Hansard: Decision of Question on Candidate nominated for appointment as Inspector General of Intelligence Services
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 15 Feb 2010
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2010
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:00.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
START OF DAY
CONSIDERATION OF CANDIDATE NOMINATED
FOR APPOINTMENT AS INSPECTOR GENERAL OF INTELLIGENCE SERVICES
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Hon Speaker, hon President, hon Deputy President, I move the draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
That the House revives the following item, which was on the Order Paper and lapsed at the end of the 2009 session:
Decision of Question on Consideration of Candidate nominated for appointment as Inspector General of Intelligence Services.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
PRESIDENT'S REPLY TO DEBATE ON STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker and Deputy Speaker, Deputy President of the Republic, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, we requested that this year's state of the nation address coincide with the twentieth anniversary of Madiba's release. We did this both to celebrate that historic moment and to pay tribute to his legacy as a leader, a revolutionary and the founding President of our democratic state.
We wish to express our appreciation to Parliament for having so enthusiastically accommodated our request. We thank Parliament as well for agreeing to hold the debate in the evening, as we requested. As a result, workers, students and all those who have no control over their own time and resources were able to be part of the event. As we predicted, the audience measurement figures were phenomenal.
Last year, when the state of the nation address was delivered at 11am, the SABC2 viewership was 1,5 million and e.tv viewership was 487 000. This year, the SABC2 viewership, at 7pm, shot up to more than 2,5 million [Applause.] and e.tv rose to slightly more than 1,3 million. [Applause.]
We wish to thank hon speakers in yesterday's debate who paid tribute to Madiba and drew attention to his outstanding contribution. Indeed, we all came together in unity to pay tribute to this icon of our nation, who continues to inspire us in everything we do. Madiba remains a powerful symbol of the strides we have made as a nation. He led us during a difficult period of transition. He taught us to overcome anger, pain and hatred, and to move forward to build a nonracial, democratic and prosperous future nation. Thanks to Madiba, this country laid a firm foundation for development and progress.
We have achieved a lot since 1994. Millions of our people have access to many basic services, including water, housing, electricity, social security and others that they never had before. We have consolidated our democracy and strengthened our democratic institutions to provide much-needed protection to our people. However, we still have a lot of work to do, and we never hide this fact.
The debate on the state of the nation address has demonstrated the richness and diversity of political engagement in our society. We also welcome the offers of collaboration from political parties that have chosen to place the nation first.
We welcome the statement by hon Patricia de Lille that the ID is ready to roll up its sleeves and dirty its hands to work hard to build our country. Hon Mike Ellis, there is no need for anyone to defend the President. I knew exactly what I wanted to say in the state of the nation address, and I said it. [Applause.]
The state of the nation address covered the new era we are entering as government. This is the era for doing things differently; this is the era for ensuring that our work is determined by clear outcomes; and this is the era for increasing the pace and form of service delivery. That is our new way of doing things.
Unfortunately, you did not hear this. [Applause.] We are doing it for the poor millions who look to this government to work with them and change their lives. The new outcomes approach we are talking about will become clearer as Ministers present their budget speeches.
As we said in the state of the nation address, the President provides a broad overview and direction, and the Ministers supply the details. If we were to listen to what was said - that the state of the nation address "lacked details" - then the President would have stood here for a week, giving details of each and every department. [Applause.] That would be very funny. We reiterate that we have dedicated ourselves to working harder to achieve a turnaround in education, health, the fight against crime, rural development and land reform and creating decent work. Additional to this, we will take further our work on human settlements and infrastructure, as well as local government. All these might have sounded familiar to some hon members and some sections of the media. That is because we have not changed our priorities. What is changing is the method of implementation so that we can see faster results in this year of action.
As we debate in this Chamber and in the broader society as to how best to respond to the challenges we face, we need to be mindful of some basic facts about our country. You would have noticed that a large portion of the state of the nation address focused on youth development. This was deliberate. Around a third of all South Africans are under the age of 15. Half of all South Africans are under the age of 25. And nearly 70% of all South Africans are under the age of 35, according to Statistics SA. We are a youthful country.
Everything we do must answer the needs of our children and those of the youth. This has a profound bearing on what we do today and where we expect to be tomorrow. Unless we appreciate this reality, and unless we understand its implications, we will not be able to make correct policy choices and pursue the most appropriate development path.
The youthfulness of our population does indeed present significant challenges. But it also provides extraordinary opportunities. Much of the developed world is faced with ageing populations. Most of the people in these countries are nearing the end of their working lives. There is great concern about how those who reach retirement age will be supported.
By contrast, South Africa is a country in which half the population still have their working lives ahead of them. Like many other developing countries, our most productive years are potentially yet to come. But we will only realise that potential if we pursue appropriate policies now, and if we pursue them with purpose and vigour. Critically, this means that we must focus on the education and training of our youth. That is possibly the single most important investment we can make in the future of this country. [Applause.]
To borrow from the sentiments of Umntwana wakaPhindangene in the debate yesterday, he said that we need "a national effort of historical proportions, built on education, work, education, work, education and work and more work". As we pointed out in the address on Thursday, this is not simply a matter of resources.
We have a relatively large Education budget. The issue is, what benefit are we receiving for this investment? That is why we have chosen to focus on outcomes, which, unfortunately, hon members did not hear. The emphasis is on getting all the elements of our education system functioning properly and effectively. We need to ensure that every child who passes through our schools, colleges and universities receives an education that will enable them to contribute to economic growth and development through the skills they will have gained.
Mindful of the youthfulness of our population, we also have several programmes that are specifically aimed at them. As the Minister of Social Development, hon Edna Molewa, pointed out, our comprehensive social security system is a critical intervention to tackle the worst effects of poverty. It provides scores of children and their families a lifeline. It is therefore important that we implement our plans to make the child support grant available to children from poor families up to the age of 18. [Applause.]
Another important intervention is the school feeding scheme. It reaches over 6 million primary school learners and another 1 million secondary school learners each day. It helps to combat malnutrition and improve the capacity of poor children to learn, and it ensures that no child goes through the school day on an empty stomach. [Applause.]
Early childhood development is essential. It lays the foundation for all future educational progress and, as we have seen, reaches a significant portion of our population. The hon Enver Surty, the Deputy Minister of Education, pointed out that the most critical and significant cognitive development of a child occurs from birth to four years. Clearly, the quality and capabilities of our matriculants in 2025 is being determined today.
It is for the same reason that we are focusing on health interventions in early childhood. Not only will these measures reduce infant mortality but they will improve the general health of our children, which is important for their success in later life.
In our efforts to ensure a better future for our youth, the fight against HIV and Aids is crucial. I am grateful to the hon Minister Motsoaledi for having reminded the hon Meshoe of the treatment and prevention measures that we announced on 1 December last year. We remain fully committed to implementing the measures on schedule. [Applause.]
Let me re-emphasise that creating decent work opportunities remains at the centre of our economic policies. The short-term measures we have embarked on to assist our people to survive the recession do not replace the jobs that must be created by the formal economy. There was a tendency in the debate to suggest that when we spoke of 500 000 job opportunities we were talking about permanent jobs. [Interjections.] No, we were not. We were dealing with the issue to cushion our poor people against the recession. [Applause.]
What surprised many people is that we were able to reach 97% in this regard. They were shocked. This is because what they were waiting for was to attack the government. They then changed and began to confuse issues. Issues were very clear then, and they are still very clear now. [Applause.]
In my address I said that our long-term infrastructure investment programme will be one of the platforms that will underpin our growth in the next four years. As we proceed with this programme, we will work to maximise industrial growth opportunities by promoting the local manufacture of critical inputs for infrastructure projects. This will have long-term benefits for our industrial capacity and boost job creation.
As part of our effort to tackle climate change, we will be starting a long-term programme of developing green industries with a focus on maximising green jobs. Our rural development and food-security drive will absorb rural people into sustainable economic activities and sustainable jobs. These and other measures, including a strengthened drive on SMME development, will constitute important elements of our programme towards creating decent jobs. Many of these issues will be detailed further by the Minister of Trade and Industry and his colleagues in the sector.
We agree with the hon Ian Davidson that we need to "open the economy, promote opportunity, create competition and give choice".But this does not require the retreat of the state. [Applause.] Indeed, the resources and institutions of the state can be effectively used to promote conditions for even greater private sector growth and development.
We have noted the comments of hon members on the nationalisation debate. We reiterate that nationalisation is not government policy. We have noted that political formations, including the ruling party's youth league, have decided to debate the matter. This is a democratic society, and as government, we cannot stop political formations from deciding to open a debate on this topic or any other. [Applause.] It was governments in the past that banned certain political discussions, not this government. [Applause.]
What members should do in an open democratic society is that if the president of the ANC Youth League, Julius Malema, raises the issue of nationalisation, they must raise their counterargument to him if they want a debate on this topic. [Applause.] This must be done instead of saying to the government that they must stop him and make him keep quiet. This is democracy. He has views. The ANC Youth League has views; it has always had views. Debate the views of Malema! [Applause.]
Don't confuse a debate that has been raised with a policy of government. Don't do that. You must not begin to ask, as a South African, whether this is our policy when we have articulated it many times. We have process on how we formulate policies in the ANC. It is a long process that leads up to a national policy conference. That is the process we go through as a democratic organisation. There is no other organisation that does so, except for the ANC. [Applause.] So, on matters of policy, the ANC is very clear. Those who were in the ANC recently know the process I am talking about. [Laughter.] They have been party to it.
In talking about economic transformation, we must also work closely with the agricultural sector and labour to improve the conditions of marginalised citizens, especially farmworkers. Our comprehensive rural development programme is aimed at ensuring that farm dwellers are also able to enjoy the fruits of freedom. We think, in particular, of rural youth. The opportunities for education and skills development should not pass them by just because of their location.
We have noted the comments of hon Mphahlele that the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme has to involve traditional leaders. Yes, it does, as the hon Minister Gugile Nkwinti pointed out.
We will officially open the National House of Traditional Leaders on 23 February. [Applause.] We look forward to this occasion as it will give us an opportunity to engage with this very important sector. I am sure that the matter will be addressed.
We have noted the comments of hon members about the fight against crime. It is important that this is one of the issues on which we all agree. We said in the state of the nation address that we want South Africans to be safe and to feel safe. We fully understand the feelings and views of South Africans about crime and corruption. For this reason, we spent the last nine months working hard to revamp the criminal justice system and also to ensure a more visible and vigorous policing style.
The hon Deputy Minister Fikile Mbalula and the hon John Jeffery further outlined our programme in this regard. We said a few times that crime in our country tends to be violent, whether it takes place in homes, businesses or shopping malls. This increases people's feelings of being unsafe.
As hon Mbalula and Jeffery pointed out, we have a number of interventions in place to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system. Let me emphasise that we are improving the skills base and capacity of our police service in the areas of detective skills, intelligence and forensics.
The bottom line is that crimes must be properly investigated, and that criminals must be tried, convicted and properly punished for what they have done. Ministers responsible for the criminal justice sector will provide further detail on this work at a later stage.
Hon Meshoe, the fight against corruption forms an integral part of the fight against crime. In the address we mentioned corruption within various programmes of government, be it in motor licensing, social grants, identity documents and others to ensure that the delivery of services is not undermined.
Hon De Lille welcomed the discontinuation of more than 30 000 fraudulent social grants, but she asked when we were going to prosecute the perpetrators. More than 12 000 people have been convicted since the inception of the antisocial grants fraud project, and the campaign is ongoing. [Applause.] We thank members of the public who provide information on fraudsters to help the government eradicate this practice.
We are working on several initiatives to address corruption in government procurement. This includes the establishment of a tender compliance unit as well as supply chain fraud audits. The Minister of Finance will speak further on this matter tomorrow in the Budget Speech.
We mentioned in the state of the nation address that South Africa is a water-poor country. The demand for water will only increase, and our sewage management infrastructure will come under strain as time goes on. Hon Musa Zondi of the IFP correctly emphasised this basic necessity, especially in rural areas - for example in the Mkhanyakude district in KwaZulu-Natal. This affects many other parts of the country.
Part of doing things differently in government entails ensuring the removal of whatever red tape stops us from bringing services to the people. We will intensify our programmes aimed at ensuring the expansion of our people's access to clean water, including in rural areas.
The challenges we speak about highlight the value of the National Planning Commission. It is this body that needs to identify likely demographic, environmental, social, economic and other trends into the future. It needs to assist government and the country more broadly to plan for this future. Its work must guide the policies we adopt and the programmes we implement. Work is under way to ensure that the commission is soon established and operational.
Our performance monitoring and evaluation system guides our delivery agreements and delivery outcomes. We are finalising the establishment of this department too.
We are serious when we say we will do things differently, and we have already begun to do so. To prepare our civil servants further and change the culture, we will continue our direct interaction with those at the coalface of service delivery.
We will meet with health professionals to discuss how they can ensure that our people receive a more caring and faster service. We will meet social workers as they deal face to face with the impact of poverty. We will continue to work intensively with the education and criminal justice sector as well to ensure direct support to them in their work to meet our demands for faster service. Most importantly, we plan to hold a discussion with all directors-general in the public service. Together we will discuss how to ensure that departments respond effectively to our call for faster service delivery, and to create a caring Public Service.
We also reiterate that we are creating a delivery- and performance-orientated state. As Ministers sign delivery agreements, so should we ensure that all public servants finalise performance agreements and work plans. Our Public Service Performance Management and Development System has to work effectively, as outlined in the relevant Public Service legislation and regulations.
We noted the interest shown by hon members in the Presidential Hotline. We have also noted concerns about the pressure on the service due to high call volumes and other challenges. We will continue attending to these to improve this valuable service.
The hotline is being transferred to the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Ministry soon. What I thought would be of concern to hon members was the interest of our population to communicate with government, and that hon members would appreciate that. I thought you would see the fact that calls to the hotline were more than we expected as an indication of an achievement of interacting with the public. What I expected was for hon members here to discuss what we can do to help and to meet the demand of the people rather than to find it as a point to criticise. That would have enabled us to make this work to form part of the delivery agreements of Ministries.
I know that the opposition members said we just brought selective cases because we brought a few cases to demonstrate what this hotline has done. We can bring to you volumes of documents of cases we dealt with.
Our government has always derived its strength from people and from working with various structures of society. We cannot change the lives of our people working alone. That is why we say "working together we can do more". [Applause.]
The hon Shenge called for a new national struggle. We indeed have to galvanise all our people to work together to release themselves from poverty. We will work with the National Interfaith Leaders Council and other formations to ensure that we remain grounded in promoting humanity and ubuntu, as outlined by the Chief Whip of the ruling party, hon Mathole Motshekga.
We also said in the state of the nation address that the defining feature of this government will be that it knows where our people live, understands what their needs are and responds faster. [Applause.] We will not allow a distance to arise between government and its people. We do not want to be surprised by anger, nor shall we take our people, especially the poor, for granted. We want to understand issues as they arise and intervene timeously. We will meet with business, labour, youth, the religious sector, women and various sectors between now and December to ensure that we build this movement for reconstruction and development together. We want to make this a year of action for everyone, not just for government.
We also gain valuable insight from our quarterly meetings with leaders of political parties represented in Parliament. This helps us to gain a perspective we would otherwise not have. This week we directed departments to implement some decisions taken at our meeting with political parties on 9 February relating to climate change, the fight against crime as well as the celebration of national days.
Around 40% of South Africans today were not born when President Nelson Mandela was released. It is therefore important that we keep alive our history and ensure that successive generations know where we come from.
We spent last Friday, 12 February, with former prisoners from the ANC, PAC, Black Consciousness Movement and the New Unity Movement.
Hon Mphahlele, we recognise the role of these organisations and the leadership. When we say President Nelson Mandela was freed due to the resolute struggles of our people, we include members and supporters of the PAC and Azapo as well.
I have heard and read some very strange interpretations of my reference to former President P W Botha, Kobie Coetzee and others from the apartheid era and their role in paving the way for the release of political prisoners. To state the fact that they did this does not mean we are making P W Botha and others heroes. We are merely stating the fact that there were other players in this process within the National Party. The former President De Klerk actually found the process in motion and took it to its logical conclusion. [Applause.]
Let me clarify this issue further so that we can leave the confusion behind. Others said: How could you mention P W "the killer"? Now, somebody is going to tell me that De Klerk was not a killer and is therefore holy. We are stating historical facts and nothing else. The fact of the matter is that the former Minister Kobie Coetzee operated under the instructions of P W Botha to start discussions with Madiba in prison.
At one point, P W Botha sent two individuals from the then government to go and meet with two individuals from the ANC, sent by Oliver Tambo. Those two individuals from the ANC were Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. [Applause.] This is a historical fact and you cannot erase it. De Klerk was a Minister at that time. He was leading, within the National Party, a "verkrampte" group – an extreme right wing. Nobody knew that De Klerk would behave as he did. That is reality; that is an historical fact.
When P W Botha suffered a stroke, De Klerk took over. De Klerk received a sensitive briefing about the project, which he did not know about. He accepted it, worked on it and made a success of it. That is a simple fact. [Applause.] This fact has never been in the open. We decided to mention it to indicate the people who played a role in this regard. We are dealing here with the people who dealt with the process towards the release of political prisoners.
Otherwise, if we were to mention everybody we could have mentioned Slovo, Chris Hani and everybody else. That was not the purpose. The purpose was to indicate what it is that happened and lead to the release of Madiba – who the players were. This, by the way, did not suggest that P W Botha became a brilliant man. It was the resolute struggle by the people that forced the National Party to take that route. [Applause.]
We were also not taking away from P W Botha the fact that he needed courage to take the process forwards. This was always necessary. You will recall that –this will be in history books – he took a vow to cross the Rubicon. He came to the Rubicon and he couldn't cross. [Laughter.] So, we know all of that. But we were talking about the facts of history as we remembered what happened to Madiba and how he was released.
At the same time, we cannot say certain apartheid-era leaders were better than others. But we will single out what happened. I'm sure those who observed Codesa will remember that whites were negotiating. The former President F W de Klerk made a mistake as we were closing the first session, and Madiba took him on very seriously. These are facts of history. But both of them, who led us to the final conclusion, won a Noble Peace Prize on behalf of this country. [Applause.]
The heroes of Madiba's release, as stated clearly last Thursday, were the masses of our people who responded to the call to make this country ungovernable and apartheid unworkable. [Applause.] They forced P W Botha and all others to take the route they took. The heroes were the selfless internationalists who fought side by side with us in various countries to ensure that we became free. [Applause.] It was the African masses in various parts of the continent who braved mass murders and invasions by the apartheid army because their countries harboured the ANC.
These are facts of history. People may not like them, but they are there. That is what history is all about. You tell the story as it is. You can't say because today is nice you don't mention the facts of history and don't credit those who need to be credited.
In appreciating our history, we will also need to return to the difficult question of what names we should use to describe the towns, cities, streets and geographical features of our country.
The hon Deputy Minister and leader of the FF Plus, Dr Pieter Mulder, raised the issue of geographic name changes, specifically the name of Pretoria in his speech in this House. I appreciate his constructive contribution to this problem. On Wednesday 3 February, the hon member and I had a constructive discussion in Pretoria about this problem and dealt with the issue. I agree with him that further talks with all parties involved will have to take place and that a solution and working method that will be acceptable to all parties will have to be found. [Applause.]
We must also point out that, as government, we had earlier decided not to rush the renaming of Pretoria as it is the capital city of our country. We need to move along together on this path to ensure that we all appreciate the significance of the process. This is very important. We are dealing with Pretoria; we are dealing with the capital of the country. This is not a simple matter.
We are dealing with an emotional issue. It's not emotional today; it was emotional when it was named Pretoria. [Applause.] It was emotional at the time. That is why we need to all be sober when we deal with it and appreciate and be ready to take and give. This is because we are dealing with a national issue that needs leaders to think and take responsible decisions.
Hon Speaker, please allow me to use this opportunity to extend the nation's congratulations to the SA National Defence Force, which recently celebrated 10 years of peacekeeping on the continent. We are very proud of the wonderful work they are doing, flying our flag high for peace on the continent.
Thousands of people of all nations will descend on our country during June and July of this year. Let us welcome them with open arms. I call upon all South Africans to show our visitors the beauty of our land, the diversity of our culture and the warmth of our people.
This government is already responding to the challenges of tomorrow. We will work with all South Africans to build a better and brighter future. It is a non-racial, democratic future, a future of unity and harmony. It is the future outlined by our icon Madiba in his statement from the dock in the Rivonia Treason Trial on 20 April 1964. He said:
It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on colour, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one colour group by another.
The ANC has spent half a century fighting against racialism. When it triumphs it will not change that policy.
That was Madiba, as he always said the things we all appreciated; that was the Madiba we appreciated in our debate. I would like to thank the House for uniting on this issue to acknowledge the greatness of Madiba.
Let us work together for a common prosperous future of our country, South Africa. I thank you, hon Speaker [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, yesterday, during the debate on the state of the nation address, hon C T Frolick raised a point of order and asked whether it was parliamentary for hon M E George to effectively accuse the hon President of the Republic of "deliberately leading the nation into lawlessness".
I undertook to study the Hansard before ruling on the matter. Having now had the opportunity to study the unrevised Hansard, I wish to rule as follows.
In his speech, hon George stated that, "It appears that the nation is deliberately led into lawlessness, with absolutely no morals and respect for its people." If this statement is read in the context of his speech, it is clear that hon George is either referring to the hon President or the Ministers as a collective.
It creates the impression that the President or his government is inciting lawlessness. Making unsubstantiated allegations about the integrity of any member is unparliamentary. I think it is important to indicate that members should appreciate that their freedom of speech must of necessity be subject to the principle that they may not impute improper motives to their fellow members. All members are honourable and every member should therefore act towards other hon members with the same decorum and respect that he or she expects from them.
Needless to say, this same protection also applies to the President. A member that wishes to bring to the attention of the House any improper conduct on the part of any member should do so by way of a separate substantive motion, comprising a clearly formulated and properly substantiated charge. Except upon such a motion, members should not be allowed to impute improper motives to other members or cast personal reflections on their integrity as members.
In addition, when taking office, the President of the Republic and Ministers take an oath or solemn affirmation to obey, observe, uphold and maintain the Constitution and all other laws of the Republic. To suggest that the President, or his Cabinet for that matter, deliberately leads the nation to lawlessness is a serious allegation and should be brought to the attention of the House by a substantive motion.
The remark made by hon George, that "the nation is deliberately led into lawlessness", is out of order, and I must therefore ask hon George to withdraw his statement unconditionally. Hon George! [Interjections.] Order!
Mr M E GEORGE: Madam Deputy Speaker, may I address you on the issue, because ... ?
Hon MEMBERS: No!
Mr M E GEORGE: If you don't want me to address ... I have to address you, Madam Deputy Speaker ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon George, I ask you to withdraw unconditionally.
Mr M E GEORGE: Madam Deputy Speaker, you said that my statement was out of order; you did not say that it was unparliamentary.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon George, when I read my ruling, I said that your statement was unparliamentary. So, now I'm asking you to withdraw the statement.
Mr M E GEORGE: Madam Deputy Speaker, unfortunately, the statement I made was well considered and it is not an attack on the integrity of any individual. But ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon George! I'm asking you to withdraw the statement; that's all I'm asking you to do. I don't want to hear anything else. I'm asking you to withdraw the statement.
Mr M E GEORGE: Well, unfortunately, I can't withdraw the statement.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: You can't withdraw the statement?
Mr M E GEORGE: No, because you don't allow me to explain. I have not attacked the integrity of any individual. I made a statement that is political, and I stand by it.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon George, you are telling me that you don't want to withdraw the statement. Is that what you're saying? [Interjections.] Hon George!
Mr M E GEORGE: Yes, Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I'm asking you to withdraw the statement. Are you saying that you're not going to withdraw the statement?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order!
Mr M E GEORGE: On what basis? Or have you just decided that you'll bully me into withdrawing the statement? [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon George, I read a lengthy ruling. Unfortunately, I'm presiding here and I make the decisions.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I'm asking you to withdraw the statement.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I'm not going to allow any other person to speak on this matter; I'm dealing with hon George now.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I will wait till afterwards, Madam Deputy Speaker. I do rise on a point of order and I shall have that point of order taken.
Mr M E GEORGE: What do you want me to withdraw, Madam Deputy Speaker?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I want you to withdraw what you said – I read it here; unless you were not listening – "that the President ..."
Mr M E GEORGE: I was listening. I'm asking: What do you want me to withdraw?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What you said, that the President deliberately leads this country into lawlessness.
Mr M E GEORGE: I did not say that. Already your interpretation is wrong. Read the document again. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon George, you don't want to withdraw? Will you please leave the House? [Applause.]
Mr M S SHILOWA: Hon Deputy Speaker, may I address you, please? [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker, I have risen on a point of order.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I will not take any point of order from anybody on this matter. Order!
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker, this is a matter of absolute cardinal importance to this House. It interferes with the right of freedom of speech in the House, and it is not a correct reading of the Rule before you. I must make a point of order in order to motivate exactly why I believe you are wrong. What you are doing is narrowing significantly the whole point of freedom of speech in this House, and it is absolutely unacceptable. I think this matter must be debated further.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: There's not going to be any debate.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: It has to be debated further, because you've made a ruling that we cannot and will not accept.
Mr M S SHILOWA: Hon Deputy Speaker, may I address you, please?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Shall we move to the next item?
Mr M S SHILOWA: Then in that regard, hon Deputy Speaker, we will leave as a whole until the time you want Mr Mluleki George back. Thank you. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Fine! [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES
The DEPUTY SPEAKER
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Deputy Speaker, I do rise, for the record, to raise the fact that a member of the DA, hon Kohler-Barnard, made what I believe to be a very silly statement as they were leaving. Excuse my language, but she actually said, "F*ck you." [Interjections.]
I don't think we should take that lightly. We are not in a zoo here. We are not animals, and this is not a circus. I am really sorry, Deputy Speaker. I want this recorded, because if and when they return, this matter will have to be attended to. We may not allow a Member of Parliament to say "F you", to use the "F-word" against another Member of Parliament. It is incorrect. Thank you.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Deputy Speaker, it is important that for us, as the African National Congress, we put it on record that you made a ruling, which was well motivated, and that the ruling is fully acceptable to us and that we find it disturbing that members of Cope and the DA refused to accept a ruling and walked out of this Parliament, which is actually a violation of the rules of this House. They don't want to accept the ruling of this House, so they are trying to make Parliament unworkable. I think this has to be recorded.
Dr C P MULDER: Deputy Speaker, may I address you on the point of order or the point made by the Chief Whip of the Majority Party? I would like to just bring to your attention that we are dealing obviously, as we all understand, with a very serious matter. On the one hand, we have the ruling that you have made, in terms of the order of the House, but we also have the provisions of the Constitution, in terms of freedom of speech, and we need to balance those.
The way I understand it, and it is important for me and, I think, for all members in this House also to understand, is that we have always had a ruling from the Chair, since the beginning of 1994, that if a member refers to another member in terms of what you said, then it may be unparliamentary.
The distinction is that a member was allowed to refer, for example, to another political party. It was in order for the ruling party or for an opposition party to refer to another party's policies and to say that a specific policy is bad. That should be separate, and understood to be separate, than when a member specifically refers to a specific hon member and reflects on the integrity of that member.
All I am asking is this: That you make 120% sure that the statement was made in terms of a direct reflection on the person of the President or on the person of a specific member. If it is not the case, if it is a general reflection on a policy by a party, be that from this side on a policy from that side, then I would ask us to reconsider in terms of the provisions of the Constitution that allow freedom of speech. That is all I am asking. Thank you.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise also to record that the IFP does not agree with your ruling. We think, with great respect, that you are wrong, and I agree with Dr Mulder, but we do not want to walk out.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon members. Let me pre-empt even those members who haven't spoken, because we want to continue to the next item. I made a ruling, a considered ruling, after studying the Hansard and also seeking advice. Now, even if the principle of that rule is incorrect, the member's responsibility is to take that to the Rules Committee and then question the ruling. I cannot have a situation where I am in the Chair during a debate and make a ruling and have a member of this House stand there and he or she cannot withdraw a comment. That is something that can never happen. [Applause.]
I take your point. If there is a need to review this, the Rules Committee must look at it, and they must tell me whether it was correct or wrong, not the member against whom I have ruled, supported by other parties. Thank you very much. Can we proceed?
Mr S N SWART: Madam Deputy Speaker, may we from the ACDP ask your indulgence for just one minute? I don't want to debate the issue further. I just want to say that we also do not necessarily agree with your ruling, and we do believe that you have given a correct way forwards, that the person should have referred it to the appropriate forum to decide. Obviously it becomes intolerable, if the person does not accept a ruling that you give in this House.
We, from the ADCP side, do not necessarily agree with your ruling. However, we have decided to stay and participate in the parliamentary process and believe that it should have been taken up at a different forum. Thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Madam Deputy Speaker, I appreciate the remarks of the parties that have indicated acceptance of the direction you have proposed. However, I thought it important to indicate that the member not only infringed the ruling of the Deputy Speaker but infringed rules adopted by the Rules Committee of this House, which state that a member cannot reflect upon a ruling by the presiding officer. Therefore, the member was not just breaching or disagreeing with your ruling, but infringing the very rules that guide members of this House. [Applause.]
SECOND ORDER OF THE DAY
The DEPUTY SPEAKER
CANDIDATE NOMINATED FOR APPOINTMENT AS INSPECTOR GENERAL OF INTELLIGENCE SERVICES
(Decision of Question on Consideration)
There was no debate.
Question put: That the nomination of Adv Faith Doreen Radebe for appointment as Inspector-General of Intelligence be approved.
AYES - 265: Abram, S; Adams, P E; Ainslie, A R; Baloyi, M R; Bam-Mugwanya, V; Bapela, K O; Bhengu , N R; Bhengu, P; Bhoola, R B; Bikani, F C; Bogopane-Zulu, H I; Bonhomme, T J; Booi, M S; Borman, G M; Boshigo, D F; Botha, Y R; Burgess, C V; Buthelezi, M G; Carrim, Y I; Cebekhulu, R N; Chikunga, L S; Chiloane, T D; Chohan, F I; Coleman, E M; Cronin, J P; Cwele, S C; Dambuza, B N; Davies, R H; De Lange, J H; Dhlamini, B W; Diale, L N; Dikgacwi, M M; Dlakude, D E; Dlamini, B O; Dlamini-Zuma, N C; Dlodlo, A; Dlulane, B N; Doidge, G Q M; Dubazana, Z S; Dube, M C; Duma, N M; Dunjwa, M L; Ebrahim, E I ; Farisani, T S; Fihla, N B; Fransman, M L; Frolick, C T; Fubbs, J L; Gasebonwe, T M A; Gcwabaza, N E; Gelderblom, J P; Gina, N; Godi, N T; Godongwana, E; Gololo, C L; Gona, M F; Goqwana, M B; Gumede, D M; Gungubele, M; Gxowa, N B; Hanekom, D A; Hogan, B A; Holomisa, S P; Huang, S-B; Jacobus, L; Jeffery, J H; Joemat-Pettersson, T M; Johnson, M; Kekane, C D; Kenye, T E; Khoarai, L P; Kholwane, S E; Khumalo, F E; Khunou, N P; Komphela, B M; Koornhof, G W; Kubayi, M T; Landers, L T; Lebenya- Ntanzi, S P; Lekgetho , G; Line, H; Lishivha, T E; Lucas, E J; Luyenge, Z; Maake, J J; Mabasa, X; Mabedla, N R; Mabudafhasi , T R; Mabuza, M C; Madasa, Z L; Madlala, N M; Mafolo, M V; Magagula, V V; Magama, H T; Magau, K R; Magazi, M N; Magwanishe, G; Mahlangu-Nkabinde, G L; Makasi, X C; Makhuba, H N; Makhubela-Mashele, L S; Makhubele, Z S; Makwetla, S P; Malale, M I; Malgas, H H; Maluleka, H P; Maluleke, J M; Manamela, K B; Mangena, M A; Mangena, M S; Manuel, T A; Mapisa-Nqakula, N N; Martins, B A D; Mashatile, P; Mashigo, R J; Mashishi, A C; Masutha, T M; Mataboge, D K; Mathebe, D H; Mathebe, P M; Mathibela, N F; Matlanyane, H F; Matshoba, J M; Maunye, M M; Mavunda, D W; Mayende-Sibiya, N A; Maziya, M A; Mbalula, F A; Mbili, M E; Mdaka, M N; Mdakane, M R; Mdladlana, M M S; Mentor, M P; Mgabadeli, H C; Mjobo, L N; Mkhize, H B; Mkhize, L N; Mkhulusi, N N P; Mlambo, E M; Mmusi, S G; Mnisi, N A; Mocumi, P A; Mohale, M C; Molebatsi, M A; Molewa, B E E; Moloi-Moropa, J C; Moss, L N; Motimele, M S; Motlanthe, K P; Motshekga, M S; Motsoaledi , P A; Mphahlele, L M; Mpontshane, A M; Msimang, C T; Msweli, H S; Mthethwa, E M; Mthethwa, E N; Mtshali, E; Mufamadi, T A; Mulder, C P; Mushwana, F F; Muthambi, A F; Nchabeleng, M E; Ndabandaba, L B G; Ndabeni, S T; Ndebele, J S; Ndlovu, V B; Nelson, W J; Nene, N M; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngcengwane, N D; Ngcobo, B T; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngele, N J; Ngwenya, W; Ngwenya-Mabila, P C; Nhlengethwa, D G; Njikelana, S J; Nkoana-
Mashabane, M E; Nkwinti, G E; November, N T; Ntapane, S Z; Ntuli, B M; Ntuli, Z C; Nxesi, T W; Nxumalo, M D; Nyalungu, R E; Nyama, M M A; Nyanda, M F; Nyanda, S; Nyekemba, E; Nzimande, B E; Oliphant, G G; Oliphant, M N; Oosthuizen, G C; Oriani-Ambrosini, M G; Padayachie, R L; Pandor, G N M; Peters, E D; Petersen-Maduna, P; Phaahla, M J; Phaliso, M N; Pilusa-Mosoane, M E; Pule, D D; Radebe, B A; Radebe, G S; Radebe, J T; Ramodibe, D M; Rantsolase, M A; Rasool, E; Schneemann, G D; Sefularo, M; Segale-
Diswai, M J; Selau, G J; Sexwale, T M G; Shabangu, S; Shiceka, S; Sibanyoni, J B; Sibhidla, N N ; Singh, N; Sisulu, L N; Sisulu, M V; Sithole, S C N; Sizani, P S; Skosana, J J; Skosana, M B; Smith, V G; Snell, G T; Sogoni, E M; Sonjica, B P; Sonto, M R; Sosibo, J E; Sotyu, M M; Stofile, M A; Suka, L; Sulliman, E M; Sunduza, T B; Surty, M E; Thabethe, E; Thobejane, S G; Thomson, B; Tinto, B; Tlake, M F; Tobias, T V; Tsebe, S R; Tseke, G K; Tsenoli, S L; Tshivhase, T J; Tshwete, P; Tsotetsi, D R; Turok, B ; Twala, N M; Vadi, I; Van der Merwe, J H; Van der Merwe, S C; van Rooyen, D D; Van Wyk, A; Williams, A J; Xaba, P P; Xasa, T; Xingwana, L M; Yengeni, L E; Zikalala, C N Z; Zondi, K M; Zulu, B Z.
ABSTAIN: Ditshetelo, I C; Dudley, C; Matladi, M N; Meshoe, K R J; Swart, S N.
The two-thirds majority required in terms of section 7(1) of the Intelligence Services Oversight Act, Act 40 of 1994, not being obtained, decision of question postponed.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Madam Deputy Speaker, may I just note that, had the IFP walked out, you would not have won. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, IFP. [Laughter.]
The House adjourned at 15:36.
END OF TAKE
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