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AD HOC COMMITTEE ON COMMENTS MADE BY MINISTER MADUNA
26 August 1998
ADOPTION OF REPORT
Documents handed out
Draft report on comments by Minister Maduna on Auditor-General (see Appendix)
The members to the committee went through the draft report, which was compiled by the Chairperson, Ms Ngwane. Minor changes were made to the report, including using the word "remarks" throughout the report and combining points 3 and 4. The report was supported by Mr Gibson (DP) and seconded by Ms Camerer (NP).
Below is the final report on comments made by Minister Maduna on Auditor-General, which appeared in the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports [No 98 - 1998]
Appendix : Report of the Ad hoc Committee on Comments by Minister P M Maduna on Auditor-General, dated 26 August 1998, as follows:
The Ad hoc Committee on Comments by Minister P M Maduna on Auditor-General, having considered and examined its terms of reference, reports as follows:
The Committee was established in terms of the following resolution agreed to in the National Assembly on 21 August 1997:
That the House resolves that a committee be appointed in terms of Rule 50 to advise the National Assembly whether or not the Minister of Minerals and Energy acted appropriately with regard to the activities and performance of the functions of the Auditor-General with respect to the affairs of the SFF Association and reports of the Auditor-General, having regard to the law in general and specifically to the provisions of the Constitution, 1996.
The Committee interpreted its terms of reference to exclude an enquiry into the truthfulness or otherwise of the Minister's remarks. The Committee decided that in essence the issue of the appropriateness of the Minister's conduct relates to whether or not the Minister had contravened any of the Rules of the National Assembly.
Having heard evidence and having conducted investigations in compliance with its terms of reference, the Committee unanimously found the following:
1. The Minister had contravened Rule 99 in making remarks about the Auditor-General when answering a question in the National Assembly on 18 June 1997. Rule 99 of the Standing Rules for the National Assembly provides as follows:
No member shall reflect upon the competence or honour of a judge of a superior court. or of the holder of an office (other than a member of the Government) whose removal from such office is dependent upon a decision of this House, except upon a substantive motion in this House alleging facts which, if true. would in the opinion of the Speaker prima facie warrant such a decision.
2. Rule 99 is applicable during interpellations and questions.
3. The truthfulness or otherwise of the remarks was not a relevant consideration and even if they were true. this would not be a defence or a justification for the breach of Rule 99.
The Committee therefore recommends to the House that the Speaker order the Minister to withdraw in the House all the remarks that contravened Rule 99.
Report to be considered.
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