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STANDING COMMITTEE ON PRIVATE MEMBERS’ LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS AND SPECIAL PETITIONS
8 August 2006
KRIGE PETITION: BRIEFING
Acting Chairperson: Mr S Mshudulu (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Dr F Van Heerden (FFP) made a brief presentation on a special petition from Brigadier (Ret) J Krige requesting that his pension be transferred to his disabled son after his death. The Committee decided to wait until next week to discuss the petition so that Dr Van Heerden would have time to gather more information.
The Chair of the Committee, Ms M Mentor (ANC), was absent from the meeting. Ms S Sigcau (UDM) nominated Mr S Mshudulu (ANC) to be the acting Chair for this meeting.
The Chair opened the meeting by explaining that a quorum of Members was not necessary at present. He took note of the fact that some Members were preparing for National Women’s Day. The Chair added that last week they had forgotten to note that a Member of the Committee, Mr A Ainslie (ANC), had lost his mother. He held a brief moment of silence.
Presentation of Brig J Krige’s Special Petition
Dr F Van Heerden (FFP) outlined the special petition process. He explained that, constitutionally, a petition may be granted if there is no other legal remedy and if the petition is found to be in the public interest. However, even if the Committee approves of the petition it still needs to be considered by other relevant stakeholders.
Dr Van Heerden said that because Brig Krige is 85 years old and in bad health, he was unable to attend the meeting. He added that he would prefer not to have Brig Krige at future meetings for this reason, but that if absolutely necessary, he could attend.
Dr Van Heerden then briefly explained Brig Krige’s petition. Brig Krige, a pensioner whose wife had died several years ago, wanted to have his pension transferred to his disabled son upon his death. However, he had retired in 2002, and only pensioners who retired after 2003 were eligible to have their pensions transferred to disabled dependents. Having exhausted his other alternatives, Brig Krige submitted the petition to convince the Committee to make an exception.
Dr Van Heerden explained that Brig Krige’s only other way to have his pension transferred was to remarry, but that since he had been married to his late wife for 58 years he preferred not to do so.
Dr Van Heerden added that Brig Krige had had an aneurysm, continuing heart problems and was also being treated for prostate cancer. Brig Krige had contributed to the pension fund for more than 40 years. He has two brothers, but neither could afford to care for his son because one was also a pensioner and the other was divorced and supporting his four children. Brig Krige’s son, who is already 50 years old, is mentally retarded. Although his son works at a residential care center he is unable to read or write and is heavily dependent on other people.
Dr Van Heerden noted that he had not had enough time to research previous petitions, but he thought that a petition granted in 1993 was very similar to Brig Krige’s petition. He undertook to report back to the Committee after he had looked into the matter.
Ms Sigcau said that she would wait until Dr Van Heerden had provided further information before asking questions.
The Chair noted that the petition had gone through the correct procedures and that it was very thorough. He requested Dr Van Heerden to provide additional information and documents before the next meeting, which is scheduled for August 15th. He added that during the next meeting all the relevant departments and stakeholders would also be present.
The meeting was adjourned.
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