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PRIVATE MEMBERS’ LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS AND SPECIAL PETITIONS: STANDING COMMITTEE
15 November 2005
KELLERMAN PETITION, SCHMIDT'S ADMISSION OF ADVOCATES BILL; SMITH'S PUBLIC ELECTION FUNDING OF REPRESENTED POLITICAL PARTIES BILL; JOUBERT'S MAGISTRATES COURTS AMENDMENT
Chairperson: Ms M Mentor (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Correspondence from State Law Advisor on Mr Joubert's proposal (see Appendix)
Correspondence from Independent Electoral Commission
Government Notice: Designation of Zimbabwe for Admission of Advocates Act
Mr Joubert's legislative proposal for Magistrates’ Courts Amendment Bill
Joubert's Magistrates’ Court Amendment Bill
Schmidt’s Paper on his Admission of Advocates Amendment Bill
Smith’s Public Election Funding of Represented Political Parties Bill
Memo from Mr P Smith MP: Public Election Funding of Represented Political Parties Bill
The Committee was briefed on the petition of a Mrs Kellerman by Mr D Gibson (DA). The Committee did not deliberate the petition, but recommended that this matter be concluded by end of February or March 2006.
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development agreed with some of the proposals made by Mr L Joubert (DA) for amending the Magistrates’ Courts Act in respect of sales in execution by the Sheriff of the Court. Other proposals were deemed unnecessary. The Department was directed to take the matter up with stakeholders and to report to the Committee early in 2006.
The Department informed the Committee that it intended tabling legislation dealing with the rationalisation of the legal profession in 2006. The Legal Practice Bill would cover, among others, the rights of foreign-qualified persons to practise law in South Africa. The Committee agreed to await the proposed Bill.
The Committee considered correspondence received from the Independent Electoral Commission and the National Treasury on Mr P Smith’s proposal regarding funding of parties contesting municipal elections. Both institutions did not support the proposal. The Committee did not agree to the proposal, but resolved to further consider it in December.
Petition of Mrs C Kellerman: Briefing by Mr D Gibson MP
The Chairperson informed the Committee why this item was not reflected on the agenda. After last week’s meeting, the Chairperson had been in contact with Mr Hattingh, who felt this matter should be accommodated for a few minutes at the beginning of the meeting.
Mr D Gibson (DA) reported that the matter was a very simple one, being a petition by Mrs Kellerman, a widow receiving a widow’s pension. She was an adult widow living in Seapoint and received a widow’s pension of R4 675 per month. The late Adv Kellerman had been an advocate employed by the Department of Justice in the office of the Attorney General. The reason the pension was very small was because Mr Kellerman broke service for less than a year. He had worked for the Department for eleven years and then pursued his Masters studies at university. Nine months later he joined the Attorney General’s office and remained there until his death on 6 September 2000. In effect he had 19 or almost 20 years service, but the short break made a huge difference to the pension. What the petition evolved around was whether Parliament was prepared to condone that short break in service.
Mrs Kellerman has a nine-year-old daughter who was completely dependant on her and she had been unsuccessful in obtaining satisfactory employment. Mrs Kellerman had set out her expenses as being R9 680, against which her pension was R4 675. She was therefore finding it extremely difficult to make ends meet, which would become worse as the child got older and needed more expensive schooling. Mrs Kellerman had appealed to the Minister of Justice and was granted an interview. The Minister was very kind and sympathetic and Mr Labuschagne of the Department was also very kind and supportive. The difficulty they had was that this matter fell into the category of things that could not be rectified administratively, and it was Parliament itself that had to consider the matter. In fact, Mr Labuschagne suggested that Mrs Kellerman approach Parliament via this Committee. She made the point that her husband gave dedicated and good service for almost 20 years of his life, and that it would be only fair and just if the short break of service were condoned and the pension reassessed on the basis of 20 years service.
Mr Gibson submitted that the Committee had the right to formulate a recommendation or to turn it down if it wished to do so, but he would ask the Committee to consider carefully whether people who loyally served the administration would apply to people in the future as well. They should assist them to make a very big difference in a little girl’s and Mrs Kellerman’s life. The petition had been presented in the correct form and was processed by the Speaker’s Office and sent through to the Committee to exercise discretion. It could then simply be sent back to the Speaker and be organised to go to Parliament.
The Chairperson stated the Committee would not be deliberating the matter today and would not allow the petitioner to be in on that meeting. She thanked Mr Gibson for deeming it fit to ask Parliament which was the honourable thing to do. People in South Africa, based on their constitutional rights should use the opportunity granted by the Constitutional Court to petition Parliament on matters affecting their lives. On behalf of the Committee, it was good to know that there were South Africans who saw Parliament as their last hope when they had problems and it was actually touching that there were many South Africans like Mrs Kellerman. The Committee would deliberate this matter early in 2006.
The Chairperson continued that one question still to be clarified was whether Mrs Kellerman had appealed to the Minister of Justice or the Minister of Public Service and Administration.
Mr Gibson replied that Mrs Kellerman wrote to everybody; she even wrote to the President and eventually the Minister of Justice was kind enough to give her a personal interview. Even that did not work, and so he had checked up on the legal situation and it really was only Parliament that could condone the break in service. Because Advocate Kellerman was on the staff of the Attorney General Parliament was the correct avenue of dealing with the matter.
Mr A Ainslie (ANC) asked whether there was any precedent in terms of bridging this gap in service for the purposes of pension.
Mr Gibson responded that there were many precedents. This Committee over the years had come to the aid of petitioners on many occasions; some had failed and some had succeeded.
Mr B Magwanishe asked how much Mrs Kellerman received. Mr Gibson replied that she was not asking for something she should not be getting, but that the pension should be calculated differently based on unbroken service.
The Chairperson referred to the question of the precedent and asked Mr Gibson to verify that. The other concern was that the Committee should check with the Department of Public Service and Administration whether there would be a deluge of similar petitions. The Chairperson assured Mrs Kellerman of being sympathetic, because she had herself been imprisoned for almost three and a half years without even being charged. She had suffered the same questions and felt no other person should suffer that way. She had asked Mr Gibson to check and confirm the precedent and attention would be given to this matter early in 2006. Mr Gibson will confirm the date with Mrs Kellerman.
The Chairperson then asked that the matter be concluded by end of February or March next year, and that this be put in a report and recommendation.
Department of Justice and Constitutional Development briefing on the Magistrate’s Court Act
The Chairperson said the Committee had been requested to look into the issue of repossession of houses by the sheriff instead of the Magistrate’s Court when someone was in debt. The request was that there should be a bill or a process of legislation that would make sure that it was not only the business of sheriffs to repossess houses when in debt, but it should be the jurisdiction of the Magistrate’s Court. The Committee had forwarded its opinion on this matter to the Department. The Department had since written back with a request to brief the Committee.
Adv Bruwer responded that the Constitutional Court had already made an order that the proposed provisions be inserted in Section 6(1) of the Magistrate’s Court Act, so it was already actually on the Statute Book. An amendment bill covering more than just this, but giving more protection to poor homeowners would address the matter. The Department was in agreement with the proposal of Mr L Joubert (DA) on the first clause. Regarding the second clause, the Constitutional Court in that same decision found that Section 67 was not unconstitutional and that it should not be amended as proposed by the Appellants in that case. Mr Joubert had proposed that Section 67 of the Magistrate’s Court Act be amended, but that section actually deals with property exempt from execution, and the Constitutional Court already found that it was not unconstitutional that a house may be sold in execution, but subject to a court procedure. There must be a judicial process and that would be achieved by the Constitutional Court order and would be formalised in the bill in due course.
At the request of the Chairperson, Adv Bruwer repeated that Section 66 of the Magistrate’s Court Act should be amended as set out. That was exactly what the Constitutional Court had already said must happen.
Adv Bruwer continued that the Department did not agreement with Mr Joubert’s Clause 2, because the Constitutional Court found that Section 67 of the Magistrate’s Court Act was not unconstitutional and the Court said the following in paragraph 51 of the judgement: "it is my view that the blanket prohibition of the source suggested by the appellants was not the blanket prohibition against stay of execution below a particular value, might well lead to a poverty trap preventing many poor people from improving their station in life because of an incapacity to generate capital of any kind. Initially to impose a blanket prohibition has suggested paying insufficient attention to the interests of the creditor. It would potentially foreclose the possibility of creditors recovering debts owed to them by owners of excluded property. Section 67 cannot be unconstitutional, as it does not provide for a blanket prohibition against stay of execution of a house below a certain value".
Mr Joubert had tried to circumvent the problem of the blanket prohibition by making his proposal subject to the provisions of Section 66 (1)(a). In the Department’s opinion this was unnecessary because Section 67 made provision for exemptions. If he now made it subject to 66(1) it was no longer an exemption and was inappropriate. This was in any case covered by 66(1)(a). Before the Court would order an execution against property, it would have to be considered by the Court and could no longer just go through the procedure where the Clerk of the Court would issue a warrant. The Department’s proposed draft would include these clauses in similar wording, but not Mr Joubert’s Clause 2, which was also catering for a lot more protection for poor homeowners in the bill being drafted.
Mr Joubert referred to the case of Jagter v Schoeman. His proposal was actually based on this judgement. That was already in 2003 and we read in the press on a daily basis that this was still carrying on. He did not think that people read the Constitutional Court judgements into actual legislation. This would have to be changed. The court had pointed out the deficiency of legislation. That was the intention of his first proposal.
Mr Joubert continued that his Clause 2 said immovable property could not be sold in execution subject to Clause 1. When a person got a judgement against a debtor, the Sheriff came with a return that said there was nothing movable that he could attach. The plaintiff could then make an application for the sale in execution of immovable property. The Clerk of the Court just approved it and it went back to the Sheriff who sold it sometimes for R5 or R10. He wanted part of the law to say if you had judgement against a person you first had to go back to the court with a formal application for the sale of immovable property. Then there were criteria which the court used to considered if it would be fair to sell the property in execution.
Mr Ainslie expressed concern as to what was happening in the interim. He asked when the Bill would be ready and what was happening now. Adv Bruwer said certain provisions must be read into the judgement, but it was obvious that these matters are still being dealt with as if there were no reading in.
Mr S Mshudulu (ANC) felt it was important to share the background to the decision to proceed with the Bill in principle. It happened during a period when numerous media reports indicated that people’s houses were attached and sold for R100. Members felt that the justice system existed to protect people. There were parties that were raising this because the Board of Sheriffs had to come to a public hearing. It was not a political question but if there was a loophole in any legislation, why keep quiet? The reason was to make sure people were protected. Municipalities had attached people’s houses for arrears rates, which was not acceptable. He felt the law frustrated many people and undermined the right to housing in the Constitution.
The Chairperson added that it was the Committee’s opinion that there was uncertainty when the new legislation would come about. She asked Adv Bruwer for a clear indication of timeframes.
Adv Bruwer replied that the Department was very sensitive and sympathetic to the hardships of poor people and people whose houses were being attached. The Department was doing a thorough job of looking at the loopholes and trying to address all the problems and that was why it was taking so long. They were also keeping a watching brief on the National Credit Bill which would also give better protection to consumers of credit and the specific procedures prescribed in that Bill would obviate attaching a person’s home for all sort of debts.
Mr Joubert felt the problem was one of time and this had already been going on for a considerable period of time while on a daily basis this problem was out there. He had heard what was said about a wider view of the whole issue, but could we wait for that? Even if the second clause was taken out, the first clause amendment was actually exactly what the court said in Jagter v Schoeman. Why could we not in the meantime approve this and send it to the Portfolio Committee on Justice; it could then be law by early next year? If they had to wait for the Department it would take more than a year, but people out there were still losing their homes on a daily basis.
Mr P Smith (IFP) asked, if the judgement became binding at the point it was made and the practice was still carrying on, were all the magistrates’ courts ignoring the judgement? What was the procedure from the Department of Justice’s side to ensure that once a judgement was made every magistrate followed it?
Mr Joubert said the judgement did not change the procedure; it was a procedural matter that was not really addressed by the judgement.
The Chairperson asked what procedure was being followed to confirm compliance with the judgement. The impact on the ground was no different and was actually getting worse.
Adv Bruwer responded that people’s houses were being sold in execution every day, but not in the same manner. The Clerk of the Court could no longer issue a writ of execution before the decision was made. People were incurring debt and their houses were sold. The Constitutional Court did not say the house could not be sold. It said the plaintiff had to go back to the court and get an execution order and that was what was happening. The only thing this proposed bill would do, would be to formalise the new procedures.
Mr Ainslie asked whether the small magistrate’s courts in the middle of nowhere were aware of these judgements.
Adv Rudman (Deputy Director, Department of Justice) explained where the Department stood on legislation. The proposed bill was currently in his possession and he gave the Committee some history of the legislation. When this came to the Department’s attention, the Minister and Deputy Minister had requested him to come up with legislation as soon as possible. On investigation, he found that this was just one of the problem areas in regard to debtors, and especially poor people. At a meeting several months ago with a number of role players – sheriffs and NGOs – he raised a number of things that were problematic for sales in execution, such as where it should take place. All those areas were identified and investigated and he tried to find out exactly what needed to be done.
Adv Bruwer also mentioned the National Credit Bill. This bill addressed some of the issues that the Department had identified, so they had to see what direction that legislation took. The Department would introduce this legislation as early as possible next year.
Adv Rudman continued that as far as the reading in of the judgement was concerned, he agreed with the view that it must be read in. The court found that this should happen; if it did not happen this was a big problem that needed to be addressed.
He was not sure how houses were being sold, but they could be sold quite legitimately. It might have followed the correct procedure, but he could not give the Committee that assurance. Magistrates were independent and the Department could not prescribe how they interpreted the law. He offered to take the matter up with the Magistrates Commission and find out. The Sheriff’s profession was also regulated; there was a board for sheriffs. If there were a problem with the way they operated, he would raise it with the Board of Sheriffs.
As far as the legislation was concerned it was urgent, and would cover more than just this issue to protect people. The Department would try to finalise it as soon as possible. Cabinet would approve and introduce the legislation to Parliament. They would try to speed up the process from the Department’s side and would come to Parliament with a proper piece of legislation that covered many aspects of sales in execution.
Mr Joubert asked why wait another year? It would be simple and quick to approve the proposal before the Committee and that would bring clarity and certainty.
Mr Magwanishe said even if it were a small amendment it could still be dealt with early next year.
Mr Mshudulu said there was a shared view that the Department was sensitive to this issue. He asked whether the Department would be prepared to address this matter in a memo with explanatory notes about the current practice and what would be happening next year.
The Chairperson said she appreciated the Department’s understanding that the Committee was sensitive to the matter and was committed to addressing the matter. She re-endorsed the request for a clear update of progress. Adv Rudman had made a proposal to liase with the Board of Sheriffs and she asked when he would be in a position to report to the Committee.
Mr Rudman responded that that would be early next year. He would keep in touch with the Chairperson
Briefing on Admission of Advocates Amendment Bill
Adv Rudman told the Committee that this was also a matter that the Department had been working hard on for a very long time. There was a bill called the Legal Practice Bill that intended to rationalise the legal profession. This also had a very long history of task teams and consultations with the legal profession and had recently been finalised. However, there was a problem that there was no unanimity between attorneys and advocates as to what the structures that regulate the profession should look like. The Legal Practice Bill was also on the Department’s programme for next year. They were looking at moving away from the concept of designating countries and would set up a panel called the Panel for Recognition of Legal Qualifications. The purpose of that panel would be to consider applications of individual people for their qualifications to be recognised in South Africa, and then to be allowed to practice once they had been admitted. The panel would consist of a judge, legal practitioners and university lecturers. The focus would rather be on the individual than on designating the country. He accepted that the Committee had been briefed on the concept of the bill that was introduced to Parliament and would know the difference between the concept of a designating country and an individual himself. Ad hoc amendments would deal with an area the Department would like to cover at a later stage.
As far as the Department read the legislation, nothing stood in the way of a person who had practised law and obtained his qualification in a particular country from moving to South Africa and practising here. The current Act was very clear that to be admitted as an advocate the person had to be 21 years and older, had to have the necessary qualifications, had to be a South African citizen or had been lawfully admitted to this country for permanent residence and was resident in the Republic. The qualification was an LLB degree and Zimbabwe had been designated as a country for purposes of the Act. Copies of the government notice noting this had been tabled [Government Notice No 375 and 376 of 12 March 2003].
The Department’s suggestion would be to not proceed with the Private Member’s Bill but to look at legislation being introduced next year.
Responding to a question from Mr B Magwanishe about an advocate from Zimbabwe, Adv Rudman was not sure whether it had been designated for purposes of this section. If not, the procedure would be to apply for the permit to be designated as a country because that was the route provided for in the Act. The section in the Private Member’s Bill dealt with completely different issues and set of circumstances. The Department did not want to re-instate a section to accommodate one individual because of his personal circumstances. The route would be to request the Minister to designate that country as a country for purposes of Section 3.
Mr Ainslie said this was a very personal kind of problem and argued that Parliament was not in the business of making laws for individuals, but for categories of persons.
Adv Rudman agreed with Mr Ainslie and said the bottom line was that the Department would introduce legislation next year that would hopefully address the situation. This still had to be approved by the Minister and Cabinet, but they would then not be looking at designation of countries any more, but of the individual.
Mr Joubert asked what the criteria were for designating a country.
Adv Rudman said it must be designated after consultation with the General Council of the Bar of South Africa. The General Council of the Bar would look at the qualifications that the person had and the curriculum followed and they would then make recommendations whether it was comparable or compatible with a legal degree in South Africa.
Mr Joubert submitted that the route would then be for that person to approach the Bar and ask them to make the UK also a designated country.
Adv Rudman responded that that was the route to follow. If one felt strongly about the issue, then you should apply to the Minister to have it designated as a country.
The Chairperson concluded that the Committee would wait for the Department’s legislation. On the Magistrate’s Court issue, did Adv Rudman think it would be complete in the first part of 2006?
Adv Rudman responded that that would be very difficult due to a very extensive legislative programme but he would be discussing the programme with the Minister shortly. He would expect towards the middle of the year as there were a few issues still to be addressed.
The Chairperson said because the Committee decided not to proceed with the proposed bill, she had to return it to the Speaker’s Office. She asked for proposals.
Mr Mshudulu felt the Committee had dealt with the issue open-mindedly. However, a lot of Members had not attended the meeting. The chairperson proposed and it was agreed that the committee meet the day before the sitting in December to consider this matter further.
Legislative Proposal of Mr P F Smith MP
This matter had been presented when the Chairperson was still on sick leave. Correspondence had since been received from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) as well as from National Treasury and copies had been circulated to the Committee. To get the gist of the IEC’s stance on the matter, the Chairperson read the letter.
The letter concluded that the IEC did not support the Private Member’s Draft Bill for the following reasons:
-Election expenses were covered by the present fund
-Extending public funding of political parties to parties represented in municipal councils would probably be unconstitutional
-The IEC could not support any move towards increasing the public funding of represented political parties, especially by way of the creation of a special election fund, while not affording new and smaller parties some form of assistance with their election expenses.
Mr Smith strongly disagreed with the comments. There had been a slight misunderstanding of the intent of the language used. When he said in the memo that ‘it unnecessarily restricts the present funding to exclude election expenses’ he did not mean that the present fund could not be used for election expenses. What he meant was the fund was not established expressly for election expenses. There were two relevant points to substantiate that – the present annual appropriation and funds used generally by parties to support their annual operating expenses. He admitted openly that should parties choose not to use funds for that purpose they were perfectly entitled to do that. When the present Act was passed, it was not passed expressly to include election expenses as an issue, because had it done so, it would have addressed the second issue, which was mainly that elections only happened every few years. So every year, funds were appropriated to the parties but elections did not happen every year. The only way these funds could realistically be used for those expenses was for parties not to expend them on private operating expenses and suffer the consequences. The party could spend present funding on anything including election expenses but would then have to suffer the consequences of not having funds to support current expenses that were not electoral in nature.
When the Constitution said in Section 236 that Parliament must appropriate money to support parties represented in the provincial and national legislatures, that did not mean it could not go further than that. That was an express injunction on Parliament to do something of a positive nature; you must fund parties in Parliament. If Parliament was told to do X, it did not mean it could not do Y, unless Y was in conflict with the X. The Constitution said Parliament must fund the national and provincial parties represented in legislatures. This was inadequate at municipal level and they had to make express provision for it. That express provision was not in the Constitution.
In respect of comments as to whether there were sufficient funds for parties, Mr Smith did not think that was really within the ambit of the IEC. Was it correct or incorrect that there was a problem of parties contesting elections being able to do so? Parties did not need funding for elections but the general feeling by all political parties was that there was a funding shortfall. The proposal of the bill was not to fund elections exclusively through the public purse. The proposal was simply a contribution to the parties’ expenses. The point was that the multi-party system was in the Constitution and yet the funding regime for parties was not one that supported that. There was a conflict between the ideal of the multi-party system and the mechanism needed, because ultimately a party had no future if it had no money, and so it was at the core of contesting elections. The current funding system in terms of the existing Act was one that strongly cemented the strength of parties which were strong. The stronger the party, the more support you got.
The Chairperson said the Committee had noted Mr Smith’s comments on the IEC’s submission.
Mr Ainslie said he had lots of sympathy for the IEC. The Act was very clear. There were six items listed in the Act and all of them covered the present elections. The experience of the IEC was that parties were already using funds received for elections. If there were problems with funding, Parliament could approach Treasury, but not develop a new Act. If there were problems for example with parties at municipal level or problems with funding for small parties or small new parties, it would be better to amend the existing legislation. Everything Mr Smith had mentioned was covered by the Act.
Mr B Magwanishe agreed with Mr Ainslie, but said he found the proposal very discriminatory. There were also individuals who contested elections and as independents, they would be discriminated against.
Mr Smith reiterated that the objective was to remedy a problem. The problem was that there was insufficient money available for parties across the board to contest elections. He acknowledged that should another route achieve the same objective, he would be perfectly satisfied with it. If Treasury were to make increased provision of funding that would achieve the same objective, the need would fall away. The argument that you could use existing funding but increase it was supported. The question arose when you got to municipal level. The arguments held that parties basically had two sets of elections; national and provincial elections were basically the same thing. Who contested local elections? In reality it was the parties in the legislatures largely that contested those elections but there were also independents who had grouped themselves together as small parties for the purpose of receiving funding. If one utilised the existing Act alone for the purposes of increasing the funding for the purposes of funding those operations, the guarantee was that any party contesting elections that won seats in municipalities and councils, but that party was not represented in the National Assembly, would simply not get funding. That seemed to be a very important principle. It seemed to be very unfair to not fund those parties which had successfully contested elections on a municipal level but were not represented in the National Assembly.
Mr Smith agreed that the issue of discrimination was of concern. For National or Provincial elections one could not stand as independent, but for municipal elections one could. You could not realistically fund parties at the municipal level on the basis of an equity formula because with 12000 councillors you could have very small numbers and to apply equitable proportion to that as a percentage would produce absurd results. It was the proportionality of parties and not of individuals. Nothing stopped an individual who wished to stand as a ward candidate from constituting themselves as a party for purposes of that election. The sums allocated would be very small.
The Chairperson stated that the Committee should proceed to the submission by Treasury. It would be noted that the Committee appeared to agree with the IEC’s submission.
The Chairperson read the letter from Treasury and concluded that it had the same line of argument as the IEC.
Mr Smith responded that he was not sure what was intended in the paragraph where it said ‘could be addressed by existing sources of funding’. He was not sure whether it means existing quantum of funds allocated or the source, namely the Treasury. If the former, then it was not a good response because the problem faced was the inadequate sum of money. If the source then he would concur. He hoped the Committee would consider ways of addressing the matter. He did not know whether the intention was to address the matter by way of the legislative route or to make some recommendation.
He commented again on the issue that should Parliament choose to fund parties in municipalities, it would not be unconstitutional. The objective was to concur that there was a problem with election funding. He had hoped there would be some consensus that there was a problem, and the Committee would then consider what mechanism could be used to address that problem.
Mr Mdludlu felt the Committee should be sensitive to the issues raised by Mr Smith. He argued that dedicated research was required before the Committee could come to an informed decision.
Mr Smith said another solution could be to simply increase allocations to parties in an election year. The only reason for proposing the bill was to stimulate the process and to be fair to parties fighting municipal elections.
The Chairperson summarised that for now the inclination of the Committee was that the legislative route may not be the most desirable route. She acknowledged that the problems should be addressed. If it could not be solved via the legislative route maybe they should get more recommendations. She hoped they could conclude this matter when they met in December. It was agreed that the Committee would meet the day before the actual sitting of Parliament.
The meeting was adjourned.
6 September 2005
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL BY L K JOUBERT, MP
This is to certify that the Department of Development is aware of the above proposal National Assembly in terms of Rule 236 to Magistrates' Courts Act, 1944 (Act No 32 of 1944)
The Department is at the moment considering the initiation of legislation to amend the said Magistrate’ Courts Act. The proposal of the above Member of Parliament is being covered by the Department’s draft proposals and, therefore, it need not be promoted separately, as the intention is to bring the said section 66 into line with the Constitutional Court's judgment in Jaftha v Schoeman & Others.
DEPUTY CHIEF STATE LAW ADVISER
ADV J H BRUWER
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