough drama surrounding the case. Dr Makhubela could pursue the matter in a civil or labour court.
Ms D Dlakude (ANC) thanked the Legal Advisor for the presentation. She agreed with the previous speakers that the matter did not fall within the scope of Parliament. The point had been to check whether the chairperson had misled Parliament and she had not. The Committee should not be dragged into a matter between the employer and Dr Makhubela. It did not lie within the scope of that Committee.
Ms Dlakude suggested that a letter be addressed to Dr Makhubela saying that it did not appear that the chairperson of BrandSA had misled Parliament and there was no case for the Committee. He and the chairperson could present written representations if Dr Makhubela wished to pursue the matter further.
The Chairperson said that he and the Legal Advisor had not wanted to suggest dropping the case as that decision had to come from the Members of the Committee, but he agreed. According to the transcript of the meeting, what was reported in Business Day was accurate, factual and it was not misleading. There was a leave of absence by Dr Makhubela, there had been a suspension, a disciplinary committee had held a hearing and the Board had accepted the approached Minister Mthembu, then Minister in the Presidency He had requested an amicable solution be found but that had not been achieved before Dr Makhubela’s contract had ended.
The role of the Committee ended there. The Committee could not get into the detail of the dispute between the employer and employee. The Chairperson concluded that he was closing the complaint as there was no merit to the complaint: the chairperson of BrandSA had not misled Parliament. A report would be prepared for the Speaker,
Mr Hoosen agreed with the Chairperson but he wanted to put on record that it troubled him that Dr Makhubela’s suspension had been brought about as a result of an irregular tender. That was something he did not believe that the matter regarding the tender and the subsequent settlement of that tender awarded by Dr Makhubela to his brother-in-law was something that could be overlooked by the Committee.
The Chairperson responded that the documentation had suggested that the details regarding the tender were, firstly, disputed and, secondly, the merits of the allegations of corruption did not fall within the mandate of the Committee. The Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration could follow up on issues of good governance, etc. The tender was a concerning matter but he did not believe it was in the mandate of the Committee.
Dr Ndlozi agreed with the Chairperson’s response to Mr Hoosen.
Matter of the complaint against Mr Paulsen
The Chairperson explained that the second case related to a complaint by the Chief Whip of the DA in connection with a threat of violence to three Members of the DA – Ms P van Damme, Ms N Mazzone and Mr K Mileham – by Mr N Paulsen, an EFF Member of Parliament. Nine sets of documentation related to the investigation into the background of the matter had been distributed to Members of the Committee:
1.Letter of complaint from Ms Mazzone regarding the behaviour of Mr Nazier Paulsen MP during National Assembly plenary on 2 March 2021, dated 4 March 2012
2.Referral of the matter to the Ad Hoc Committee by the Speaker, dated 12 March 2021
3. Ad hoc Committee meeting held on 30 April 2021
4.Invitation to Hon Paulsen to respond in writing to the allegations by Ms Mazzone, dated 4 May 2021
5.Response from Hon. N Paulsen, dated 20 May 2021
6.Request for Legal Services of Parliament to source opinion from Senior Counsel.
7. Minutes of the Proceedings of National Assembly on 2 March 2021, the recording of proceedings and transcript as well as an unrevised Hansard Proceedings of 2 March 2021
8. Advice from Senior Counsel regarding the Convening of Disciplinary Hearing into Conduct of Nazier Paulsen MP dated 30 June 2021
9.Report by OCLS on Ms N W A Mazzone MP complaint against Mr M N Paulsen MP, 25 July 2021
The Chairperson stated that the conclusion by the senior counsel and legal advisors was that there was prima facie evidence to sustain a charge of threatened assault in contravention of section 7(d) of the Act against two Members and, possibly, a third Member. He requested the Legal Advisor, Ms Thiloshini Gangen, from the Office of Constitutional and Legal Services in Parliament, to present a summary of the issues.
Briefing by the Legal Advisor on the matter of the complaint by Ms Mazzone against Mr Paulsen
Ms Gangen informed Members that the Legal Opinion obtained from Senior Counsel Naidoo had been sent to Committee Members but ran to 17 pages; she believed that it would help to summarise the issue for Members. (Refer to the attached document: Report on Ms N W A Mazzone MP complaint against Mr M N Paulsen MP)
Ms Gangen explained that section 12 of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliaments and Provincial Legislatures Act, 2004 addressed disciplinary action against Members for contempt of Parliament. Section 13 of the Act addressed conduct constituting contempt and section 7 of the Act referred to prohibited acts in respect of Parliament and Members. She referred to the definition of assault or threat to assault as determined by the Constitutional Court. The key to the definition was whether the threatened person believed that the one threatening could or would carry out the threat.
With regard to the conduct of Mr Paulsen, it was necessary to determine whether it fell within the protective ambit of the Constitution and whether it interfered with the functioning of the National Assembly to the extent that the House could not perform its business. The Senior Counsel was provided with a recording of the National Assembly sitting when the alleged threats were made.
Counsel concluded that in his view there was prima facie evidence to sustain a charge of threatened assault by Mr Paulsen in contravention of section 7(d) of the Act against Mr Mileham and Ms Van Damme, and possibly Ms Mazzone. Counsel was of the view that in light of the seriousness of the charge of contempt of Parliament, the matter warranted consideration and a disciplinary hearing should be convened. It was clear that the action of Mr Paulsen was not related to any parliamentary privilege as the subject matter was not related to the business of the House that day. (Refer to document: Ex parte: Speaker of the National Assembly in Re: Convening of Disciplinary Hearing into the Conduct of Nazier Paulsen MP by U.K. Naidoo, SC)
The Chairperson thanked Ms Gangen for summarising the opinion of Senior Counsel.
The Chairperson summarised the recommendation to the Committee as follows:
1.The Committee should accept Counsel’s opinion and resolve to hold a formal inquiry into allegations against Mr Paulsen by Ms Mazzone, and that
2. The Committee should recommend that an initiator be appointed in line with the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliaments and Provincial Legislatures Act to help the Committee handle the matter and that the appointment should be done in consultation with the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the Committee.
Dr Ndlozi requested that the latter statements be repeated as he had not heard them. He commented that before Parliament could demand that Members turn on their videos when speaking, connectivity in SA had to be strengthened.
He stated that he had heard the presenter refer to Counsel’s advice and then he had been cut off. He asked that the legal advisor repeat what she had said. He mentioned that it was possible that he was being sabotaged or he was being kicked out of the meeting.
The Chairperson assured Dr Ndlozi that he had not been kicked out and asked Ms Gangen to repeat the summary of Counsel’s opinion.
Ms Gangen said that Counsel had stated that there was prima facia evidence for a charge against Mr Paulsen.
The Chairperson reiterated that the recommendation was, firstly, to accept the advice of Counsel and to hold a formal inquiry into the complaint and allegation; secondly, that an initiator be appointed in line with the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliaments and Provincial Legislatures Act, who would then put the case and help the Committee to handle the matter. That appointment should be done in consultation with the Speaker and the Chairperson of that Committee.
It followed that there would be a process, letters, a hearing of evidence, orally or otherwise, and then a decision would have to be made.
There being no further questions of clarity, the Chairperson called for comments by Members of the Committee on the recommendation.
Mr Hoosen said that, having read the document and the legal advice, he was of the opinion that there was no doubt that an altercation had taken place in the House on the day. If there were no evidence of an altercation in the House, he would have been reluctant to suggest that the Committee proceed with an inquiry. But that was not the case. There was video evidence and there was the statement from Mr Paulsen who admitted to some sort of altercation, although the Committee did not yet know who said what as there were always two sides to a story.
He suggested that to be fair to both parties, Ms Mazzone, as the complainant, and to Mr Paulsen, there should be an opportunity for the Portfolio Committee to hear both sides of the story. That was the only fair way to proceed.
He added that having looked at the advice of the Legal Advisor who seemed to have looked at much more evidence, one matter came to his attention in the document. At the time of the altercation, the Deputy Speaker had stated: “This is what happens when irrationality prevails over the House.” Mr Paulsen had responded to the statement: “This is what happens when old people sit in the Chair.”
Mr Hoosen believed that Mr Paulsen’s response to the Deputy Speaker should also be probed. It was not acceptable for any Member to insult the Presiding Officer, so he was proposing that another complaint be added to the charge sheet.
Dr A Lotriet (DA) was not going to repeat what her colleague had said but she supported both the recommendation and the proposal made by Mr Hoosen.
Ms V Siwela (ANC) agreed with the recommendation, including the appointment of an initiator and also the additional charge in respect of the decorum of the House because Members should always protect the decorum of the House.
Ms Dlakude agreed with her colleagues that, based on the material before Members, an enquiry and disciplinary hearing should take place as soon as possible. All those involved should be encouraged to present their evidence orally or in writing. She also supported the notion of appointing an initiator.
Dr Ndlozi stated that there were three sources to which Members had to apply themselves: a video of the events of 2 March 2021; Ms Mazzone’s complaint and Mr Paulsen’s written representation. The Deputy Speaker had ruled on the altercation. He was surprised that, of all the parties mentioned, the only person to be charged by the Committee, was Mr Paulsen, even after the legal advice. Members who had just spoken had all suggested that an additional charge be lodged against Mr Paulsen.
But, if one watched the video and the actors, what kind of justice was that? His view was that there had been an intense moment in Parliament, in which in everyone’s version, one Member had charged another. The Member had reported to the Deputy Speaker that “the guy” had charged him. The Deputy Speaker told Mr Paulsen to sit down and not to call the Member such things. He had asked which statement had to be withdrawn. He asked if it was because he had said that the Member had charged him or was it because he had said, “White boy”. The Deputy Speaker did not explain. Mr Paulsen had been told to withdraw and leave the House. He did so and so he had paid the price for his conduct, despite what the Committee Members thought they could see on the video. It was Mr Mileham who had charged Mr Paulsen, but Mr Paulsen was told to leave the House, which he did and so he had paid for his conduct.
Dr Ndlozi noted that Mr Mileham and Ms Mazzone were not asked to leave, even though Ms Mazzone had said, “See this hand – you must see the other guy.” That was an implied threat. It was a clear, articulated promise of an assault. Ms van Damme was asked to leave and complied, but now it was only Mr Paulsen who was being investigated.
Dr Ndlozi stated that the Committee was not being fair and if one wanted a Parliament where everyone felt represented, one could not oppose the situation he had described. One could not approach it the way the Members were approaching it. What was the prima facia evidence of assault from Mr Paulsen? He saw no evidence of that in the documentation. Mr Paulsen had asked if Mr Paulsen could be stopped. He was apparently Ms Mazzone’s husband. Mr Paulsen had said he was not going to stand by and let someone charge him. He had added that Mr Mileham “would not have slept with Ms Mazzone that night”.
Dr Ndlozi asked how Members could watch the video and still think that the problem lay with Mr Paulsen.
They could not treat Members like that. He was not excusing Mr Paulsen and even the EFF whip had accepted the ruling. Mr Paulsen had been punished. The matter had to rest there for Mr Paulsen. But one could not turn a blind eye to the others. Mr Paulsen’s punishment had been the removal of his privilege to represent the public in Parliament. What more did they want? That matter had to end there.
He added that Members had a political responsibility to deal with the other Members involved in the altercation. Mr Mileham would not have stopped of his own accord, but there was no mention of that, not even by the DA. Mr Paulsen had every right to be emotional following such a charge. Any emotional being would have responded like that. But he still complied with the order by the Deputy Speaker of the House. He had been punished. The Committee had to drop the matter. The Committee did not have a letter from Ms van Damme. She was not even a Member of the House anymore. The Committee could not punish someone who had already been punished. So, if the Committee wished to take the matter further, the Committee should prefer charges against the other Members who had been involved and had not been punished: Mr Mileham and Ms Mazzone had to be charged.
Mr Victor Ngaleka, Procedural Advisor in Parliament, raised a procedural matter. Rule 214(1) empowered the Committee to deal with matters referred to it by the Speaker but not to initiate a matter. Rule 114 empowered the Committee to initiate matters of power and privilege. He suggested that the Committee did not have the authority to expand the matter.
The Chairperson agreed with the Procedural Advisor. That was how he personally would have proceeded. Only one complaint had been referred to the Committee and the Committee had to limit itself to that complaint. It had a duty to look at that matter. As part of the process, the Committee had to interrogate that matter. Counsel had said that there was prima facia evidence and so the Committee should proceed.
He explained that the Committee was initiating a process that would allow Members to interrogate all the evidence which might well lead to other charges being laid, but the Committee was not yet there. One could not put the cart before the horse. The Committee had to follow procedure and the evidence had to be led. The Committee should not begin interrogating the evidence before it was heard.
The Chairperson invited Members to briefly supplement their points.
Ms Dlakude agreed with the Chairperson’s summary. The Members were not yet interrogating the merits or demerits of the case. The Committee was required, at that stage, only to determine whether to take the matter further or not. A sober decision on the matter itself could only be made after seeing and hearing the evidence. The Committee was on a fact-finding mission and the conclusion had to be based on those facts. The matter could not be addressed emotionally at that stage.
The Chairperson lost connectivity for a while but he changed to another gadget and returned to the platform.
Mr Hoosen said that, listening to Dr Ndlozi’s comments on the conduct of Mr Paulsen, had led him to believe that there was conduct to be investigated. When one said that someone had paid for his conduct, that was an admission that there was conduct to be paid for. He reminded the Chairperson of his earlier proposal regarding the conduct of Mr Paulse towards the Presiding Officer at the time.
Ms Siwela had been covered. She reiterated that Members had been given a task and they had to adhere to that. She supported the Chairperson’s summary.
Dr Lotriet commented that the Committee should proceed to an enquiry but had to keep an open mind and that more matters could be raised during the investigation. She asked that Members keep an open mind as more issues could come to light during the investigation.
Dr Ndlozi did not agree with the procedural reasoning of the Chairperson. What stage was the Committee at? To answer the question of whether to charge Mr Paulsen or not, one had to interrogate the evidence. They were all wrong to think that the Committee should charge Mr Paulsen. Were there grounds based on the video and the evidence? That was why the Members had the evidence, i.e. the video, etc. The Deputy Speaker had already punished Mr Paulsen for his conduct. He had lost an important privilege, i.e. to represent the people of SA that had elected him. That was a huge loss.
Dr Ndlozi asked about the other conduct which was not being addressed because apparently it had not been referred to the Committee. However, the parliamentary official advising on procedural matters had stated that when the Committee investigated the facts, it could initiate charges. On the basis of what the Members had seen on the video, Ms Mazzone had to be charged.
Dr Ndlozi declared that the people whose conduct had not been subjected to disciplinary action had to be charged. Mr Paulsen had already been punished; even the Speaker’s letter said that. What more did the Committee want? There were only two people who had not been punished, and Ms Mazzone still had the audacity to lay a complaint. He did not know why, but maybe it was “out of white privilege”. It was fundamentally unjust and it was unfortunate that Members sat there and thought that they were not passing judgement.
Ms Dlakude added that, as Members of Parliament, Members were empowered to deal with matters where they were unhappy. It was a Member’s privilege, whenever one was unhappy with proceedings of the House, to lay a complaint and the Speaker would decide where to refer the matter. A disciplinary action had to be probed. Members could not allow themselves be persuaded by one Member to drop the investigation. As Members of the Powers and Privileges ad hoc Committee, they had to probe whatever was sent to them and not be influenced by anyone or anything. That obligation had been bestowed on the Members of the Committee.
Dr Ndlozi stated that the submission was very, very dumb. He did not think Ms Dlakude was so dumb.
Ms Dlakude stated that she would pretend that she had not heard him.
Dr Ndlozi stated that she had made a very unfortunate submission.
Dr Ndlozi shouted out that Mr Paulsen could not be investigated by being charged.
The Chairperson ruled Dr Ndlozi out of order.
Dr Ndlozi stated that he could not be taken out.
Ms Siwela interjected that Dr Ndlozi should just leave.
The Chairperson reiterated that Dr Ndlozi was out of order. What he was doing was not allowed by the rules of Parliament.
Dr Ndlozi continued to argue about the decision of the Committee.
The Chairperson explained that it was a Committee of Parliament. The views of all Members had to be taken into consideration.
Dr Ndlozi said that the views of other Members were wrong.
The Chairperson called on the host to mute anyone who called out without being given permission to speak. He needed to calm down a raucous situation where Members were speaking out of turn and calling out.
The Chairperson began his summary, stating that the Committee would deal with matters that had been referred to it.
Ms Dlakude called for a point of order. Members had to be protected. Dr Ndlozi had to be cut off as he was continuing to interject.
The Chairperson agreed and determined that he should be given the powers of the “Host” on the platform in future meetings so that he could cut off people who were out of order.
Dr Ndlozi shouted that people had been vaccinated and that future meetings should take place in Parliament and then one would see what powers the Chairperson had to cut him off.
The Chairperson asked Dr Ndlozi why he was behaving so badly.
Dr Ndlozi responded that the cause of his behaviour was injustice and white privilege.
The Chairperson reminded the Committee Secretary that he had asked for people to be removed if they did not follow the rules. He requested that Dr Ndlozi be removed from the platform.
Dr Ndlozi said that he was still waiting to see the power of the Chairperson to remove him.
The Chairperson again requested to be made co-host on the platform for the following meeting so that he could carry out his instructions if the Committee staff did not obey his instruction.
The Chairperson summarised the situation. A Senior Counsel had been requested to determine whether there was sufficient evidence for the Committee to proceed. The majority of Members agreed that the Committee should proceed with the charge against Mr Paulsen and to appoint an evidence leader. Members had requested that an additional charge of contempt towards the Deputy Speaker be added and that would be done. If the Committee arrived at a different conclusion after the evidence had been led, that would be part of the process.
The Chairperson stated that the behaviour of Dr Ndlozi had to be rejected with the contempt that it deserved. It was not the conduct expected from Members of Parliament. All the Committee Members had the right to express their views. Dr Ndlozi could not be allowed to continue with his behaviour that was contrary to the rules even after he had been asked to leave the meeting. The Committee should express its serious reservation about his behaviour. Members should not become emotional. Members should also be democrats and accept the views of the majority of the Members. In the first matter, the Members had accepted Dr Ndlozi’s proposal to dismiss the matter and he had to accept the views of other Members in the second matter.
The Chairperson stated that the first thing would be to appoint the Initiator who would guide the Committee and its staff. Correspondence would be sent to those involved, especially Mr Paulsen who would have to be notified of the date of the hearing. He would communicate the date of the formal hearing to Members once all processes had been set up.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting.
- Media Statement: Powers and Privileges Committee to Institute an Inquiry into Alleged Contempt of Parliament by a Member of Parliament
- Unrevised Hansard NA 2 March 2021
- Report on Ms N W A Mazzone MP complaint against Mr N Paulsen MP 26 Jul 2021 (Aedited by VN, TG & NI)
- Response from Hon. MN Paulsen - received 20.05.2021
- MInutes NA 02 March 2021
- Referral from Speaker on incident of 2 March 2021
- Advice on complaint by Hon. Mazonne against Hon. Paulsen
- Conduct DA complain against Mr N Paulsen during sitting of the House on 2 march 2021.March 2021
- Letter from Chairperson to Hon N Paulsen - incident of 2 March 2021
- Response letter from Acting Minister in Presidency dated 31.05.2021 received on 28.07.21
- Report on Dr Makhubela matter dated 22.07.2021
- First Response letter from MsT Tobias-Pokolo (Chairperson of BrandSA)
- Second Response letter from Ms T Tobias-Pokolo (Chairperson of BrandSA)
- DPSA Portfolio Committee March 2021
- Dr Makhubela submission to Speaker
- Letter to Chair of Powers & Privileges Committe RE Alleged Misrepresentations before Portfolio Committee March2021
- Letter to Chair T Tobias of Brand SA 10 May 2021
- Letter to Presidency from Chairperson of Committee
- Presidency letter from Chairperson dated 31.05.2021
- Response from Dr Makhubela 04/06/2021
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