Prevention of Organized Crime Amendment Bill [B2-99]: voting

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Justice and Correctional Services

22 February 1999
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE

PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE
23 FEBRUARY 1999
PREVENTION OF ORGANIZED CRIME AMENDMENT BILL [B2-99]: VOTING

Documents handed out

Portfolio Committee Amendments to Prevention of Organized Crime Bill: Part One
Portfolio Committee Amendments to Prevention of Organized Crime Bill: Part Two
Report on Discussions with Accounting-General
Department of State Expenditure Comments on the Criminal Asset Recovery Account

SUMMARY
The Bill was voted on and passed.

Section 5 was left unresolved due to Afrikaans translation concerns which would be dealt with by the NCOP. In order to thus pass it, Chairperson de Lange suggested that they leave the Afrikaans as is throughout the entire document.

MINUTES
Chairperson De Lange (ANC) gave a summary of the legislation’s history. The Prevention of Organized Crime Bill came to the committee last year. Urgency had pushed it through both the NA and NCOP. The President signed the bill, making it law as of the 21 of January. The Banking Council had raised some issues that the committee has addressed and fixed. A resolution last year was passed to allow further amendments on the funding. This gave them the opportunity to fix minor matters. Nothing of substance has been amended in this bill. In this meeting they went through the amendments, making sure all were in order, then the committee voted.

Clause 1: only changing index and Afrikaans translation. Passed.
Clause 2: amendment 1 changes agreed to. On page 5, section (d), the definition of property remains because of the use of the word in section one, section c. Legal advisor De Lange suggested that the definition be left as is, deleting the optional clause. Passed.

Clause 5: Mr. Gibson (DP) said the Afrikaans version seemed incorrect. De Lange said that it is the direct translation from the English Bill, which is already in effect. Gibson argued that it is not a translation, because it reads poorly. The Chair agreed, saying it was not elegant Afrikaans, but it is a direct translation. The Chair asked that the Afrikaans-speakers to fix the grammatical errors. Clause 5 is not resolved.

Clauses 6-8: Passed.
Clause 9: The Banking Council had asked for substantive changes. Section a-b were found to be in order. Mr. Gibson asked if the Afrikaans word suspisie was correct. Legal advisor De Lange said it was correct. Sections c-f were correct. Passed.

Clause 10: The committee accepted the new draft, although Mr. Gibson inquired if the court could throw it out. The Chair agreed, saying it was not legally necessary, but the Banking Council had felt better with the provision in the bill, and this committee had done its best to accommodate all concerns. Passed.
Clause 11: Passed.
Clause 12: Section 2 is in order. In section 3, a grammatical error was found and fixed. Passed.
Clause 13: Passed.
Clause 14: In section d, the committee opted to replace the current wording with the optional phrase. Passed.

Clause 15: Mr. Gibson commented that it seemed complicated, using the phrase "particular time" twice in the paragraph. Could the committee agree to alter the language, using the word "then" instead? Legal advisor De Lange said that by denoting "particular time" twice, it allowed for interpretation. Passed.
Clauses 15-17: Passed.

Clause 18: This had been the original Clause 2 in the bill. The Chair stated that a change was needed in the Afrikaans section to add the term "unlawful," in order to remain consistent with the bill. Passed.
Clause 19: This had been the original clause 3. Passed.

Clause 20-21: This had been the original clause 4 and 5 respectively. Passed.
Clause 22: The committee only changed the language, not the meaning. Passed.
Clause 23: Passed. A new amendment follows.

Clause 24: This is a new Afrikaans amendment. Mr. Maree (NP) offered a better Afrikaans sentence. The Chairman agreed that often the Afrikaans text could be more elegant, but they needed to translate word for word due to legalese. Passed.
Clause 25-36: Passed.

Clause 37: Discusses the new funding mechanism that the cabinet allocates. This amendment gives strict guidelines on how the money is used, who allocates funds and who receives it. It makes Parliament aware through tabling where the money is, allows for the finances to be accounted for, and lets the Auditor General balance the books. Sub-section 6 of this amendment is extremely important, because it allows for accountability within the NGO sector. It is an extremely innovative sub-clause that Mr. Smit (legal advisor) can be proud of. Mr. Maree asked if the credit concept dealt with in this clause could be made consistent with the original concept in clause 33. Passed.

Clause 38-40: Passed.
Clause 41: This is a new Afrikaans amendment. Passed.
Clause 42-43: remains the same; Passed.
Clause 44: Is the short title. Passed.
Clause 45: Is the long title. Passed.

Chairman De Lange said that the process of direct translation is a poor practice, especially because the Afrikaans is only a translation and the English bill is the official bill. He would like to change the practice and questioned the committee as to who he would need to talk to. Legal advisor De Lange, however, stated that since both English and Afrikaans are recognized official languages, the bills in both languages are official legal documents, not just translation. He cited several practical examples currently in session, where the English document had inconsistencies, yet the Afrikaans document was correct, and used. Then, Chairman De Lange suggested that they leave the Afrikaans as is throughout the entire document. Regarding Clause 5, the committee agreed to let the NCOP deal with the issue, noting it as unresolved.

Motion on Desirability to amend the act and further amendments: Passed.

The Justice Committee reports bill and all its amendments: Passed.

Regarding the Money Laundering Continuity Bill from the Finance Department. This committee will not pass the entire resolution because it believes it is unwise to introduce further legislation that may cause further fragmentation throughout the system.

No Justice Committee meetings will occur 24 February or 26 February. The next meeting will be 1 March 1999.

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