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DEFENCE PORTFOLIO MEETING
01 August 2006
PROHIBITION OF MERCENARY ACTIVITIES AND PROHIBITION AND REGULATION OF CERTAIN ACTIVITIES IN AN AREA OF ARMED CONFLICT BILL [B42-2005]
Chairperson: Ms T Tobias (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Prohibition of Mercenary Activities and Prohibition and Regulation of Certain Activities in Areas of Armed Conflict Bill [B42-2005]
The Committee deliberated on the Bill and made technical amendments to the Long Title, Preamble, and Clause 1. Some of the issues were not concluded, being referred for further deliberation to the two sub-committees.
The Chairperson stated that two sub-committees had been established, one to be led by Mr O Monareng (ANC) and the other chaired by Dr G Koornhof (ANC), standing in for Ms C Johnson (ANC).
The following discussions took place on clauses in the Bill:
Dr M Pheko (PAC) pointed out that the long title used the word “exception” twice, and proposed that the second instance fall away.
Mr O Monareng (ANC) suggested that the words “prohibit subject to exceptions” should be amended to the word “regulate”.
Ms A Van Wyk (ANC) suggested that the “And” in the first "And Whereas" should be dropped as it sounded repetitive.
Mr Monareng replied that this was consistent with the usual style of preambles.
He proposed that the word “foreign” should be replaced with “residents in other countries”.
Mr R Jankielsohn (DA) asked the Committee then to consider the definition of “other”, and what it would qualify.
Dr G Koornhof (ANC) replied that “other” here referred to state or non-state.
The Chairperson believed that in future alternative explanations should be investigated. For instance, “armed conflict” could potentially include conflict where no combatants were present. If computers were use to fire missiles from one area to another she queried whether this would fall within the definition of “armed conflict”
Dr Pheko believed that the references in Clause 1 (2)(a) (Page 3) to “legitimate armed struggle” and “self-determination” should be maintained. He believed that there was no need to define these as their meaning was already known.
Dr Koornhof disagreed, believing that these references should be removed as, in the absence of specific definitions, they were open to different interpretations.
The Chairperson agreed with Dr Koornhof, and suggested that these references should be deleted.
Ms C Johnson (ANC) suggested that all similar references should be deleted as one person’s freedom fighter was another’s terrorist.
The Committee agreed that these passages be deleted and the clause reworded accordingly.
Mr Monareng referred to the reference to “coup” and suggested that this should be substituted by its full title "coup d’etat".
It was agreed that Clause 5 of the Bill would not be discussed but would be sent to one of the sub-committee group for discussion.
Mr Jankielsohn believed that the prescriptions included in the Bill would disqualify South Africa nationals wishing to serve in foreign defence forces.
The Chairperson stated that any sort of enlistment would be guided by international rules of engagement and the Geneva Conventions.
The Chairperson reported that the trip to Canada had been cancelled, as its Members of Parliament were not working during the Canadian summer.
The Committee would meet on the following day.
The meeting adjourned.
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