Committee Reports: Reform of Customary Law of Succession Bill, Superior Courts Bill, National Policy Framework on Management of Sexual Offences, Fathers 4 Justice & Review of Criminal Justice System public hearings

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Justice and Correctional Services

18 February 2009
Chairperson: Mr Yunus Carrim (ANC), Ms Maggie Sotyu (ANC) & Mr Dennis Bloem (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee agreed to adopt the Committee Reports on Department Budget 2008/09, on Office of the Public Protector 2006/7 Annual Report and on the Committee Report on the National Prosecuting Authority 2006/7 Annual Report.


Meeting report

Committee Report: Superior Courts Bill
The Committee adopted the Report.

Committee Report: Reform of Customary Law of Succession Bill
Mr Carrim (ANC) proposed that the following paragraph; ‘’The Committee expresses its dissatisfaction with the speed at which the Bill was amended and wish to communicate to the relevant stakeholders, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), the parliamentary programme structures and Departments to desist from treating Bills in this manner’’ be inserted into Section 5 of the Report.

The NCOP amendments to the Bill was formally adopted. The Report was adopted with amendments.

Committee Report: National Policy Framework on the Management of Sexual Offences
Mr Carrim proposed that the following paragraph; ‘’ The Committee wishes to thank Ms Gillian Nesbitt of the Parliamentary Research Unit for her assistance in processing the Report.

The Report was adopted with amendments.

Committee Report: Fathers 4 Justice (F4J)
Mr Carrim thanked Adv Carol Johnson (ANC) for her diligence, patience and hard work as she had chaired the Justice sub-committee tasked with the F4J matter. He said that she possessed immense intelligence and he regretted the fact she was retiring from Parliament.

He also thanked Ms Gillian Watkins of the Parliamentary Research Unit for her assistance in processing the report as well as the relevant stakeholders, content adviser and other researchers.

He proposed that this be inserted into the Report.

The Report was adopted with amendments.

Committee Report: Public Hearings on the Review of the Criminal Justice System
Mr Carrim noted that the changes in the Report had been highlighted in bold and that the Report accurately detailed what happened during the public hearings up to Section 7. He noted that it had cost Parliament R17, 2 million, thus there was an onus on the new Committees, within the security cluster to implement the recommendations made by the outgoing Committees. He said that Members felt very strongly about this.

Paragraph 6.16
Mr Carrim said that although the DoJ had made giant strides in the provision of different language services, the Committees felt that more could be done to give credence to what was entailed in the Constitution on this matter.

Paragraph 6.20
Mr Carrim said that many people that had participated in the public hearings had said that prisoners enjoyed more rights then ordinary law abiding citizens and had access to education, nutrition, skills training and entertainment facilities. They expressed their concern over this as there were many law abiding citizens who did not have access to these basic needs. He said that these individuals stated that many prisoners, when released, kept on returning to prisons as it was comfortable in prison. They also did not have to contend with the socio-economic realisations of their communities on the outside.

Mr Carrim said that this was a serious indictment on Members, especially on the ANC Government and that it was a sad reflection of South African society.

Paragraph 6.27
Mr Carrim asked that the Report include a reference to the importance that the relevant Ministers respond to what had been documented in Section 6.27.

Ms A Van Wyk (ANC) asked that all the headings at the bottom of the page be moved to the top to signify a new section. She also proposed that ‘after elections’ be substituted with ‘’six weeks after the commencement of Parliament’’.(ref to 6.26).

The Committee adopted the Report with amendments.

Closing Remarks
Mr Carrim thanked all Members, departments and parliamentary staff for their excellent work during the tenure of the Third Parliament; He thanked the opposition for their input and hailed Mr Tertius Delport (DA), who was retiring, as a Member that always made a contribution.

Ms Sotyu thanked all the Members of the PC Safety and Security for their hard work. She singled Ms van Wyk out as an intelligent person and a major driving force of the Committee.

Mr Bloem thanked all the Members of the PC Correctional Services for their hard work and determination.

The Co-Chairperson adjourned the meeting.


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