Scorpions Closure: National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill & South African Police Service Amendment Bill: adoption of certain amendments proposed by NCOP

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Justice and Correctional Services

18 November 2008
Chairperson: Mr J Jeffery (ANC) and Ms M Sotyu (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Safety and Security Committee considered the amendments proposed by the NCOP to the South African Police Service (SAPS) Amendment Bill. The Committee voted in favour of the proposed amendments to the new Section 17D(3), but rejected the changes inserting new subclauses (4) and (5) into that Section. The Committee also disagreed with the proposed exclusion, in new Section 17E(7)(b), of “family members living in the same household with that member” and suggested instead that “dependent” be inserted. Members agreed with the proposal that the Cabinet Committee and the Operational Committee must meet “not less than four times annually” instead of “as necessary” as set out in the new Sections 17 I (3)(a) and 17J (2)(d) respectively. There were typographical corrections to Clause 6 that were approved

The Members of the Justice Portfolio Committee then considered the NCOP’s proposals for amendment of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Amendment Bill. In respect of the proposals for Clause 1, they rejected the NCOP’s suggestions and maintained that the definition for “investigating director” must be retained in the NPA Bill, and not the SAPS Bill. In respect of Clause 3, the NCOP had suggested that the words “one or more” rather than “not more than two” be used in Clause 3 in relation to the Investigative Directorates. The amendments to Clause 8 were rejected for the same reasons as the rejection of the changes to Clause 1. The Committee accepted the other minor changes to Clauses 11 and 13.

Meeting report

South African Police Service Amendment Bill (SAPS Bill) and National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill (NPA Bill): Deliberations on Proposed amendments by NCOP
Co-Chairperson Ms M Sotyu (ANC) noted that no opposition members were in attendance. Despite this, the South African Police Service Amendment Bill (SAPS Bill) and National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill (NPA Bill), both dealing with the disbanding of the Scorpions, would be finalised that afternoon.

Mr Jeffery reminded Members that each Committee would vote independently for the Bill for which it was responsible

NCOP Amendments to the SAPS Bill
Co-Chairperson Mr J Jeffery (ANC) guided members of the Safety and Security Committee through the amendments introduced by the NCOP. In addition, he mentioned that the ANC Study Group had discussed the proposals, and indicated that he would notify Members which ones were either supported or rejected.

Clause 3
Firstly, Mr Jeffery stated that the Study Group did not have any objections to the changes recommended to the new Section 17D (3).  However, the Study Group had not supported the insertion of new subsections (4) and (5) into Section 17D. 

In addition, Mr Jeffery pointed out that the Study Group had disagreed with the proposed amendment in section 17E (7)(b), which sought to exclude “family members living in the same household” and instead had proposed that the word “dependent” be inserted before “family members living in the same household with that member”, to make it clear that the requirement to disclose would apply to dependent family members.  

New Clause 3: New Sections 17 I and 17J
Mr Jeffery explained that the Study Group had agreed with the amendments that the Cabinet Committee, as well as the Operational Committee, must meet not less than four times a year.

Clause 6
Mr Jeffery recited the typographical corrections.

The Chairperson urged members of the Safety and Security Committee to support the recommendations of the Study Group, as these seemed to be well-considered.

Members of the Safety and Security Committee then unanimously adopted the proposed amendments to the new Clause 17D(3), and the new Clauses 17 I (3)(a) and 17J(2)(d), as well as the corrections to Clause 6. However, they rejected the amendments that sought to include new subclauses (4) and (5) to the new Section 17D, and also rejected the omission in the new Section 17E(7)(b), instead reinserting that phrase “dependent family members living in the same household with that member”.

NCOP Amendments to the National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill
Co-Chairperson Mr Jeffery took the Committee through the proposed amendments by the NCOP. He said that these had been considered by the ANC Study Group.

Clause 1

Mr Jeffery declared that the Study Group had rejected the NCOP amendment to the definition of “Investigating Director” and maintained that the definition for the term “Investigating Director” must be retained in the NPA Bill rather than the SAPS Bill.

Clause 3
Mr Jeffery noted that it had originally been decided that there should be a maximum of two Investigative Directorates in the NPA. He added that after some debate, the Study Group had eventually supported the NCOP’s view that there should not be any limitation placed on the number of Investigative Directorates in the NPA.

Clause 8
Mr Jeffery repeated the comments he made in respect of Clause 1, and said that for the reasons already stated the Study Group had not supported the deletion of Clause 8.

Mr Jeffery announced the other minor changes to Clauses 11 and 13 and suggested that the Committee support the recommendations of the Study Group.

Members of the Justice Committee then voted formally on the amendments proposed by the NCOP. It rejected the amendments proposed for Clauses 1 and 8, but supported those proposed for Clause 3, 11 and 13. 

The meeting was adjourned.


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