Hansard: Films and Publications Amendment Bill: President's Reservations on its Constitutionality
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 18 Feb 2009
No summary available.
Thursday, 19 February 2009 Take: 161
THE DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
"National Assembly Chamber Main",Unrevised Hansard,26 Feb 2009,"Take-161[National Assembly Chamber Main].doc"
"National Assembly Chamber Main",Unrevised Hansard,19 Feb 2009,"[Take-161] [National Assembly Chamber Main][NAC-Logger][ds].doc"
FILMS AND PUBLICATIONS AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Bill and of Report of Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs thereon and President's Reservations on Constitutionality of Bill as submitted to him)
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A C Nel): Hon members, requests for declaration of votes have been received and I will allow three minutes to one member of each party wishing to make a declaration.
Declaration(s) of vote:
Mr H P CHAUKE: Chairperson, it was never the intention of the portfolio committee to undermine the freedom of expression and the Constitution. Having dealt with this Bill as a portfolio committee, coming back from the President, we have made few amendments into clause 29 sections 4, 3 and 2. We believe that with the amendments that we have made, we will be able to comply with the constitutional requirements.
On that note, I want to take this opportunity to thank members of the portfolio committee from, firstly, the ANC, and the DA, IFP and ACDP for the contribution that they have made in trying to address one of the most critical areas. We were emphasising that those that are found to be in possession of pornographic material must be punished. It was quite a very general approach that we took. I think we have managed to resolve those issues and we believe that when the Bill goes back to the President it will be in line with the Constitution. Amandla!
HON MEMBERS: Awethu!
Mr H P CHAUKE: Viva ANC, viva!
Phansi nge-IFP, phansi! Phansi nge-DA, phansi! [Ubuwelewele.]
Ms H WEBER
END OF TAKE
Mr H P CHAUKE
Ms H WEBER: The President's observations have probably been addressed but not, so far, enough. We remain, as we have been throughout, opposed to the unconstitutional concept of free publication censorship by administrative body like the Film and Publication Board. We therefore continue to oppose the Bill.
It has always been incomprehensible to the DA that free-speech issues like film and publications are in the hands of the Home Affairs committee. This arrangement is inherited from the old apartheid government where the Ministry of Home Affairs conducted censorship on behalf of the apartheid state. Now the ANC government has come full circle and is embarking on the censorship as was practised by the old apartheid government.
We urge the new incoming government to place the Film and Publication Board in the hands of the new Communications Minister and hence the Communications committee, where it rightfully belongs.
This is also my final speech, and I will not be politicking, but as I will be retiring, I would like to thank all my colleagues for the friendship and support during my parliamentary term. I would also like to thank my family for their support. It indeed has been very nice and very encouraging and I trust this Parliament will in the future become truly democratic. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr S N SWART
END OF TAKE
Ms H WEBER
Mr S N SWART: The ACDP supports the amendments that have been added to ensure the constitutionality of the Films and Publications Amendment Bill. This is the end of a long road where the ACDP's proposals to protect the freedom of the oppressed were accepted some time ago as well as our proposals to accommodate concerns regarding pornography and in particular child pornography. We wish to say that we are grateful for the manner in which this issue was approached and that the concerns regarding constitutionality have now been addressed. The ACDP will support this Bill. Thank you.
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