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HOME AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
1 November 2000
WHITE PAPER ON INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION: PENULTIMATE REPORT
Chairperson: Mr AS Mokoena
· Penultimate Report of the White Paper on International Migration in respect of Public Hearings conducted by the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs
· Democratic Alliance Draft Response to the Penultimate Report
· Inkatha Freedom Party response to the Penultimate Report
· United Democratic Movement Comments on the Penultimate Report
· Critique of the Response of the UDM to the Penultimate Report
· Critique of the Response of the Inkatha Freedom Party to the Penultimate Report
· Critique of the DA response to the Penultimate Report
· A letter from Dr MGR Oriani-Ambrosini to Mr A Mokoena dated 24 October 2000
· A letter from Mr A Mokoena to Dr Gavin Woods ( Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts) dated 25 October 2000
· Notice of Motion - On behalf of African National Congress [see Appendix 1]
The DA, IFP and UDM presented their responses to the "Penultimate Report on the White Paper on International Migration". It was clear that the opposition parties wanted the legislative process to continue and not for the White Paper process to begin from scratch again as the Penultimate Report suggests. Each of the minority parties also stressed that the Penultimate Report should be seen as an ANC premise. The ANC agreed that the report was based on an ANC premise. Furthermore the DP and UDM were in agreement that the issues between the Chairperson, Mr Mokoena and Minister Buthelezi be resolved. The DA, IFP and UDM also emphasised that the briefing by Dr Oriani-Ambrosini dated 03.10.2000 be excluded from the Penultimate Report.
The ANC study group will give its response to the minority parties' submissions next year in January.
Purpose of the Meeting
· The Chair stated two purposes: Firstly, to discuss the minority parties' responses to the penultimate report of the White paper on International Migration and secondly to receive feedback from the parliamentary advisors as to S 56 - the powers and duties of the parliamentary committee to receive public comment.
· The Chair distributed two documents to those present : firstly, a notice of motion on behalf of the African National Congress and secondly, a letter from Mr Mokoena ( the chair) to Dr Gavin Woods (the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts) entitled "Investigation and Calling to Account Dr GR Oriani-Ambrosini". The latter was attached to the letter from Dr Oriani-Ambrosini to Mr Mokoena dated 24 October 2000.
· The Chair stated that neither of these two distributed documents could be commented on since such discussion was not listed as part of the purpose of the meeting.
· Mr K Van Der Merwe (IFP Chief Whip) objected to the fact that the Chair would not allow discussion around the two documents.
· The Chair responded by stating that Mr Van Der Merwe was not a member of the committee and that Mr Van Der Merwe should follow protocol otherwise the Chair would throw Mr Van Der Merwe out of the Committee meeting.
· Mr Van Der Merwe insisted that he was following protocol and that he was entitled to raise issues and participate in the meeting since he was a member of parliament. Furthermore he denied that he had done anything wrong and said that it was within his legal and constitutional right to participate in the meeting. He also added that he objected to the Chair's allegations and wanted to comment on the two documents.
· The Chair stated that he would not allow discussion on the two documents.
Tape Recording the Meeting
· Mr M Waters (DP) questioned whether the meeting was being recorded. Mr Waters went on to say that two meetings previously he had requested that the meeting be recorded and that if it was not being recorded, he wanted to know why not.
· The Chair accused Mr Waters of overriding Parliament and stated that the matter of recording the Portfolio Committee's meetings was now with the presiding officers
· Ms Van Wyk (UDM) asked the committee to distinguish between two different circumstances - the first being the committee taping itself and the second being outside people taping the committee. Ms Van Wyk stressed that on Monday 30 October 2000 it had been agreed by the Committee that this meeting would be recorded.
· Prince Zulu (IFP) interjected and called for a harmonisation of the workings of the committee. He then agreed with Ms Van Wyk that the committee had agreed that it would record the meeting.
· The Chair stated that Prince Zulu's comments were irrelevant.
· Mr Abram (UDM) then asked the Chair whether he was going to allow the meeting to be recorded or not.
· The Chair stated that the matter of recording the meeting was with the presiding officers.
· Mr Msomi ( IFP) stated that the meeting had in fact failed to commence and therefore proposed that the meeting be postponed.
· The Chair stated that he would not allow this.
· Mr Skhosana (ANC) stated that it had not been agreed at the meeting on Monday 30 October 2000 that the meeting would be recorded.
Process for Dealing with Party Submissions
· Mr Waters asked the Chair for clarity on the process on dealing with submissions
· The Chair outlined the process for submitting responses to the Penultimate Report:
- Each party's response to the Penultimate Report would be read out to the committee
- The ANC Study Group would convene in the afternoon and consider the responses and submissions from each of the political parties.
- The Portfolio Committee would reconvene at 7pm (2 November 2000) and the ANC would give its response to the submissions of each of the parties.
- The report would then go to Cabinet for Cabinet to decide what out of each of the parties submissions it would adopt or not.
· Mr Waters then asked the Chair when he would have an opportunity to convince the other members of the portfolio committee of the DP's submission, if the ANC were to caucus before he had the opportunity.
· The Chair said that each party would be given an opportunity to give their responses to the committee but that each party would have to be brief. He then suggested a time limit on each of the parties submissions.
· Mr Van Der Merwe (IFP) stated that he would not be bound by a time limit and that the submissions should be made democratically.
· Ms Van Wyk (UDM) agreed with the IFP position. Ms Van Wyk added that the minority parties had not been given an opportunity to present their own reports and that at the Monday 30th meeting the whole meeting had been dedicated to discussing the ANC study group critique of the other parties' reports.
· Mr Yengeni (ANC Chief Whip) intervened. Mr Yengeni asked the committee to not waste any more time, but instead to begin to discuss the parties' submissions because if the submissions were not discussed, the matter would not come before Parliament. Furthermore he added that there should not be time limits imposed upon the parties with regards to making their submissions before the committee.
· The Chair stated that he would yield to the wisdom of Mr Yengeni.
DP Response to the ANC Study Group's critique of the DP's response to the Penultimate Report. ( See DP's response to the Penultimate Report and Critique of DP's response to the Penultimate Report)
· Mr Waters read the DP response to the Penultimate Report.
· Re : Critique of the DP's response to the Penultimate Report point 2.3;
Mr Mike Waters pointed out that the DP agrees with the ANC study group critique that all legislation should be considered thoroughly, but not to the extent of waiting 19 months for a response to a White Paper. Mr Waters added that he felt that the committee, including himself had failed in this task.
· Re : Critique of the DP's response to the Penultimate Report point 2.4,
Mr Waters (DP) pointed out that the DP's response to the Penultimate Report included criticisms of the previous Chair of the Portfolio Committee and were not intended as criticisms of the current Chair, Mr Mokoena.
· Re : Critique of the DP's response to the Penultimate Report point 2.5,
Mr Waters agreed with the ANC study groups remarks in point 2.5.
· Re : "Closing Remarks" in Critique of the DP's response to Report,
Mr Waters highlighted that the DP feels strongly that the President should intervene between Mr Mokoena and Dr Buthelezi. Furthermore, Mr Waters added that the presence of the ANC Chief Whip at the Portfolio Committee meeting was evidence of the problems being experienced within the committee. Mr Waters called on the Chair to tell the committee if there was a political agenda that the committee was unaware of so that the committee could be informed as such.
· Re : Critique of the DP's response to the Penultimate Report point 3.3,
Mr Waters stressed that there was no rational argument for the entire
legislative process regarding the White Paper on International Migration to start
· Re : Critique of the DP's response to the Penultimate Report point 3.4,
Mr Waters insisted that the process had not occurred in haste and emphasised that the process had been continuing for 19 months.
· Mr Waters added that the sections dealing with the Lindela Repatriation Centre and the Lebombo Border Post should be excluded from the report.
· The Chair ( Mr Mokoena) stated that there is material evidence which should prevent the White Paper from being passed. He said that this evidence is found in the public's negative response at having to report aliens. He then pointed out that the other remarks made by the DP were good. Furthermore, Mr Mokoena stressed that he was not saying that the 10 stages were legislation (See "The Ten Significant Stages in the Legislative Process" in Penultimate Report) and added that he was not shifting the goalposts ( with regards to creating new criticisms of the White Paper) but was instead exercising oversight in line with the function of the legislature.
· Mr M Msomi ( IFP) asked the Chair if each person in the committee could
be given an opportunity to respond to the other party's response and that there not be a dialogue between the Chair and the Party making a submission.
· Mr Msomi also asked for clarification from the DP on three points:
- Does the DP feel that there has been "a collective mudslinging" with regards to the White Paper; Mr Msomi's view was that there had not been such "a collective mudslinging";
- He wanted some assurance that Mr Mokoena's views were not portrayed as the ANC view, since in the DP's submission there is reference to the ANC's view, where as in fact it was Mr Mokoena's viewpoint
- Mr Msomi asked that the Chairperson desist from giving his personal views and insisted that there was a need for a collective response.
· Mr Waters ( DP) responded by saying that there was "political
mudslinging" occurring within the committee and that it was coming from the ANC, but specifically from the Chair.
· Mr Van Der Merwe (IFP) agreed with the DP submission that the White
Paper should not be scrapped and that the process should continue.
· Mr Van Der Merwe then asked the Chair when the ANC study group would meet to discuss the responses to the Penultimate Report of the White Paper if the house was sitting that day and there appeared no time available for the ANC study group to meet.
· The Chair assured the committee that the ANC study group would meet in the afternoon to discuss the different parties' responses.
IFP Response to the "Penultimate Report on the White Paper on International Migration in respect of Public Hearings Conducted by the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs ( See Response of the IFP to the Penultimate Report on the White Paper and Critique of the IFP Response to the Penultimate Report on the White Paper)
· Mr Van Der Merwe (IFP) began the IFP submission by questioning the
status of the Penultimate Report. Mr Van Der Merwe stated that the report was signed on behalf of the Portfolio Committee but in actual fact the report was not a product of the committee.
· Mr Mokoena responded by pointing out that the Penultimate Report was an ANC premise
· Mr Van Der Merwe read the IFP response to the Penultimate Report.
· The meeting was adjourned at 12 :50pm and was set to reconvene at 7pm.
· The meeting reconvened at 7pm when Mr Koos Van Der Merwe continued
with the IFP response to the Penultimate Report.
· Ms Van Wyk (UDM) commented that the points made by the IFP were
reiterated in the submission by the UDM and that this was a message in itself.
· An ANC member pointed out that the process of receiving public inputs
was not flawed. ( Response to IFP's comment on p4 para 5 of their submission that the summary of public inputs was flawed).
· Ms Van Wyk stresses that Cabinet should apply its mind to the White
Paper and that only thereafter should the White Paper be sent out and made available for comment.
UDM Comments on the Penultimate Report of the White Paper on
International Migration in respect of Public Hearings conducted by the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs. ( See UDM Response to the Penultimate Report and Critique of the Response by the UDM of the Penultimate Report)
· Ms Van Wyk read the comments by the UDM on the Penultimate Report.
· Ms Van Wyk emphasised her concern that some of the valuable input
received from the public had not been included or was not clearly part of the content of the Penultimate Report.
· Ms Van Wyk also stressed ( in unison with the DA and IFP) that of the principles proposed by the White Paper, 11 of these principles were already part of the current immigration legislation.
· Ms Van Wyk also wished to highlight points 5 and 6 of the UDM's
· Ms Van Wyk added that the UDM agreed with the DP's request that
Minister Buthelezi and Mr Mokoena resolve their differences.
· Ms Van Wyk then responded to the ANC study group's critique of the UDM response:
- Re 2.2 of ANC critique: Ms Van Wyk stressed that the UDM commends
the fact that the Minister has conducted his own public hearings;
- Re 2.3 of ANC critique: Ms Van Wyk stated that this comment was made upon the assumption that there would be a new white paper; besides which 11 of the proposed principles are already included in current legislation.
- Re 2.4 of ANC critique: Ms Van Wyk stated that this comment represents a crucial flaw in the ANC's perception of the UDM's view.
- Re 2.6 of ANC critique: Ms Van Wyk reiterated the UDM's view that the briefing from the 03.10.2000 should be excluded from the Penultimate Report.
- Re 3.3 of ANC critique: Ms Van Wyk emphasised the UDM view that the issue of the Minister and Chairperson is material to the debates at hand.
· Mr Mokoena replied that the White Paper must occur before the Bill.
· Ms Van Wyk stated that no person had said that the White Paper and the Bill had occurred at the same time and further, that Mr Mokoena's comment is based upon the assumption that there were no public hearings and there were public hearings.
· Mr Msomi (IFP) emphasised that it was unlikely that any member of the
committee was proud of the report but that the committee should learn from the report. In addition, he argued that the committee should not create rules for itself which make the committee more diligent than it is required to be in normal circumstances. Mr Msomi than stated that no more could be done and that therefore the legislative process should proceed.
· Mr Mokoena replied that neither Mr Van Der Merwe nor Mr Msomi were listed on the committee list as members of the committee and that he expected consistent diligence from those appearing at the committee i.e. to attend all future meetings. Mr Mokoena said that he had difficulty in accepting the comments by Mr Van Der Merwe and Mr Msomi since they were not listed on the Committee list.
· Mr Van Der Merwe stated that any party was entitled to send any person they wanted to any meeting and that he had the right to move from meeting to meeting and therefore did not need to attend every meeting of this Portfolio Committee.
· Mr Waters asked the Chair when the ANC study group would provide
its response to the minority party's submissions.
· Mr Mokoena said that the ANC study group had been unable to meet in
the afternoon to discuss a response and that the ANC study group would therefore have to give its response to the minority parties' submissions next year in January.
· The Portfolio Committee will meet next on 15 January 15 2001.
· The meeting was adjourned.
Notice of Motion
I shall move on behalf of the African National Congress
That the House notes
The behavior of Mr Mario Ambrosini in a meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs recording the proceedings without appropriate arrangement with the committee or its chairperson,
Believing that his behaviour was unprofessional and undermined the integrity of democratically elected public representatives, and blatant flouting of the rules of parliament
Calls on the Presiding Officers to investigate this matter.