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SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
23 August 2006
SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTE FOR DRUG-FREE SPORT AMENDMENT BILL [B7-2006]: ADOPTION
Chairperson: Mr B Komphela (ANC)
Documents handed out:
South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Amendment Bill [B7-2006]
The Committee met with Sport and Recreation South Africa Legal Advisors to receive a briefing on the proposed amendments to the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Amendment Bill. The required membership number of the Institute was explained as was the stipulated appointment process. Interested parties would be requested to submit a list of candidates to the Minister for consideration. Guidelines to promote equity and transformation would be taken into account by the Minister. A definition on international standards had been added to the Bill. The Minister of Finance would be involved in the decision-making process to appoint the Chief Executive Officer. The Institute would have to comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency Code and the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation rules and regulations. A Wada-accredited laboratory had to be established in South Africa. The Institute would have to disclose any relevant information related to a doping investigation to the South African Police Services and the South African Revenue Services. The Institute could initiate a search and seizure investigation of an athlete’s possessions. Athletes in the out of competition testing pool would have to provide contact details to the Institute. An Anti-Doping Appeal Panel would be established from which a three member Appeal Tribunal would be selected to hear disputes to findings. The proposed amendments were unanimously adopted by the Committee as was the Bill. The Bill would be debated in the House next week.
Sport and Recreation South Africa briefing
Mr Gideon Boshoff (Department Legal Advisor) briefed the Committee on the proposed amendments to the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Amendment Bill. Definitions on international standards would be inserted into the Bill. A definition on the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Convention and the World Anti-Doping Agency would also be included in the Bill.
Clause 2: Amendment of section 3 of Act 14 of 1997
Mr Boshoff stated that the Institute would consist of a Chairperson and at least nine members who possessed relevant knowledge pertaining to doping. The Chief Executive Officer would have no voting rights. Candidates would be recommended to the Minister. Guidelines to promote equity and transformation would be applied. Existing members would continue in office until new members had been appointed.
Mr S Masango (DA) asked for clarity on the provision that the Institute would consist of at least nine members.
The Chairperson reminded Members that the intention of the provision was to avoid the scenario where deadlock in voting could occur due to the presence of an even number of members.
Mr Masango asked what would transpire if nine members were not available when required.
The Chairperson concurred that a problem could arise if 10 members were involved in a vote as the clause referred to “at least nine”.
Mr Boshoff agreed that the clause should specify only nine members as opposed to “at least nine.”
Clause 3: Staff of Institute
Mr Boshoff stated that the Institute’s Chief Executive Officer would be appointed by the Minister in concurrence with the Minister of Finance.
Mr Masango asked whether the appointment should also involve consultation with other stakeholders such as the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Commission (SASCOC).
The Chairperson declared that the clause was satisfactory. The intention was to ensure that adequate resources were in place to facilitate the appointment.
Clause 5 (b) (f): Amendment of section 10 of Act 14 of 1997
Mr Boshoff stated that the Institute would have to ensure as far as reasonably possible the establishment of a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory in the Republic.
The Chairperson stated that the clause was intended to ensure the creation of such a laboratory while taking financial matters into consideration.
Clause 6 (i): Amendment of section 11 of Act 14 of 1997
Mr Boshoff stated that the clause sought to ensure that South Africa complied with the WADA Code, the UNESCO Convention and any other anti-doping agreements.
The Chairperson sought clarity on the distinction between a signatory and a party to an agreement. The ratification of a convention by South Africa meant that the country became a signatory to the convention as opposed to a party to it.
Mr Boshoff replied that South Africa became a signatory to the WADA code by signing the Copenhagen Declaration. The Declaration had been transformed into the UNESCO Convention. The Convention could be regarded as a contractual agreement.
The Chairperson stated that reference in sub-paragraph (c) to “sport or recreational activity” should be changed as the Bill related to sport and recreation.
Clause 7(h): Insertion of sections 11A to 11C in Act 14 of 1997
Mr Boshoff stated that the provision required the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the South African Revenue Services (SARS) to co-operate with the Institute in any investigation related to doping activities. The Institute had to disclose relevant information pertaining to an investigation to the SAPS or SARS. The Institute would have the authority to initiate a search and seizure of prohibited substances by the relevant authorities.
Clause 10: Amendment of section 17 of Act 14 of 1997
Mr Boshoff stated that the Institute would establish an Anti-Doping Appeal Panel of not more than ten persons that would constitute an appeal tribunal that would hear disputes to decisions made. Members of the Tribunal would possess sufficient knowledge and expertise. At least four members would be appointed by the Minister. At least two appointees would have to be admitted practicing attorneys or advocates with a minimum of three years experience. However, it was proposed that the number of appointees should remain as “at least” three to prevent deadlock.
The Chairperson noted that any reference to an even number in terms of a panel of tribunal could lead to unnecessary complications in voting as a deadlock could occur.
Mr Boshoff stated that the Appeal Tribunal had to consist of at least three members but this could result in a dilemma if four members were appointed. He proposed that the clause should specify only three members.
The Chairperson suggested that the solution would be to ensure that any number could be appointed as long as it remained an odd number. The term “at least” could result in an anomaly.
Dr van Dugteren (SASCOC Anti-Doping Commission Chair) stated that the nature of a specific appeal tribunal would change and certain experts would have to be appointed to deal with particular subject matters. Therefore the restriction of the appeal tribunal to just three members could be problematic.
The Chairperson stated that for the sake of consistency the Bill should clearly stipulate the number of the appeal tribunal as three. However, if the clause would refer to at least three members, then the Bill should stipulate that the odd numbers had to be maintained.
Ms D Morobi (ANC) stated that the same principle should apply to the panel in terms of membership.
Dr van Dugteren stated that the panel never sat as a group or engaged in a voting procedure. The panel should be regarded as a group of experts from which an appeal tribunal could be assembled. Therefore the quantity of the members of the panel was irrelevant.
The Chairperson stated that the intention was to avoid ambiguity in the Bill by clearly stipulating that the tribunal should consist of an odd number of members despite the number of appointees.
Dr van Dugteren stated that if the Bill specified that the Board had to consist of nine members only then the death of one member would result in the illegality of the Board as the required number would be lacking. The phrase “at least” was meant to provide flexibility in the event of a shortfall in numbers.
The Chairperson stated that the Board could meet with a number less than nine and decisions taken would be binding.
Ms W Makgate (ANC) stated that reference to three members of the Tribunal was to ensure that a minimum of three members was present to constitute a hearing.
The Chairperson concurred that the clause would seek to impose a requirement on the Tribunal to be never less than three members.
Mr Boshoff agreed that the minimum number of members of the Tribunal should be three but the option would remain to increase the number if need be as long as the odd number requirement was maintained.
Adv Hercules (State Law Advisor) stated that the Bill referred to the issue of vacancies in the Institute. The presence of a vacancy in the Institute would not affect the validity of decisions reached in the Board.
The Chairperson read out the motion of desirability. The Committee adopted the motion and thereby adopted the Amendment Bill. The Bill would be debated in the House in the following week.
The meeting was adjourned.
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