Programme for the first quarter of 1998

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Justice and Correctional Services

10 February 1998
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Meeting report

PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE

11 FEBRUARY 1998

PROGRAMME FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF 1998


Introductions


The Chairperson (Advocate J de Lange) welcomed everyone and introduced Jim Matemane, the researcher allocated to the Justice committee. Ms S Camerer (NP) introduced her alternate member, Mr F Smit.


The Chairperson commented on the tour undertaken by the committee during the January recess. He thought the tour was very successful, particularly because the members went as South Africans first and not as members of political parties. The committee will be compiling a substantial report on the tour.


Committee programme for first quarter


Legislation

The Chairperson referred members to the provisional legislative programme in a document dated 14 January 1998. The committee has 8 tabled bills before it. Two draft bills are presently with the state law advisors and should be tabled soon. These are the Maintenance Bill and the Judicial Matters Second Amendment Bill.


The Chairperson discussed the bills in order of priority:


1. National Prosecuting Authority Bill [B113-97]


The Chairperson referred members to a list which he circulated, indicating who he thought should be given an opportunity to make public submissions on the Bill. Ben Kali (committee secretary) is working on a schedule for the hearings next week and should be able to circulate it by the end of this week. The whole week has been set aside for hearings on the Bill. The Chairperson commented on the small number of submissions received thus far but said that he thought more will be coming in later. The Chairperson indicated a desire to deal with the Bill quickly and thus undivided attention should be given to it before other bills.


2. Judicial Matters Amendment Bill [B95-97]


This Bill is priority number two. It deals with a number of vital issues including section 49, increasing the jurisdiction of the magistrates' courts and insolvency.


3. Witness Protection Bill


4. Maintenance Bill

This bill has not yet been tabled, but as soon as it is, it will be given attention.


5. Assessors Bill


The other bills will be fitted in where possible.


The Chairperson will distribute a document received from Mr Rudman (department official) regarding legislation in the departmental pipeline.


Mr Gibson asked if the new researcher could investigate whether the bills passed by the committee last year had been promulgated yet. The Chairperson said that he would be getting a document from the department regarding this issue.


Anti-Crime Week

There will be an anti-crime week campaign in Parliament next week. The Chairpersons of the Corrections, Safety and Security, and Security and Justice committees have decided that it is important that the public be informed on what is happening as regards the National Crime Prevention Strategy. The anti-crime week will involve displays in parliament and press statements by the Director-Generals of each department involved in the NCPS.


On the subject of the NCPS, the Chairperson said he would organise a briefing for the committee.


Department of Justice Press Briefing

The Chairperson alerted the committee to the Department’s press briefing on Thursday (11.30am 120 Plein Street).


Briefing by Minister

Chairperson indicated that he will approach the Minister to brief the committee on the state of the Department. While on this issue, he mentioned that he thought it would be a good idea for committee members to spend a week in the Department of Justice to get a feel of the conditions in the department and its capabilities.


Programme for March

16th and 17th: Gender hearings

18th: Hearing on the Human Rights Commission and Public Protector

19th: Briefing on the African Court on Human and People’s Rights

20th: Hearing on children related matters


The 16th to 20th is coincidentally, Human Rights Week, thus it is appropriate that the committee holds these hearings.


The Chairperson asked the leaders of the parties to make suggestions to him regarding the legislation programme.


Lastly, the Chairperson introduced Mr Effort Kgomedi who has joined the Justice department’s legislation drafting team.


The meeting was closed.

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