Hansard: Second-Hand Goods Bill / Minister's Responses / Member's Statements
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 11 Feb 2009
No summary available.
Thursday, 12 February 2009 Take: 62
THURSDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 2009
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:01.
The Deputy Speaker took Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
VACANCIES AND OATH-TAKING
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, I wish to announce that the vacancy which occurred in the National Assembly owing to the loss membership by Mr M T Likotsi has been filled, with effect from 9 February 2009, by the nomination of Mr B Xuma. The Member has made and subscribed the oath in the Speaker's office. Welcome hon Member.[Applause.]
I have to announce that the vacancy which occurred in the National Assembly owing to the loss of membership by Ms M M Mdlalose has been filled by the nomination of Mr S A P Ngcobo with effect from 10 February 2009. In terms of section 48 of the Constitution, members of the National Assembly must swear or affirm faithfulness to the republic and obedience to the Constitution before they begin to perform their functions in the National Assembly.
Dr G G WOODS: Madam Speaker, the hon Member is outside waiting to be sworn.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you. Will a member please accompany the member into the Chamber.[Applause.]
NOTICES OF MOTION
VACANCY AND OATH-TAKING
NOTICES OF MOTION
Dr R RABINOWITZ: Madam Deputy Speaker, I move that: The House debates the Report of the Committee on Private Members' Legislative Proposals on the Establishment of a Feed-in tariff to finance renewable energy, which is currently under "Further business" on the Order Paper. Thank you.
MOTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
NOTICES OF MOTION
INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL'S ANNOUNCEMENT
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker, I move without notice:
That the House –
(1) notes the International Cricket Council's announcement on Tuesday, 10 February 2009, that the South African cricket team cannot be overtaken at the top of the Reliance Mobile one-day international championship table before its 1 April 2009 cut-off date;
(2) further notes that the Proteas were ranked first on this table last year, which means that the team will have won the ICC Shield for being the year's top-ranked side in the ICC one-day international championships two years in a row;
(3) acknowledges that this achievement has not only made the cricketing world sit up and take note but has also demonstrated the new level of maturity and depth that the South African team has to offer;
(4) recognises that the Proteas have a chance of being ranked as the world's top cricket team in both test level as well as in one-day internationals, if they beat Australia in the upcoming Castle Test Series starting in South Africa on 26 February 2009; and
(5) wishes the Proteas well in this Test series as well as the upcoming one-day internationals against Australia and for the rest of their 2009 cricket season.
I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M O MONARENG
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION
CONSIDERATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS ON REMOVAL FROM OR RESTORATION TO OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
(Report of Ad Hoc Joint Committee to consider matters in terms of Section 12 of the National Prosecuting Authority Act)
Mr O E MONARENG: Deputy Speaker, esteemed members of the Cabinet, hon Members of Parliament, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to, on behalf of the committee, present a report dealing with the decision of the President to dismiss, or remove from office, the National Director of Prosecution, Adv Pikoli.
As we all know, Adv Vusi Pikoli was first suspended from office by the President, Thabo Mbeki, on 23 September 2007. Following this, on 28 September 2007, an inquiry, chaired by Dr Frene Ginwala, was established in terms of section 12(6)(a) of the National Prosecuting Authority Act, Act 32 of 1998, with terms of reference, dated 3 October 2007, to determine:
2.1. The fitness of Adv V Pikoli to hold the office of National Director, in particular –
2.1.1. Whether he, in exercising his discretion to prosecute offenders, had sufficient regard to the nature and extent of the threat posed by organized crime to the national security of the Republic.
2.1.2. Whether he, in taking decisions to grant immunity from prosecution to, or enter into, inter alia, plea bargaining arrangements with, persons who are allegedly involved in illegal activities which constitute organised crime, as contemplated in the Act, took due regard to the public interest and the national security interests of the Republic, as contemplated in section 198 of the Constitution, as well as the Prosecution Policy.
2.2. Whether the relationship between the National Director and the Minister has irretrievably broken down. In particular,
2.2.1. Whether he failed to appreciate the nature and extent of the Constitutional and legal oversight powers of the Minister over the prosecuting authority and such other matters as may relate to the fitness and propriety of the National Director to hold office.
So, you can, ladies and gentlemen, realise that the aspects which I am dealing with are actually the terms of reference for the Ginwala Commission. After completing its work, the Ginwala Inquiry produced a written report on 4 November 2008. On 8 December 2008, having regard for the work of the inquiry, and after receiving further representations from Adv Pikoli in respect of the report, the President, Kgalema Motlanthe, decided to remove Adv Pikoli from office in terms of section 12 (6)(a) of the Act. The aforementioned decision was communicated to Parliament on December 2008, as provided for by section 12(6) (b) of the Act. So, what I am saying is that I am just trying to give an overview as to the background. When the matter was referred to Parliament, an Ad Hoc Joint Committee was constituted, which had to be co-chaired by myself and the hon Kgoshi Mokoena.
The following members were appointed from the National Assembly:
Burgess, CV (ANC); Carrim, YI (ANC); De Lille, P (ID); Delport, JT (DA); Komphela, BM (ANC); Joubert, LK (DA); Maake, JJ (Alt) (ANC); Magwanishe, GB (ANC); Moloi-Moropa, JC (ANC); Monareng, OE (ANC); Nyambi, AJ (ANC); Sibhidla, NN (ANC); Swart, SN (ACDP); and Van der Merwe, JH (IFP).
Then we have members who were appointed from the National Council of Provinces:
Dlulane, BN (ANC); Douglas, WM (ACDP); le Roux, WJ (DA); Mazibuko, NF (ANC); Mokoena; Kgoshi ML (ANC); Moseki, AL (ANC); Ntuli, ZC (ANC); Tau, RT (ANC); and van Heerden, FJ (FF Plus).
So, what we need to know is that we have this overview and the committee had to go through a process and the process suggested that we should follow some procedure. On 9 January 2009, where we had to follow the legal process, it is clear that on 8 January the matter was referred to the National Assembly. The Speaker did the announcement and the appointments were done duly. So, there was a procedure which was followed.
The committee, in proceeding with its work, had regard to the following: The letter and the supporting documentation from the President explaining the reasons for the removal of Adv Pikoli; the Ginwala Inquiry Report and the addendums to the report; the oral presentations to the committee from Adv Pikoli; the oral presentations from the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Enver Surty, and the Director-General in the Presidency, Rev Frank Chikane; the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence Report on the Special Browse Mole Consolidated Report as adopted by Parliament in November 2007; then, also deliberations from the committee.
So, what has happened is that we had to follow a process where presentations were made by Adv Pikoli to the joint committee. That was on 27 January 2009. The following day a presentation was made by the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development and, at the same time, a presentation was made by the Presidency. So, it is important to realise that the matter we are poised with has a very tough and difficult background and history. It was not a matter which was an easy matter. So, for the first time we had a chairperson, with such a difficult and daunting task, who had to sit and deal with the issue.
So, it is important that the arguments, which were put forward by the opposition – the opposition parties will put their case when they talk here – the ANC did, so I just want to proceed now. It is imperative that the responsibilities of the committee should also include the consideration of the representations made by Pikoli to the President, because the committee has to satisfy itself that Adv Pikoli was afforded an opportunity to make a presentation to the President before the President arrived at his decision to remove him from office.
Indeed, Adv Pikoli did make a representation to the President through a document titled "Submissions to the President – Mr Pikoli's Fitness for Office," dated 24 November 2008. The President acted correctly in providing Pikoli with an opportunity to make representations and to speak as to how he responds to the inquiry's criticism of his lack of appreciation of national security issues.
In so doing, the President also heeded the recommendation of the inquiry that Pikoli must be sensitised to the broader responsibilities of the NDPP. Adv Pikoli did not only fail to appreciate the sensitivity of national security issues to the inquiry and to the President, and that led him to be removed from office. He then failed for the third time when he appeared before the ad hoc committee in Parliament.
It has to be said that the inquiry stated its findings on paragraph 349 that –
Having considered all the matters above, the basis advanced by government for the suspension of Adv Pikoli has not been established through the evidence admitted to the inquiry.
The inquiry went further to make a recommendation on page 212 that –
As the government has failed to substantiate the reasons given for suspension, Adv Pikoli should be restored to the office of the NDPP. Adv Pikoli needs to be sensitised to the broader responsibility of his office and, in particular, to enhance his understanding of the security environment in which that office should function.
The committee has to note that the inquiry stated that government has failed to provide substantive reasons for the suspension. The inquiry was not called to determine the issue of Pikoli's suspension, but was supposed to have confined itself to the terms of reference that required determination of his fitness to hold office which are contained in paragraph 2 of the executive summary of the report.
The committee has to note that the content of the letter of suspension and the terms of reference cannot be substituted for each other. Therefore, the terms of reference remain the lawful yardstick or barometer that should be utilised to test or analyse the evidence adduced and submitted at the inquiry. Parliament is under a constitutional obligation to correctly put into perspective the role and mandate of the inquiry.
A distinction needs to be made to Pikoli's experience and exposure to matters of national security and to the actual or practical manner in which he handled matters of national security. One can go as far as to say that his experience and exposure to matters of national security did not translate into competency or, rather, he failed to convert his experience and exposure to a demonstrable benefit in the performance of his work.
The inquiry found that he failed on four counts to demonstrate appreciation to operate within a strict security environment and failed to take into account the community interest in a manner that does not compromise national security. Ginwala listed the following deficiencies that capture his lack of appreciation of national security issues, notwithstanding his experience and exposure to matters of national security: His failure to timeously inform the Minister and the President prior to resorting to the courts to obtain warrants in cases that could have an impact on national security; his failure to recognise the integrity of official documents could only be maintained through strict compliance with the Minimum Information Security Standards, MISS; his failure to ensure that all Directorate of Special Operations, DSO, investigators and other relevant National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, staff had the requisite security clearances, and that renewals of such security status is conducted regularly; and his failure to ensure that third party service providers, especially private security companies, were vetted.
I just want to conclude by saying that the committee accepted the decision of the President to fire Adv Pikoli. Thank you. [Time expired.]
Dr J T DELPORT
Mr O E MONARENG
Dr J T DELPORT: Madam Deputy Speaker, this Parliament is about to commit a serious travesty of justice. This Parliament cannot in good conscience take steps today to put the final nail in the coffin of the career of a man who cannot be shown and has not been shown to be in dereliction of his duty.
I have various reasons for saying so: First of all, a flawed process was followed – a flawed legal process. If you look at the Act, it prescribes a suspension, then an inquiry, then a report to Parliament, then a final finding by Parliament. But these - the suspension, the inquiry, the President's removal and his report - form a legally integrated process. You cannot start with a certain reason, then change the reasons as you go along and that is exactly what has happened in this case. The original suspension and the final recommendation has got nothing to do with one another, it is a flawed process.
Secondly, how do we get around the fact that the Ginwala Commission found Pikoli to be a fit and proper person in that she says the following:
He impressed me as a person of unimpeachable integrity. He impressed me as a man of unquestionable integrity with passion to execute his constitutional responsibilities without fear, favour or prejudice, unimpeachable integrity and credibility.
Then in the end, despite the fact that she found that he was insensitive, and I'll come to that, to matters of national security, she recommends that he be reinstated in his post and she specifically finds that she would go as far as to make certain recommendations in the handling of matters of so-called national security. Let me immediately say that we should deal with the issue of national security.
I thought that with the end of the P W Botha era we heard the end of national security as the reason given for every travesty of justice. Yet it has now once again been taken out of the grave by this government. Before I go any further, I also want to point to the travesty of justice done to the opposition parties. According to the Rules of Parliament, the opposition, where there is no consensus or when a decision is not unanimous, the views of the opposition and of the minority must be reflected. We were given time to prepare, we prepared as combined opposition parties a document in which we aired the views of the opposition parties in the committee. We were simply outvoted, but this document will go public, we will show to what extent the whole process was flawed and the fact that we were simply outvoted will not go into the report. What goes into the report is the officials' view of what the opposition said. [Interjections.] How ludicrous can you get? The majority party will decide what the views of the opposition are. Is this where we have now arrived at? At a point where government will decide what the opposition must say. How we can accept that? How can you sit there, hon members of government, and endorse that once again?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, please take your seat. Hon members, I request that we allow the debate to proceed. We are not going to have a good debate if we all speak at the same time. Please continue, hon member.
Dr J T DELPORT: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker for your protection. I come to the last aspect and that is the damning indication that there was a persecution of the governance of Pikoli. In his evidence before us, the hon Director-General Chikane testified that he was present at the final conversation between Pikoli and the then president and he informed us that the reason why he was eventually suspended was because he was not willing to give the President two weeks in order to prepare the environment. He insisted on arresting Selebi after a week.
The one thing, and I put it to the relevant person myself, if that is so, if the reason was not the arrest of Selebi, but the two weeks you needed, that was what you were not happy with, not the arrest, why didn't you say that to him? Why didn't you give that as the reason for his suspension? Why didn't you write that to the Minister? What did you write to the Minister of Justice to get the information why Selebi will be arrested? What did the Minister then do? The Minister wrote to Pikoli saying, "I want your reasons and you must not proceed with the arrest before you place that information before us."
I don't want to comment on this, but I can only say that no reasonable person can ever think or accept that the reason was not the arrest, but period of the two weeks. Because he needed two weeks, it is sensitive national security at play if Selebi is being arrested. Today again my honoured colleague here spoke about national security. What national security is there if you want to arrest the Commissioner of Police on criminal charges? National security – I want to say again what my "ouma" [grandmother] always used to say:
Hygend hert! [Good grief.] [Laughter.]
That's all I can say.
We take further note of the fact that the Minister for Justice at the time did not appear before Ginwala or before our committee. The present Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development appeared and he was of little help to us. Why did the previous Minister not appear? Her letter to Pikoli stands unexplained. Why was she not there to explain why she wrote to him, "Stop. You don't arrest the man. I want to see your reasons. Bring me your reasons. Bring me your evidence." She was interfering directly with the independence. It was a blatant interference with the independence of the National Director and that was the conclusion which, after looking at all the evidence presented at the Ginwala Commission and at the evidence before us, where all the opposition parties present, came to the conclusion that the real reason for the suspension of Pikoli was the arrest of Selebi. That was not a sound reason. That is not an acceptable reason. That is the reason what you, as Parliament, must put under scrutiny today. Was that an acceptable reason or not in terms of the law? It was not an acceptable reason. It was not a valid reason. What happens here today is and will go down – luckily not on my conscience – but as travesty of justice. [Applause.] [Time expired.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER
Dr J T DELPORT
FORMER SECRETARY IN THE GALLERY
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, I wish to recognise the presence in the gallery of the former Secretary to the National Assembly, Mr K Hahndiek. [Applause.] Welcome to Parliament, Mr Hahndiek.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE
The DEPUTY SPEAKER
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I just want to say something about the two speakers who preceded me. Dr Delport who was a professor of law was so brilliant that if ever I need a lawyer, I would brief you to take my case. The other person who spoke before me was the chairperson of our committee, Mr Oupa Monareng. In the 32 years that I have been a Member of Parliament I have never come across such an inexperienced, useless chairperson as Oupa Monareng. [Applause.] In fact, he shouldn't be called "oupa" but "mosimane" [boy]. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon member, please sit down.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: Is it parliamentary for the hon member to refer to the chairperson as the most useless person?
An HON MEMBER: I didn't hear that.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I heard it. I will make a ruling. Hon member, please proceed.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. This committee will be known as the most flawed committee in the history of Parliament. I have called it a farce and I have called it a joke. However, the best way to describe this unfortunate committee is to say it was an ANC instrument used as the executioner to politically hang Vusi Pikoli; come hell or high water. And the facts are very simple.
Firstly, he was suspended. Then the Ginwala commission was appointed to investigate allegations against him. Ginwala, a prominent ANC cadre, did a comprehensive investigation. She finds Pikoli a fit and proper person to occupy the position. In fact, as Dr Delport has pointed out, she said: "He impressed me as a person of unimpeachable integrity and credibility." She said that he must be reinstated. Despite Ginwala's recommendations, Pikoli is shockingly dismissed. Why? What are the reasons? The ANC gave a variety of reasons, continuously shifting the goal post as it became clearer and clearer that their initial reasons were rejected by Ginwala and are not valid. In the end the ANC pathetically fell back on accusing Pikoli of being "insufficiently sensitive to matters of national security", which, of course, is nonsense.
But what does Pikoli say? Pikoli says the real reason for his dismissal was to stop him from arresting and prosecuting the Police Commissioner, Jackie Selebi. This is what Pikoli says, and all available information supports this reason for his dismissal. The end result: If an author were to write about this drama that we have experienced, the title of the Pikoli drama would be written in huge black capital letters namely "dismissed because I dared to prosecute Jackie Selebi", and in smaller print it would read: "Vusi Pikoli, you are dismissed because you dared to arrest an ANC high profile man, Jackie Selebi".
Pikoli, you are dismissed because you dared to act in accordance with your conscience and the Constitution. Pikoli, you are dismissed because you dared to disobey orders from Luthuli House. This is why you are dismissed. But there is a silver lining, Madam Deputy Speaker; the silver lining around the black Pikoli cloud is that the ANC executioner will not be able to hang Pikoli, because there will be a reprieve for Pikoli who is in the political death cell. The matter will, after it is heard in the National Council of Provinces, go to the High Court where the ANC's farce and gross miscarriage of justice will be exposed and set aside and Vusi Pikoli will be reinstated.
Posterity will remember this unfortunate committee as the biggest ANC parliamentary blunder ever. We in the IFP and all the opposition parties oppose the dismissal of Pikoli and propose that he be reinstated. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member Van Der Merwe, please take your seat!
There was a point of order made by the hon Deputy Chief Whip, and I am ready to make a ruling. Suggesting that a member is useless, reflects on their integrity and therefore it is unparliamentary. Hon member Van Der Merwe, please withdraw.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Madam Deputy Speaker, I unconditionally withdraw that he is useless, and I say he is politically useless. [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Van Der Merwe, I have asked you to withdraw your first statement saying that he is useless. I will make a ruling on your second statement which you have made, despite having made an apology.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: What must I do now? [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Van Der Merwe, the effects are the same. I've asked you to withdraw, unconditionally.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: I did withdraw unconditionally. I will unconditionally withdraw it for the second time.
An HON MEMBER: And apologise.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Apologise for what? [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Van Der Merwe, I am presiding. Could you please address me?
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: I am addressing you, Madam Deputy Speaker. May I kindly go and take my seat?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I wish to remind you that I am the Deputy Speaker. Please take your seat.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. [Laughter.]
Mr J BICI
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE
Mr J BICI: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon members, the UDM distances itself from this report and its recommendations. The entire parliamentary process has been an ill-disguised sham designed to add respectability to a political lynching of a dedicated civil servant. Mr Pikoli's only crime has been diligence in his job. He has been vindicated even by the commission that was surely appointed to rubberstamp his initial suspension.
He acted in the national interest by pursuing justice without fear or favour. Now the ruling party would have us believe that it is not in the national interest to pursue justice if the suspect is the chief of the police.
The ruling party is fond of bemoaning the levels of crime and corruption, but they are the principal destroyers of institutions and people who fight crime and bust corruption. [Applause.]
Though the ruling party wants to make this a complicated issue, it is actually very easy. Mr Pikoli demonstrated the backbone that the Constitution requires him to have, and that did not suit those in power. Shame on you for punishing the good guys and strengthening the hand of criminals and thugs. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs P DE LILLE
Mr J BICI
Mrs P DE LILLE: Madam Deputy Speaker, the ID does not see the point of spending millions of our rands on commissions when the government continuously rejects and has scant regard for their recommendations. Just like the finding of the Khampepe Commission, the Van Zyl report and now the Ginwala report, they just ignore the recommendations.
The fact that the President relieved him of his duties, despite the commission's finding is totally unacceptable. National security is used as an excuse but nowhere in the report does it show where he actually breached national security.
The way the ad hoc committee also dealt with this report was unfair, and acted simply as a rubber stamp. There was no objectivity whatsoever. The two chairpersons sat there like Tweedledum and Tweedledee, just agreeing with one another, nodding, even if it was wrong. There was absolutely no justice.
The ID supports the reinstatement of Adv Pikoli, but the fact that Adv Pikoli is taking this matter to court, shows that, once again, in the instance where the findings of a commission are ignored by Parliament and the executive, the judiciary will be there as the final adjudicator. Pikoli is going to win this case, and it going to be a shame, once again, on Parliament.
We have missed an opportunity to show the separation of powers, that the executive is accountable to Parliament. That opportunity has been missed, and I told the comrades of the ANC yesterday: The list process is over! There is no need to come and perform there, because some of them are not even on their list. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order!
Mr S N SWART
Mrs P DE LILLE
Mr S N SWART: Madam Deputy Speaker, Parliament created a network of provisions to reinforce and protect the constitutionally enshrined principle of prosecutorial independence. Now, what Adv Pikoli said in his submission is that experience has taught that the executive is always likely to be tempted to interfere with the prosecutorial process for political reasons, more often than not to protect their cronies in high office. No wonder he is being fired!
The issue of security of tenure of the NDPP lies at the heart of the prosecutorial independence. An NDPP who may be dismissed whenever he displeases the executive has no real capacity to act with fearless of independence, and the protection of his security of tenure accordingly lies at the heart of that prosecutorial independence.
As has been said, Ginwala found that Mr Pikoli impressed her as a person of unimpeachable integrity and therefore that he should be restored to office. How can it possibly be said that he is not a fit a proper person? He is clearly not guilty of conduct of a dishonest, disgraceful or dishonourable kind which shows his lack in conscientiousness or integrity required for that office.
Constitutional law professor De Vos has stated that national security is not one of the reasons that can be given to have the NDPP fired. To remove him must involve serious misconduct, such as not adhering to prosecutorial guidelines. Why was there not a misconduct hearing? He adds that by citing national security you could fundamentally affect the independence of the NDPP to act without fear and favour, and that is our concern, and that is why we are not prepared to support this report. The sequence of events leaves no room for any inference other than that Pikoli was suspended and fired to stop the arrest and prosecution of National Police Commissioner Mr Selebi. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr P J GROENEWALD
Mr S N SWART
Mr P J GROENEWALD: Madam Deputy Speaker, the ANC went out of their way to cloud the whole issue of Pikoli, but if you look at the main reason for the suspension of Adv Pikoli, according to the President, was that Pikoli was a threat to national security.
Why was Pikoli a threat to national security? Because he had the audacity to arrest and prosecute the National Commissioner of the Police Service, Jackie Selebi.
I think the hon President is completely confused. The real threat to national security was not Pikoli – it was Jackie Selebi! [Interjections.] To keep Selebi in his position as National Commissioner of the Police Service, with serious criminal allegations against him, that was the real threat to national security.
It was Selebi who was supposed to be suspended by former President Mbeki, but when it comes to Selebi, especially the former President acted like the three little monkeys: I hear, I see and I say nothing!
The fact of the matter is: Adv Pikoli acted in the interests of national security and for that he should receive a medal for bravery, for standing up against Selebi, and not a suspension.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: Is it parliamentary to refer to the head of state as "three little monkeys"?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members! I will give …
Dr C P MULDER: Madam Deputy Speaker, may I address you before you give a ruling?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am still ruling on the point of order.
Dr C P MULDER: Yes, Madam, but I would like to address you before you give a ruling. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: But you haven't heard what I am going to say.
Dr C P MULDER: Fine, Madam.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, I will give this matter consideration and rule on it later. Hon Mulder, do you still want to address me?
Dr C P MULDER: Yes, Madam Speaker, before you give a ruling I would like you to take the following into consideration.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is that a point of order?
Dr C P MULDER: I am reacting to the point of order taken by hon Deputy Chief Whip. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is not a point of order.
Dr C P MULDER: Madam Speaker, I suggest it is a further point of order in terms of the Rules of the House, and I suggest that you listen to it.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is the point of order? [Interjections.]
Dr C P MULDER: The hon Deputy Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development is not the Deputy Speaker.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please address me!
Dr C P MULDER: Madam Deputy Speaker, the hon speaker did not refer to the hon President. He referred to the former President, who is not a member of this House. That is the first point.
The second point is that he used a metaphor …
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, that is not a point of order. I said that I would make a ruling on that …
Dr C P MULDER: Madam Deputy Speaker, how do you want to make a ruling if you do not want to listen to what we are saying? [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: What I have said, hon member, is that there was a point of order, and I have said that I was going to give consideration to that point of order. You don't know yet how I am going to rule on that point of order. I will come back to the House with a ruling. Then at that point you must address me on the matter.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a further point of order: May I, with great respect, remind you that before you are to rule, you must listen to all the inputs in respect of the point taken. [Interjections.] It is the same as in a court case. You cannot make a decision before you have not been addressed by all. So I suggest then that you allow all members who wish to make an input on that point of order such as Dr Mulder, to make their input before you rule. Otherwise you may rule wrongly, because certain information was not given to you.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are there any more points of order? Hon member, you may continue.
Mnr P J GROENEWALD: Dankie, Adjunk-Speaker. Ek herhaal: Die bedreiging vir die nasionale veiligheid van Suid-Afrika was nie adv Pikoli nie. Dit was die feit dat die President vir Selebi beskerm het. Dit was die grootste bedreiging vir die Suid-Afrikaanse veiligheid.
Adjunk-Speaker, ek daag agb lede in die Raad vandag uit, elkeen van u wat stem dat adv Pikoli ontslaan moet word, dat as hy sy hofsaak wen, u sy regskoste uit u persoonlik sak sal betaal, en nie die belastingbetaler se geld sal misbruik nie. [Tussenwerpsels.] As u enige integriteit het, sal u dit doen.
Translation of Afrikaans text follows:
[Thank you, Deputy Speaker. I repeat: The threat to the national security of South Africa was not Adv Pikoli. It was the fact that the President protected Selebi. That was the greatest threat to South Africa's security.
Deputy Speaker, I challenge hon members in this House today, all of you who are voting for Adv Pikoli to be dismissed, that if he should win his court case, you will pay his legal fees out of your personal pocket, and not abuse the taxpayer's money. [Interjections.] If you have any integrity, you will do that.]
Or else you are also acting like the three little monkeys: you say nothing, you hear nothing and you do nothing. I thank you. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon member, have you finished your speech?
Mr P J GROENEWALD: I have one second left, Madam Speaker. I stand by what I said.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member?
The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Madam Deputy Speaker, whether the hon member is using A metaphor, to refer to us as acting like monkeys, etc … I think there has been a ruling previously on this name calling which is derogatory, referring to members as animals. Whether it is metaphor or not, I believe it is absolutely unacceptable. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon member, please withdraw it.
Mr P J GROENEWALD: What must I withdraw, Chairperson? If I say that some members are acting like lions, is that acceptable?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, please withdraw what you said. You said the members are acting like monkeys.
Mr P J GROENEWALD: Madam Deputy Speaker, may I address you on this issue, seeing that I said it? I did not say that the members "are" monkeys, I said that they "act like" monkeys, and that is general metaphor in general, normal speech, to say: "I hear nothing, I say nothing and I do nothing." That is the fact of the matter. I refuse to withdraw. I stand by what I said.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, you have decided that you are not going to listen to the Chair. I have asked you to withdraw the statement. Please don't force me to make a harsh ruling against you. Please withdraw it.
Mr P J GROENEWALD: Madam Deputy Speaker, I am a man of my word. I have said it, and I will not withdraw it.
Dr C P MULDER: Madam Deputy Speaker, may I address you on your ruling that the hon member should withdraw the statement? [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Mulder, I am still addressing the member. Hon Groenewald, I am afraid I have to ask you to leave the House.
Mr P J GROENEWALD: I do so with honour, Madam. Thank you.
Ms N N SIBHIDLA
Mr P J GROENEWALD
Ms N N SIBHIDLA: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon members, firstly, I think it is important for us as the ANC ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, please take your seat. Will someone please close the door? You may proceed, hon member.
Ms N N SIBHIDLA: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. As the ANC we support the decision to remove Adv Pikoli from the post. [Interjections.]
I say this because I come from the ANC ... [Applause.][Interjections.] ... a movement with unrivalled credentials and experience in leading people's struggles during the darkest days of the liberation struggle and in matters of democratic governance in this country... [Interjections.]
... a people's movement which remains the only hope for the people of South Africa ... [Interjections.] ... because these masses can only trust their tried and tested movement. They are ready, waiting to cast their ballots to renew the democratic mandate of the ANC to lead the struggles of the people, going forward. [Applause.]
Hon members, it was on 27 September 2008 that the former President of the Republic, Comrade Thabo Mbeki, suspended Adv Pikoli from the Office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions.
Subsequent to this, the Ginwala Commission was established in terms of section 12 (6) (a) of the National Prosecuting Authority Act, Act 32 of 1998, to make a determination on the fitness and propriety of Adv Pikoli to hold the office of National Director.
Upon completion of the inquiry, the Ginwala Commission handed a report to President Kgalema Motlanthe, who considered the findings. [Interjections.]
Having considered the findings and, in particular, noted adverse findings, the President invited Adv Pikoli to make representations on the findings.
Because Adv Pikoli, in his representations, embraced the findings in his favour and rejected all the findings against him, it became apparent to the President that Adv Pikoli did not understand the seriousness of the deficiencies in his capacity and understanding to fully execute the range of responsibilities attached to the office of the NDPP as identified by the Ginwala Commission.
As a result, the President decided to have Adv Pikoli removed from office. Hon members, it is this decision of the President that we are considering today. We are called upon to accept or reject this decision.
Central to the reasons underlying the President's decision is the Ginwala Commission's finding that Adv Pikoli lacks appreciation for and sensitivity to matters of national security. Adv Pikoli argued before the committee that he appreciates matters of national security because of his experience in dealing with security matters.
It appears that the advocate missed the point. The issue here is not about his exposure ... [Interjections.]... or experience in security or related matters; instead the issue which concerned the Ginwala Commission and the President is Adv Pikoli's failure to show appreciation for and sensitivity to matters of national security when discharging his responsibility as NDPP. [Interjections.]
In a sense, this shows that he did not appreciate and understand the sensitivities of the strict security environment in which the NPA operates. [Interjections.]
Hon members, what is unfortunate is that the Ginwala Commission made a determination on the restoration of Adv Pikoli to the Office of the NDPP, an issue that falls beyond the mandate of the inquiry. [Interjections.] The fact of the matter is that the Ginwala Commission was established to conduct an inquiry into the fitness and propriety of Adv Pikoli to hold the office of NDPP, the findings of which would assist the President in deciding whether to remove or restore Adv Pikoli. It is unfortunate indeed.
I will therefore not waste your time by dealing with recommendations that answered the wrong question. [Interjections.] We must address the House on matters which talk to the Ginwala Commission's terms of reference – the fitness and propriety of Advocate Pikoli to hold the office of NDPP and such other matters that may relate to such fitness and propriety.
Some sections of our society ...[Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker ...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, please sit down.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: May I ask the member a question? [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, do you want to take a question?
Ms N N SIBHIDLA: No. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please sit down. Proceed, hon member.
Ms N N SIBHIDLA: Some sections of our society are trying to convince us that the Ginwala Commission vindicated Adv Pikoli. The contrary is correct. The Ginwala Commission's report contains adverse findings against Adv Pikoli, especially in paragraphs 16 and 17 of its executive summary. In these paragraphs, Dr Ginwala says, and I quote:
I have also found issues of concern in the capacity and understanding of Adv Pikoli to carry out the responsibilities of the office of NDPP. These relate primarily to his understanding of issues pertaining to national security and his lack of appreciation of the sensitivities of the political environment in which the NPA needs to operate, which sensitivity would not be incompatible with his prosecutorial independence.
This finding is based on a number of serious security breaches by the Directorate of Special Operations that occurred before the eyes of Adv Pikoli as the overall head of the NPA.
Needless to mention, the laissez-faire approach adopted by Adv Pikoli in handling search and seizures operations in the Union Buildings as well as the extremely dangerous Special Browse Mole Report, really shocked us.
You would remember that, in 2008, this House adopted a report on this matter, which clearly outlined the attitude of the DSO towards matters of national security. This is a report that confirmed that the Browse Mole Report was indeed an intelligence document and that it had been classified as a top secret document of the DSO.
Despite this, Adv Pikoli never dealt with the Browse Mole Report in the manner it deserved. In simple terms, the advocate was very careless on that matter. When he was advised to abort the project - since it was outside the mandate of the DSO – Adv Pikoli decided to ignore the advice. Even the Ginwala Commission's report states that Adv Pikoli failed to order the DSO to stop further involvement in the matter.
When the Browse Mole Report was leaked to the public, Adv Pikoli never acted decisively on those who were involved, as he should have, given that the contents of the document were very dangerous, extremely inflammatory and divisive.
Therefore, Adv Pikoli's approach, in mishandling this report, could not have been in the public interest as it could have thrown our country into chaos. [Applause.]
This democratic Parliament, as an organ of people's power, cannot just watch and do nothing when there are potential dangers to the security of the country and its citizens. [Interjections.] National security concerns us in the ANC, hon Delport.
Precisely because of this, as well as the Ginwala Commission's finding on Adv Pikoli's lack of appreciation for and sensitivity ... [Interjections.]
Dr J T DELPORT: Madam Deputy Speaker, will the hon member take an easy question? [Interjections.]
Ms N N SIBHIDLA: No. Precisely because of this, the Ginwala Commission's finding on Adv Pikoli's lack of appreciation for and sensitivity to matters of national security, as well as submissions to the committee and deliberations thereon, we recommend that the President's decision to remove Adv Pikoli from office be approved. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr I S MFUNDISI
Ms N N SIBHIDLA
Ms N N SIBHIDLA
Mr I S MFUNDISI: Deputy Speaker and hon members, it is a sad day today. This House is deciding the fate of a man with substance to make him swell the ranks of the unemployed, though hypothetically. The dismissal of Adv Pikoli is unwarranted as he is the type of public servant this government deserves. He is an upright man who brooks no nonsense as far as the office he is being removed from is concerned.
The fact that President Motlanthe saw fit to show him the exit door comes as no surprise because while he was the Secretary-General of the ANC, he made headlines by saying the DSO was operating in Hollywood style. It is therefore unfortunate that by virtue of his office, he had to preside over the fate of the advocate with that background. This is despite the fact that the Ginwala Commissionhad recommended that Adv Pikoli be reinstated.
Whatever decision will be voted on, we in the UCDP know that majority opinion is not always a dependable guide to moral conduct. We in the UCDP will therefore, not subcontract our moral choice to the rulers or majority opinion. The obsession of the ANC with national security is surprising when one takes into account that they have invariably prioritised their own narrow interest over the good of the country.
The ousted head of the NPA had to uphold the law as the Constitution requires of him. In its selective pursuit of observation of security, the ANC tends to ignore section 198(c) of the Constitution of the Republic which states and I quote:
National security must be pursued in compliance with the law, including international law.
The arrest of the police commissioner could not have catapulted the country into any crisis. It has to be explained how arresting a national police commissioner is a greater threat to national security than having him run around with organised criminals.
The UCDP feels very strongly against the expulsion of Adv Pikoli and will therefore not support this motion. I thank you. [Applause.]
Dr S E M PHEKO
Mr I S MFUNDISI
Dr S E M PHEKO: Madam Deputy Speaker, the Ginwala Commission dismissed Adv Vusi Pikoli's assertion that he was suspended because he refused to stop the arrest of the National Commissioner of the Police Jackie Selebi. The commission found no evidence for this allegation. However, it found that government failed to prove many of the allegations against Adv Pikoli and had not adduced any compelling evidence that Pikoli was no longer a fit and proper person to hold the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions, NDPP. Instead the commission made several recommendations. The eighth recommendation draws attention to the fact that most of the complaints against Pikoli relate to events that took place long before his suspension. The commission pointed out that the advocate needed to be sensitised to the broader responsibilities of his office to enhance his understanding of the security environment in which his office must function. President Kgalema Motlanthe, in his three and a half-page letter, enumerates skills required for the Office of the NDPP. He remarks in paragraph three of his letter, and I quote:
... the requisite skills would necessarily include professional competence. Adv Pikoli's professional competence is not in question.
The President further remarks in paragraph nine, and I quote:
Understandably, Adv Pikoli embraced the factual findings made by the commission which are in his favour.
This is, of course, natural in any contestation.
However, factual findings favourable to Pikoli were made by the commission and not by Pikoli. Section 12 (6) (a) of the National Prosecuting Authority Act provides that the President may provisionally suspend the national director. It prescribes the grounds for this as follows: for misconduct; on account of ill-health; or on account of incapacity to carry out his or her duties of office efficiently. The Ginwala Commission has not found any of the above grounds against Adv Pikoli. I can only say that justice must not only be done, but must also be seen to be done. [Interjections.] I thank you very much, indeed. [Applause.] [Time has expired.]
Mr C V BURGESS
Dr S E M PHEKO
Mr C V BURGESS: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon members, visistors, the matter before the House is not whether Adv Pikoli is a gentleman or not. The committee was to consider whether the President's decision was correct. So, I heard a lot of irrelevant arguments hereabout. [Interjections.]
But before I get to these irrelevant arguments, Madam Deputy Speaker, there was reference made here to monkeys. I think the reference was highly racial. The connotation was highly inflammatory and very inappropriate. [Interjections.]
Mrs S A SEATON: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: Given that the reference was withdrawn, is it still relevant to be referred to?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am sorry, that is not a point of order. Continue, hon member! [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Sorry, Madam Deputy Speaker, may I also make a point of order.
Mr C V BURGESS: Hon Deputy Speaker, it appears there are still people who want to support ... [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker, I wish to make a point of order! Will you allow me?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I will allow you. But please don't shout at me.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: No, Madam Deputy Speaker. This is because you deliberately ignored me. That is why I am drawing your attention to the fact that I am standing.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, please make your point of order.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: The reference to monkeys has been withdrawn. How can you comment on something that has been officially withdrawn?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! I think because two hon members have referred to this issue, I must remind members that the member who made that remark refused to withdraw. Please continue, hon member.
Mr C V BURGESS: Hon Deputy Speaker, I can't see why people are still defending the reference to monkeys in this day and age, given that apartheid was supposed to have been dismantled a long time ago. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please sit down, hon member. [Interjections.]
Mr C V BURGESS: It appears that the opposition has nothing else to say today. [Interjections.] Let's be clear on one thing here ... [Interjections.] Oh, more nuisance. Okay.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, I think the way you are conducting yourselves is really not parliamentary. We have rules in this House. You are allowed to interject, but not in such a way that a member is unable to make his speech. Please continue, hon member.
Mr C V BURGESS: Thank, Deputy Speaker. Let's make one thing clear here. As much as the opposition has said things about the ANC and the way proceedings in the committee were conducted, the opposition came to the committee with their own view from the beginning and from the very first day. They did this without even reading the papers. They were satisfied that they were going to support Pikoli. [Interjections.]
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: That is a lie.
Mr C V BURGESS:.That's not a lie, Koos.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: It is a lie.
Mr C V BURGESS: It's not a lie; it's the truth. You had already taken your position on this matter before you even came to the committee. So, it is incorrect for you to pretend that you came to a decision after careful and very diligent consideration. [Interjections.] This is just not correct. You know it's not correct. You know you are being dishonest. You came there with a view, and the view was that you were going to support Pikoli. [Interjections.]
That is not necessary; there is nothing in it.
The very delicate issue here, which the opposition has avoided, is the consolidated Browse Mole report. It is so obvious that they have avoided this issue. Nobody has mentioned it. Why not? [Interjections.] I can understand that people like the hon Pheko and the other members of the committee that are not attorneys will not address this matter. But the hon Van der Merwe and the hon Delport and the hon Swart who are lawyers - legal people who understand these things ... [Interjections.]
After this, Mr Van der Merwe, I have my doubts.
Dr J T DELPORT: Madam Deputy Speaker, will the hon member please take a question?
Mr C V BURGESS: Mr Delport, I will take a question if have time left at the end of my speech.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: This refers to someone else in the House. Unfortunately I cannot tell you who it was. Someone over there in the ANC benches referred to my colleague Rafik Shah and said, "go back to Pakistan". Could you ask that person to please own up and withdraw?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, I am not able to rule on this particular point of order because I don't know who made the remark. So, I don't know who to ask to withdraw the remark.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: I think the Rules provide that you can ask if a member has made such a statement and if that member can please stand up and identify himself. [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, is there a member in the House who owns up to that statement?
HON MEMBERS: No!
Ms L M XINGWANA: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: I just want to ask if it is parliamentary to say a member is lying. Hon Koos has just accused the member of lying.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Koos van der Merwe, can you please withdraw those words?
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Yes, I withdraw. But I want to ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, without a condition.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: I withdraw without a condition. But on another point of order, the hon speaker also said I was lying. If I withdraw, then he must also withdraw.
Mr C V BURGESS: I am so very sorry, hon Van der Merwe. [Laughter.] I withdraw.
This Browse Mole report is an inflammatory topic, and you can understand why. You can understand why the opposition fails to deal with the document. Dr Delport speaks about justice. I am not sure whether, in the context of justice, he actually read the Browse Mole report. Have you read the consolidated Browse Mole report, Dr Delport? Has any of the opposition parties read this? Have you seen what it says? Have you read the document that was produced by the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, JSCI?
Let me take you through some of the findings. The JSCI found in its recommendations that the executive authority must take appropriate action against the head of the Directorate of Special Operations, DSO, and all officials who were involved in the production of the Browse Mole report. That is Parliament's document; that is Parliament's ruling. That is a document that was adopted by Parliament. [Applause.] [Interjections.] I am reading from a parliamentary document. Government must direct that the DSO stop their intelligence gathering operations with immediate effect. [Interjections.]
Yes! If you had read the Browse Mole, and the report of the JSCI, you would understand that this was an institution that was out of control. They were acting unlawfully. They were doing things that we, as citizens of this country, should never have tolerated. Never! Mr Van der Merwe, how could you, as a lawyer, tolerate that type of behaviour – explain that. [Interjections.] You see, you can't tolerate it, and that is why you are quiet on the topic. You can't tolerate it, Dr Delport, because it is a dangerous document. This document is so dangerous. It was directly threatening the national security of the country. [Applause.] This is what it is.
Dr J T DELPORT: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: Will the hon member now take one short question? Just tell us what Ginwala found on this issue.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, don't ask a question because he hasn't said whether he will take a question. Hon member, will you take a question.
Mr C V BURGESS: No.
The JSCI came to a conclusion in their report. I want to quote this again, and other speakers mentioned this here. The JSCI came to the conclusion that the activities of the DSO in relation to the production of the Browse Mole report were very dangerous and against our national interest. The contents of the Browse Mole report are extremely inflammatory and divisive. It has the potential of throwing our democracy into chaos. [Interjections.] These are the findings of a committee of Parliament. These findings were adopted by Parliament. At the time, we had nobody complaining. Nobody complained that there was anything wrong with this. Now that the career of the head of this whole issue and organisation is in jeopardy, you find reason to support him. How is that? Where is the consistency? [Interjections.]
Dr J T DELPORT: Tell us what Ginwala said about it. You are not honest. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Delport, please allow the member to speak. I will ... [Interjections.]
Mr C V BURGESS: We, as Parliament, cannot overlook these very serious matters and pretend that they did not happen. Illegal activities are a threat to our national security. How can we overlook these things? With all due respect, the ANC is not prepared to act and take irresponsible decisions.
I conclude by saying ... [Interjections.]
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: This Parliament has discussed the Browse Mole report at length some time ago. This debate today has nothing to do with the Browse Mole report whatsoever. It has everything to do with the dismissal of Mr Pikoli. He has been totally irrelevant. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is not a point of order. Continue, hon member.
Mr C V BURGESS: Why do you want to run away from this thing? This is the issue. [Interjections.] No, the issue is national security - a danger to national security.
Madam Deputy Speaker, you can see the opposition is getting out of control. This thing is driving them mad. [Interjections.]
I conclude by saying ... [Interjections.]
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: The hon member referred to the opposition as mad. [Laughter.] Now, may the pot call the kettle black?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, I will make a ruling on that. Please continue, hon member.
Mr C V BURGESS: I said the Browse Mole report is driving you mad. I didn't say you were mad.
Madam Deputy Speaker, I am trying to conclude, but it looks like my colleagues here want me to stay. The majority of ANC members of the ad hoc committee could come to no other decision but to confirm the President's decision. This was a responsible decision and not an irresponsible decision. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]
Dr J T DELPORT: Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise in a point of order. Has the hon member got time left for a question? Is his time up because he said he will answer a question, if he has time.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Delport, I have not recognised you. Are you rising on a point of order? [Laughter.] Order! He doesn't have time, his time has expired.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! hon members, are there any objections to the recommendations?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I would like to remind that they may only vote from their allocated seats. When requested to do so, members must simply indicate their vote by pressing the appropriate button. If a member inadvertently presses the wrong button, the member may, thereafter, press the correct button. The last button pressed will be recorded as the member's vote when the voting session is closed by the Chair.
Question put: That Advocate Vusi Pikoli, who had been removed from office by the President, not to be restored to office as the National Director of Public Prosecutions and that the Reports of the Ad hoc Joint Committee be adopted. Are all members in their allocated seats? Voting will now commence. Those in favour should press the 'yes' button, those against should press the 'no' button and those wishing to abstain should press the 'abstain' button. Have all members voted? The voting session is, now, closed
[TAKE IN FROM MINUTES]
Question agreed to.
Ms M M SOTYU
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER - Voting
SECOND-HAND GOODS BILL
(Consideration of Report of Mediation Committee thereon)
Ms M M SOTYU: Madam Deputy Speaker, this was supposed to a report. Yesterday, the Minister of Finance quoted from a tip he received from Mr ... [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Continue hon member.
Ms M M SOTYU: I am sorry about that, Madam Deputy Speaker. Yesterday the Minister of Finance quoted from a tip he received from a Mr Xalani Notshe of Port Elizabeth, thanking him for allocating money to libraries. He said, and I quote:
Libraries are central in community development. Libraries will assist your successor to collect more taxes because we would be an educated and skilled nation.
The hon Minister, Manuel, then continued to say: "I agree entirely".
Libraries, especially in a community school or state-owned libraries play an important role in outcome-based education. For many, that is their only access to information. Yet many of these libraries suffer great losses due to theft.
We stand here today because of the inclusion of books in the Second-Hand Goods Bill. I would like to use the time allocated to me, in addressing some of the concern that the Second-Hand Goods Dealers Association expressed on this Bill. The association in their submission to the NCOP indicated that they believe that the Bill was discriminatory since it targeted the used books trade and not the new books trade. That is the very nature of the Bill, namely that is it regulating the second-hand goods market. While we agree that at this stage, books are not part of any known organised crime syndicate, the Bill does not deal with organised crime, but to stop the one generated by theft.
The dealer association raised a concern that they would have to close down because the Bill weighed them down under an administrative burden. Many second-hand book dealers do not differ from other privately owned second-hand shops in terms of size of stock and administrative capacity. Therefore, we expect of them to fulfil the requirements of the legislation.
Closer scrutiny of what the dealers association requires of their members and through their own evidence in front of the select committee, clearly indicated that the association and its members are already doing much of what the Bill requires them to do. The Bill stipulated that dealers in second-hand goods should keep a register of all goods that they have bought and for which they have paid more than R100.
In the association's submissions to the NCOP, it stated that most books were sold for less than R100, which clearly meant that they were bought for less than that value. The association's members were already keeping records of all purchases as required by VAT legislation, so the Bill's requirements of a register would not place an additional administrative burden on the industry.
The idea of the Bill was to allow different industries to regulate themselves through the association. Chapter 3 of the Bill deals with the accreditation for associations. The Second-Hand Book Dealers Association is a prime example of the sectors of the second-hand goods industry that would be in position to apply for accreditation and to be exempted from the Bill.
We have communicated with the association that they should involve themselves with the regulation-writing part of the legislation, so as to make their valuable experience in the industry available to the SA Police Services when it would be drafting the regulation. It is our understanding that the SAPS have since spoken to the association and that they are looking forward to working together on the development of the regulations.
It is also important to note that the legislation is not retrospective in nature, and would thus require of any second-hand dealer, including the second-hand book dealers to fulfil this requirement in terms of its existing stock. It would only be application once it had been signed into law and effect stock bought after the legislation came into effect. The South African Book Dealers Association is a critical example of what the Bill is trying to achieve. It is an association with an ethically basis, that it disciplines and polices its own members, and it would communicate to the SAPS if books are stolen or they suspect that someone was offering them stolen books.
This Bill would in fact, provide protection for the association and its members against those outside of the association, who over and above other goods, trade in second-hand books without the same ethics. With these few remarks, and the knowledge of books as one of our most valuable assets that should also be protected for our children and future generation, I submit the Bill after the mediation of the committee. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD
Ms M M SOTYU
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Chairperson, as this House knows, the DA has already voted for the Bill before us today. Indeed severe delays have already been experienced in the passing of this legislation and in the meanwhile the trade in stolen goods continues to flourish because of the inadequate legislation, with a huge illicit market for aluminium, car parts, electronic goods, copper cabling, jewellery and the like.
As I have stated repeatedly, this new Bill is a huge improvement on the 1955 version. It was only after we approved it in the NA that the second-hand book dealers became aware of the fact that books had been included on the schedule, and presented to the NCOP extremely cogent arguments for their removal. There were substantial inputs from the Southern African Book Dealers Association outlining the unintended consequences of this Act. These unintended consequences will, they calculate, put R100 on the price of every second-hand book sold.
SAPS statistics indicate quite clearly that books are rarely stolen, not an object of organised crime, and indeed where such legislation has been attempted in other countries - such as the UK and the USA, it has proved unworkable and duly fallen into disuse. It was the hon Annalise van Wyk who singlehandedly convinced her NCOP colleagues to back down on their decision, and put books back on the schedule. Indeed in meetings before the NA/NCOP mediation she convinced the representatives of the Second Hand Book Dealers Association that the decision to put books back had already been taken, and that their cause was lost.
Most second-hand book outlets in this country employ very few staff, and members of the association have, from ever corner of this country, begged for second-hand books to be exempted from this Bill. The Bill is aimed at categories of goods which can be broken down and remarketed in forms other than their initial existing format, for example, car parts. But once a book is altered in any way, it is rendered worthless and of no commercial value.
SAPS members have assured me that they have neither the personnel nor the inclination to chase after a stolen book, nor had any of them ever heard of a case involving such. In this House, we cannot afford to go on passing legislation that is arbitrarily drawn up with figures, such as the R100 exclusion limit, put in by the chairperson of the committee with not one moment's research done on the matter, and merely included without the slightest consideration for the impact it will have on the businesses it relates to. We cannot afford to pass laws that will ruin people's lives, and close their businesses down, on a whim. The seven-day waiting period before resale alone, will shut most of these outlets down. It would destroy their ability to buy and sell second-hand books to and from students at the start of each year.
The ANC said they could have the right to an exemption. So why on earth did they put them into the legislation in the first place? We have been called for the updating of this Bill but failed to understand the logic of the ANC, insisting that the NA should overrule the sensible decision by our peers in the NCOP and put second-hand books back on the schedule; attacking the one cheap source of education left in this country. If ever there is a country that needs help with education is ours. [Applause.]
Ms A VAN WYK
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD
Ms A VAN WYK: Hon Chairperson, the responsibility of parliamentarians that work for the greater interest of our country and its entire people is more than merely playing for the gallery or making a big loud noise with absolutely no substance. Sometimes, whether we are in the opposition or not, we need to walk that extra mile. We need to commit ourselves to do what is right, not necessarily what is popular.
If we want to fight crime effectively it will require of all of us some sacrifices. The chairperson at length explained that Doomsday will not materialise for second-hand book dealers. We are told that books are not part of the crime problem. However, every single book that gets stolen from a student requires from parents a further sacrifice that many of them simply cannot afford. Every single book stolen from a library does not merely disadvantage one individual but a whole community of children who would have had access to that book.
This, Chairperson, becomes that much more important in the light of outcome-based education and this ANC government's commitment to spreading knowledge and skills amongst all sectors of our society. Books are an integral part of this process.
In the light of this, there is no way that the ANC will support a Bill that would close down the second-hand book business. Many of the requirements of the Bill are already adhered to by legitimate second-hand book dealers. The Bill specifically targets more expensive books and by excluding less expensive books, it rids second-hand book dealers of the unnecessary administrative burden, if it was applicable to all books.
The Bill specifically makes provision for associations like the Second-Hand Book Dealers Association to accredit and be exempted from the requirements of the Bill and certainly would be supported by the ANC, if they apply for this accreditation.
Public participation is an important part of the principle of this Parliament and of our democracy and if lobby groups learn anything from what happens here, is that it will do well by making use of the official channels and processes for getting their voices heard. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move that the Bill, as amended, be passed.
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The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
Ms A VAN WYK
SUSPENSION OF RULE 253(1)(b)
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move the motion as it stands on the Order Paper, on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party:
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Dr S E M PHEKO
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY
RECENT ELECTIONS IN GHANA
Dr S E M PHEKO: Chairperson, hon members of this House, the PAC moved the motion for this House to congratulate Ghana because we believe this country's recent elections were an example of the kind of democracy Africa's people, in particular, should replicate.
The election results were very close, even in the second running between the ruling New Patriotic Party, which lost to the opposition, the National Democratic Party. The winning party got only 50,23% of the votes.
The results of such elections could easily have sparked off endless bickering and violence, but leaders and supporters of these two parties managed this difficult presidential election in a mature and admirable manner. They did not lose their focus of the bigger national picture.
On the contrary, they maintain peace, which ensured the continued stability of their country, which can only lead to rapid economic development and prosperity of Ghana.
The statement of the newly elected President of Ghana, His Excellency, Mr John Atta-Mills, showed patriotism and statesmanship. In his inaugural speech he said that honesty, fairness, compassion and sincerity will be the hallmark of his administration and that he had no wish to carry out political vendettas.
The PAC appreciates his words that no Ghanaian child must attend school under a tree. In our own country, in South Africa, we boast of having the largest economy in Africa but many of our children, especially in the rural areas, learn under trees and in dilapidated dangerous buildings. This is a challenge to our own country.
In our motion on Ghana's successful elections, we have pointed out that Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world and has also recently discovered oil, which can earn Ghana between R14 to R21 billion a year.
The PAC has expressed the hope that this oil wealth will be used to uplift the people of Ghana and of Africa in general. We have made this remark because the founding president of modern Ghana, which the British colonialists called the Gold Coast, had a vision of not only a free Ghana but of Africa as a whole. That is why on Ghana's independence on 06 March 1957, he said, "Ghana's independence will be meaningless unless it is linked to the total liberation of Ghana." There is much to learn from this African country. Ghana's contribution to Africa is far more that its territoriality and population of 23 million.
This is a nation whose kings sat on royal chairs made of gold before it was colonised by the British and called the Gold Coast. This is a nation whose equivalent Battle of Isandlwana was led by Queen Asentawa who humiliated a well-armed British army. This is a nation that produced that great educationist, Dr Aggrey of Africa at the darkest hour of colonial barbarism in Africa. His famous story of the eagle decolonized the minds of many in his generation.
It is Ghana's prominent writer, J C De Graft Johnson who wrote The Vanished African Civilizations. This was at a time when English professors of history such as Hugh Trevor-Roper of Oxford University could write, "Undergraduates, seduced as always by the changing breath of journalistic fashion demand that they be taught the black history of Africa. Perhaps, in future, there will be some history to teach." He maintained that the study of history would be "an African amusement with the unrewarding gyrations of barbarous tribes."
It is this West African country that has provided the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan. This African nation deserves the congratulations of this hon House. It must not be forgotten that it is Ghana that inspired the whole freedom movement of Africa when there were only five independent African states out of the 53, which exist today. Ghana became a home of all liberation movements of Africa.
Without Ghana's leadership there might have been no organisation of African unity, the African Union and the Pan African Parliament. When there were serious problems that hampered the formation of the Organisation of African Unity because there were two regional blocks, the Casablanca Bloc and the Monrovia Bloc, it was Ghana that approached Emperor Haile Sellasie of Ethiopia to intervene, bringing the two Blocs together to form the OAU.
It was Ghana's Nkrumah who told Africa's people, "Only a united Africa can redeem his past glory, renew and reinforce its strength for the realization of its destiny. We are today the richest continent and yet the poorest of continents, but in unity, our continent could smile in a new era of prosperity and power." I thank you. [Applause.]
Adv Z L MADASA
Dr S E M PHEKO
Adv Z L MADASA: Chairperson, I just want to correct the last speaker. If I recall correctly, the Minister of Education gave a report indicating that according to the reports she has received from provinces there are no longer students under trees, if I'm correct. So I think the last speaker should have taken note of that.
Coming to the relevant issues, I would like to thank Dr Pheko for the motion. This motion gives us an opportunity to reflect on the progress that the African Union has made on the development of democracy, development and parliamentary democracy on the continent. I agree with the last speaker that indeed Ghana is an inspiration to all African states because its founding leader, Kwane Nkrumah, did dream of an eventual African government. We see now, through these elections, a progressive realisation of that dream.
But we need to be reminded as the ANC that long ago, even before 1994, the ANC did in its documents reflect on the need to link governance and legitimacy to the will of the people. ANC documents reflect this. Whilst we congratulate Ghana, we would like to use this opportunity to call upon other African states to replicate this model that Ghana is showing us because this African Union will develop as more and more governments become more democratic.
The principles of democracy, of course, are reflected in the Constitutive Act of the African Union. This is important because this document is a self-imposed condition by the African leaders themselves as the means to development. I mention this because we know that there are calls, extraneous calls from the continent, calling upon Africa to become democratic. But, sometimes we question the motive for these calls, of which I will come to that point later.
Indeed, Ghana has also through this election – I agree with the last speaker – showed us that it is possible to hand over power and manage that process without resorting to violence, which is something that we have done also in this country and we will continue to do.
I would like to reflect a little bit on what is the purpose of elections, lest we get carried away about regular elections and not realise that there is a purpose and substance that we need to reflect on concerning regular elections. In my view, democracy without being linked to development is really meaningless.
Abantu abayityi idemokhrasi; ayikokutyas idemokhrasi. Ingakhona idemokrhasi kodwa abantu balambe. Intlupheko ikhule abantu bevota. Akutshiwo ukuba xa ilizwe linedemokhrasi ngokonyulo abantu belo lizwe batyebile. Kufuneka siyilumnkele into yokuba siyiqhwabele izandla into yedemokhrasi, siqhwabele izandla into yolonyulo babe abantu betyiwa yindlala.
Therefore, it is important to link democracy to development underpinned by the principle of self-determination. I make this point because sometimes we get calls that we must have certain models of democracy. If we don't adopt these models, therefore our countries are not democratic. Therefore, the very imposition of democracy or a model of democracy upon states, in my view, is repugnant to the very notion of democracy. Other democracies are presidential, others are parliamentary, and others are a hybrid of the two and so on. We shouldn't, therefore, demand a particular model of democracy.
We also have seen that sometimes the mighty powers of the west have imposed democracy on other countries. But, when we evaluate the motive and the reasons for these calls for democracy, sometimes it is not about development; but it's about regime change. That is why in 1955 in the Bandung Declaration, the accord between Africa and Asia, the point was made on some of those principles that no member state must allow itself to be used by the mighty powers to remove other regimes of member states. That clause was put there precisely because this tendency still prevails today. Therefore, we need to be careful when we make calls about democracy. What do we mean by that?
For example, we have seen that there are double standards. Sometimes the western powers are happy with certain democracies and sometimes they are not happy. They are unhappy not because there are no elections but because they don't like the outcomes of the elections, and that is undemocratic behaviour. For example, we know that in Zambia the president was removed. How was President Kaunda removed? He was removed because of the utilisation of the very notion of elections and democracy. Another regime was put there because at that time it was a preferred regime. We remember that gentleman who made a very famous speech and said: Power is very sweet. That is when he refused to move out of government. He said power was sweet. We know that even today he is still facing a long trial of corruption. This is a person who was put there by the mighty powers in the name of democracy. Therefore, we must be careful of what we mean by democracy.
We have seen these double standards in Gaza as well. There was an election in Gaza which was hailed as the most free and fair election, but the outcome was not acceptable. Immediately after those elections there was an imposition of sanctions by everybody, the European Union and all the so-called democratic nations. Why? It was not because the elections were not free but the outcome was not acceptable. So they squeezed and squeezed the government until it became ungovernable. This is what we are talking about. [Applause.]
Sometimes they say a certain regime has been in power for too long or the ANC is too strong, all those kinds of things. But, if you look at the history you will find that in the United Kingdoms there was a Conservative Party government for something like 17 years in succession. Later on there was a Labour Party government for about 14 years in succession and nobody questioned that. That is democracy.
But, if in Africa we have long-serving regimes in power, elected popularly by people; that regime is undemocratic, too powerful and it must be changed. Why? So, this is what I mean by the fact that democracy must be based on the principle of self-determination. It must be an organic process that is born out of the people's process hence the ANC says: The government's legitimacy is linked to the will of the people.
It is also important to note that - in Zimbabwe for example – we put conditions like: For this government to work, Mugabe must go. Some of us don't agree with what is happening there but you cannot, from outside, say so and so must go for that government to be proper. When you look at the elections you find that this same party gets 99 seats. How can you defy such huge numbers of Zimbabwean people electing a particular party? We need to respect that hence the view is that we must let parties work together to resolve the problem. But we can't, from outside, say so and so must go before the government works. When you say so, you are ignoring the will of the people. So, I'm making the point that a proper democracy must be born out of the people themselves.
We have also seen tendencies where even the right to vote sometimes is used to sabotage governments. Today here in South Africa we have a big debate, correctly so, about South Africans who have emigrated and now are demanding a right to vote and so on. Perhaps they have got a legal point. But I want to make the point that what we must remember is that these people emigrated voluntarily, in numbers, because there is crime in South Africa. They went and lived elsewhere where it is fine. Then when the elections come they want the same government which in their view is useless, cannot deal with crime and cannot administrate the country properly, to give them resources where they are to throw stones at this government. You must empower them to remove you from power. It doesn't make sense.
In my view what they should do – I support their right to vote, I support it – because they took their money and their passports and left the country, they must travel back whenever there is about to be elections in South Africa, on their own. They must travel back; come, vote and go away again. Why must we give them resources?
Mr M J ELLIS: Mr Chairperson, I rise on a point of order: We are discussing free elections in Ghana. The hon speaker seems to be talking now very much about a domestic matter in South Africa. I would believe that he is off the topic.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A C Nel): Mr Ellis, I will ask the speaker to direct himself to the motion but I think the motion is of general application. So, we have allowed some leeway. But, member, please resume and speak to the motion. Thanks.
Adv Z L MADASA: Thank you, Chair, I thought we were debating elections in Ghana and using that as a model to reflect upon as a comparative study. The motion says: Ghana is exemplary to all of us. So, we are examining all our systems to see if they are, in fact, exemplary. I'm talking about our own system. That is what we are talking about. [Interjections.] – No, no don't be belligerent, don't disrupt me -.
But, we must put a caveat. We must put a caveat in all what I've said. A caveat is the following: As much as we must allow African solutions to African problems, we need to ensure that these solutions are based on principled solidarity. That is what is important. Our solidarity must be principled. It must be based on the values we have agreed on. It must be based on the conditions that we have put for ourselves and on the Constitutive Act of the African Union. If our solidarity is based on something else, tshomi tshomi [buddy buddy] and so on; that is not acceptable. That is the caveat I would like to put.
In conclusion, given the Ghana example, I would like to take this opportunity to call upon our people not to tarnish the image of our own liberation by being disruptive when we go to the elections. Let us have free and fair elections. In that way we shall succeed. Thank you.
Mrs S M CAMERER
Adv Z L MADASA
Mrs S M CAMERER: Chairperson, the DA agrees with the hon Pheko's motion. Yes, Ghana should be congratulated on a successful democratic election held in December last year and finalised early in January this year.
What is particularly significant about it is that the previous governing party, the New Patriotic Party, lost the elections to the main parliamentary opposition, the New Democratic Party. Although it lost the elections by only a small margin of less than 1%, nevertheless there was an immediate unequivocal and peaceful handover of power to the winning NDP.
The contrast with what happened in our immediate neighbours, Zimbabwe, is huge where the combined opposition MDC also narrowly defeated the ruling Zanu-PF party in parliamentary and presidential elections. And yet, the defeated ruling party continued to hang on to power with SADC's acquiesce for eight months with the brokered power sharing deal being implemented only this week.
President Motlanthe gave the Zimbabwe elections figures to Parliament this week. Tsvangirai's MDC had 99 seats, Mutambara's MDC had 10 and Zanu-PF had 97. And there was one independent.
The President characterised this result as a "hung parliament" not in Ghana, however. In Ghana, it would have been acknowledged as a victory for the opposition. Since 1992, Ghana has held four successful competitive elections and it is in many ways an important country for Africa and South Africa.
In 1957, of course, it led the way to freedom in Africa by throwing of the yolk of colonialism with an iconic leader Kwame Nkrumah at the helm. South Africa has a by lateral commission with Ghana at ministerial level. And its economic importance to the continent is growing. Not only is it the second largest producer of cocoa in the world as the hon Pheko has said, but its newly discovered oil reserves will make a big difference to its economy.
But what makes Ghana's elections results even more significant are that they took place against the growing disenchantment with the capability of African countries to hold credible and peaceful elections.
Recent major setbacks in elections management have been witnessed in Nigeria in 2007 and in Kenya at the end of 2007 - beginning 2008 where it required UN interventions to achieve a satisfactory power sharing outcome and even then only after more than a 1000s people were killed in post election rioting.
Early this year we had the unedifying and undemocratic spectacle of Guinea-Bissau where on the death of President Lansana Conte instead of their constitutional precepts being followed, which made the speaker of parliament to take charge for 60 days and announce a date for new elections. Army general, Moussa Camara, took over in a bloodless coup saying elections won't be held until next year. Unfortunately, we have all seen that movie before several times.
On the positive side, when the president of our Western neighbour Botswana, Festus Mogae, stepped down in April last year, power was handed over to President Ian Khama in a peaceful transition.
Triumphs like the Ghana elections are important because the priority for both our governments in its foreign policy and for us in Parliament is the promotion of the African agenda.
Clearly, part of the African agenda should be to ensure that the way the Ghana elections was held becomes the norm in our continent, rather than exception to the rule it has become in the past. While is true that Ghana pioneered freedom from colonial rule, it is South Africa that has set the great example of a peaceful transition to democratic rule through free and fair elections based on the rule of law and constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedom.
We have established the benchmark for this on our continent. Successful elections are the lifeblood of any democratic system. We are on the cusp of our fourth democratic election and the IEC is getting pretty good at running them.
The elections to be held on 22 April promises as DA leader, Helen Zille, says to be the most exciting yet with the advent of Cope significantly swelling the ranks of opposition parties. We can feel something new is in the air. As the opposition parties we are gearing up for an important elections with far reaching implications and the Ghana elections results is beckoning like a beacon on our African continent. Aluta Continua, the struggle continues. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE
Mrs S M CAMERER
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Chairperson, we also support the motion. It is a good motion. And as far as we are concerned, there is a lot to be learned from the Ghana experience. Basically, it has shown that democracy is growing in Africa. It is not only in South Africa, but Ghana has shown that free and fair elections could be held with minimum violence, acceptance of the results, no discrimination against opponents and a strife towards reconciliation.
Therefore, it is an example to us. There are other examples that are not exemplary to us like Zimbabwe. I think the message to Zimbabwe is that the days of African dictators are counted. Their days are numbered. Zimbabwe is a country destroyed and we hope they will recover. I have hunted in that country and it is beautiful. [Laughter.]
I enjoyed the speech by Mr Madasa. Some of what he said is true. He said that the growth of democracy leads to the growth in development. That is true. If you have a good democracy, normally there is growth in development which enables you to fight poverty, unemployment and to give your people a better life.
He said that some people don't accept the outcome of elections. That is called democracy. We didn't accept the outcome of the elections where the ANC won. As the IFP, we wanted to win. But we will try next time. This is how it works. When we are in next time you will be out with your smile. [Laughter.]
What I didn't like in Mr Madasa's speech is the manner in which he referred to those South Africans who are outside of the country and who want to vote. I think he doesn't understand that all of them didn't emigrate. They didn't greet South Africa. They would like to come back. I know many people outside. Why did they leave? They left because of the failures of the ANC government. They left because of the crime rate, corruption, unemployment, HIV/Aids and because of the problems that we have in the country caused by the ANC government. This is why they left. [Interjections.]
Adv Z L MADASA: Chairperson, on a point of order, can the speaker confine himself to the motion? [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Chairperson, that is the most nonsensical point of order that I ever heard. In fact, I was reacting to him. If I'm out of order, he was out of order too. [Interjections.]
I have asked people that I know why they have left. They say affirmative action is one the basic reasons why people left. [Interjections.] You can say, wow! But many of them are white and many of them don't get jobs. Then what do you expect of them, to sit hear and starve of hunger or to go overseas where they can get jobs.
In the process, those million people who left – look at the report by the South African Racial ... [Interjections]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: (MrA C Nel): Hon member, I have appealed to the previous speaker to also confine himself to the broad parameters of the motion.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Chairperson, I'm just reacting to what Mr Madasa has done, nothing else. What I'm saying to him is; people who left couldn't get work here. That is why many of them left.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A C NEL): The motion before the House is not what Mr Madasa said, it's what Dr Pheko moved.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Chairperson, but you allowed him to say that. Why am I not allowed to react? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A C NEL): No, I'm just saying I issued the same warning to him to say it is a general debate. I will allow some latitude. But...
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Chairperson, I have 12 seconds left. Can I do that with latitude? Let me say to Mr Madasa that if there was no affirmative action, if there was no crime, then all those people would not have left. And the huge skills base that has gone out of the country would not have gone out. It is on your conscience that they have left. [Applause.]
Mrs C DUDLEY
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE
Mrs C DUDLEY: Chairperson, the ACDP notes that Ghana, sub-Saharan Africa's first independent country, chalked up another democratic victory on 7 December 2008 when an opposition candidate was elected as president. The ACDP congratulates the people of Ghana who have shown great restraint and maturity demonstrating democracy at work in Africa. This was Ghana's fifth consecutive presidential and legislative poll since they return to multi-party democracy in 1992.
In Ghana, there are two major parties in addition to the five smaller ones. This is in stark contrast to many other African democracies where there is one dominant party. Ghana regarded as one of the most stable countries in West Africa has a well entrenched multi-party democracy and a simple majority electoral system. The electoral system that a country uses is key in determining how votes cast by the electorates are transformed into seats in the legislature.
And at the risk of being constrained, I will talk about the electoral system in South Africa. While the choices we have made up till now have been successful in bringing us to this point in our democracy, calls for electoral reforms are growing louder by the day – starting with the manner in which the president is elected, especially after the recent unilateral and unceremonious sacking of President Mbeki.
The ACDP supports the view that the President of the Republic must be directly elected as in France and the United States. Direct elections make the president accountable for the whole nation and not only to the governing party which can dictate to him and fire him at will.
According to the dust collecting Slabbert Report, it is was also recommended that South Africa's existing electoral system be replaced by another that would encourage greater accountability, while a strictly proportional system has been beneficial in the early stages of our democracy ensuring inclusivity and reducing the ever present threat of violence.
It may well be time for South Africa to consider a mixed electoral system. [Time expired.]
Mr A J BOTHA
Mrs C DUDLEY
Mr A J BOTHA: Chairperson, Ghana was a heroic harbinger of things to come when it was the first African country to elect a democratic government by universal franchise.
Unfortunately, it is also the harbinger of all the ills of bad governance: Projecting the image of the big man, nepotism, corruption and the collapse of democracy. It is therefore with great pleasure and admiration that Ghana is welcomed back into the fellowship of true democracies.
After our own heroic and universally admired admission to universal franchise in 1994, we fortunately did not initially commit ourselves to such delusions of grandeur as to undermine the rule of law or the universal rights of the individual.
Unfortunately and ominously, already under the administration of President Mbeki, but particularly since Polokwane, the ANC values the law of rule above the rule of law. We see this in the loud-mouthed threats to the judiciary, the uncouth blue-light brigandage despoiling our public roads, but worst of all, the timidity of the ANC caucus.
Yesterday, Minister Manuel had to urge you to earn your salaries with worthy oversight. Your worst failings among many, was the way you assisted a despot in Zimbabwe to reduce these neighbours of ours to the beggar's staff.
In this, my parliamentary graveyard speech let me exhort you to respect yourselves, respect the voters and value your own integrity. In my 10 years here and in Bloemfontein I have been convinced that most of you are quite capable of such rehabilitation of yourselves. Take note of Cope and that it is your ex-voters who will punish you if you don't.
Ter afsluiting bedank ek graag die voorsittende beamptes van hierdie Parlement; elke agb kollega, elke lid van die personeel vir die vriendskap en konsiderasie wat ek ontvang het, en ten laaste my party en die kiesers wat hierdie 10 verrykende jare vir my moontlik gemaak het nadat ek 30 jaar lank in 'n koue wind gestaan het in die provinsie waar ek gewoon het, omdat die stemgeregtigde kiesers daar nie my siening gedeel het nie en ek nie hulle s'n nie. Ek sê vir julle almal baie dankie en totsiens. [Applous.]
Mr M P SIBANDE
Mr A J BOTHA
Mnu M P SIBANDE: Sihlalo, oNgqongqoshe kanye nabaHlonishwa abahloniphekile, ngizothanda ukuthi ngiqondise okunye kuqala uMnumzane, uKoos Van Der Merwe kulendlela aphendule ngayo ngabantu abazovota abahlala phesheya. Angimkhumbuze ukuthi abanye babo bahanjiswa ukuthi bezibona bona ukuthi ngeke bakhona ukuhlala ngaphansi kombuso ophethwe ngumuntu omnyama.
Abanye babo kulolu khetho oludlulile imiphumela yalo yabonisa ukuthi inani elalibhekiwe azange liphumelele ngoba abaningi bebengenabo omazisi "green barcoded IDs". Ngakho-ke akuyona inkinga yethu leyo. Ngizophinde ngibuye ngendaba yaseZimbabwe.
UMvelinqangi wadala inyoni ebizwa ngokuthiwa uKholwane njengokujwayelekile minyaka yonke uma kungena intwasahlobo le nyoni ihaya ibika elithize okungokuthi abantu ikakhulukazi isizwe esimpisholo uma silihumusha leli bika lithi "Phezu Komkhono". Okusho –ke ukuthi abantu mabazilungiselele sekuyisikhathi sokulima. Ngalokho-ke ngizothanda ukubonga uMongameli wezwe uMnumzane uKgalema Motlanthe, ngokuba enze isimemezelo esifana ncimishi nebika elenziwa uKholwane ngokumemezela usuku lokhetho ngomhlaka 22 Apreli 2009.
Ngalokho-ke uMongameli wezwe unxusa yonke imibutho ngokwehlukana kwamaqembu ukuba azilungiselele ukhetho ikakhulukazi umbutho kaKhongolose (ANC)kanye) kanye nombimbi lwayo. Ngokuba uma ukhetho seludlulile asifuni ukuba kubekhona iqembu noma amaqembu azokhihla isililo sikaNandi kuhle okwesijwayi sifelwe ngunina bethi bona abanikezwanga ithuba elanele lokukhankasela ukhetho.
Ghana has been one of Africa's great success stories of recent years with democratic government and individual freedoms having been consolidated since independence.
Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan country in Africa to gain its independence under the leadership of Dr Kwame Nkrumah in 1957.
Ghanaian politics is conducted in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Ghana is both the head of state and the head of government with legislative power vested in both the government and parliament.
The constitution that established the fourth republic provides a basic charter for republican democratic government by declaring Ghana to be a unitary republic with sovereignty residing in the people of Ghana. It is intended to prevent future coups, dictatorial government and one-party state, designed to establish the concept of power-sharing.
The people of Ghana elect a head of state, the president, and the legislature. The president is elected for a four-year term, while the 230 members of parliament of Ghana are elected once every four years in single-seat constituencies. The presidential election is won by a 50% plus one vote, while the parliamentary elections are won by a simple majority.
Presidential and parliamentary elections have been held alongside each other, generally on 7 December every four years since 1992. In the December 2008 elections, John Alter Mills of the National Democratic Congress won the presidential race with a 50,23% of the total votes cast, as against the 49,77% garnered by Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party.
World leaders congratulated Ghana on the successful democratic elections in December that saw the opposition candidate defeat his ruling party rival by fewer than 41 000 votes. While UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon hailed the elections as a democratic achievement, many more in Africa offered their own praise for the peaceful and orderly nature of the voting. Our own President Kgalema Motlanthe said that the Ghanaian people have shown their appreciation for democracy in an election that bears testimony to respect for good governance in Africa.
Professor Tarnue Sherman of the University of Liberia said Ghana is a torchbearer for democracy in Africa; and that Ghana's role as the birthplace of the Pan-African Movement and its continuing commitment to democracy is a source of pride for all Africans. We, as the South African Parliament, also wish to add our accolades to those from our brothers and sisters in Africa.
But, the recent democratic and successfully concluded presidential and legislative elections in Ghana urges one to critically and appreciatively look at the evolution of democracy in Africa.
The study of democracy in Africa challenges Westerners to take a hard look at political institutions and philosophies that are too often taken for granted as the way things must be. At the same time, it broadens and enriches the understanding of the concept of democracy.
Many Africans consider the Western model of political democracy to be extremely narrow and even alien to African cultures. According to the Rev José Belo Chipenda, General-Secretary of the All Africa Conference of Churches says:
Democracy is not merely the right to vote and seize power but it is about a whole complex of rights and duties which citizens must exercise if a government is to be open, accountable and participatory, and the Western-style democracy, places people into artificial antagonistic boxes, turns friends into enemies and aims at arousing unnecessary competition.
In his book titled Democratisation, published in 1993, Prof Ben Nwabueze covers a wide-range and textured examination of democratisation in African societies. He writes:
Democratisation is not only a concept, nor is it synonymous with multipartiyism but it is also concerned with certain conditions of things – conditions such as a virile civil society, a democratic society, a free society, a just society, equal treatment of all citizens by the state, an ordered, stable society, a society infused with the spirit of liberty, democracy, justice and equality.
The stated thesis of his book is that democratisation, in the fullest sense of the term, requires that the society, the economy, politics, the constitution of the state, the electoral system and the practice of government be democratised.
In 1987 essays, Popular Struggles for Democracy in Africa by Mahmood Mamdani, Abdelali Doumou, Samir Amin, Harry Goulbourne and other leading African scholars, deepen the theoretical and analytical study of democratisation with contributions on aspects of the broad theme of the state, development and participatory democracy.
The editor of these essays, Peter Anyang' Nyong'o concludes that:
However repressive regimes have been in Africa, and however they might have been in defeating popular attempts at democratic change, the people's impulse to struggle for freedom and social justice can never completely die.
While the link between popular struggles and the building of democracy in Africa is developed further in a collection of studies by Mahmood Mamdani and Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba, social movements and democratic initiatives in the Southern African region is analysed by Sachikonye. The following selected issues related to democracy in Africa are examined; firstly, the theme of social and economic rights as integral elements in democratic societies, secondly the perspectives of the problems facing democracy and pluralism in Africa, ethnicity and democracy.
No society qualifies as democratic, representative and progressive until there is free and voluntary participation of all citizens in all spheres of life.
Eleven Kenyan women scholars and writers examine the structural constraints that have kept women thus far from participating fully and meaningfully in Kenyan society and, undoubtedly, the rest of African society.
Members of the African Faith and Justice Network adopted the following thought-provoking principles regarding democracy in Africa at their 1993 annual meeting in Washington DC:
Africans need to define for themselves the meaning of democracy in their own historical and cultural contexts, drawing on their participatory traditions and the experience of democratic societies elsewhere. Free market capitalism and multiparty systems are not synonymous with democracy. Grassroots popular movements offer new hope for truly democratic structures in Africa. Respect for human, social and economic rights, as well as civil rights is essential if democracy is to take hold in Africa, for democracy cannot survive in a context of stark polarisation between rich and poor. Economic development and equitable distribution of resources must go hand-in-hand with the emergence of more democratic structures.
I do not think that any one of us can argue against these sentiments. But, returning to the example of Ghana, the voting system has encouraged Ghanaian politics towards a two-party system... [Time expired.]
Dr S E M PHEKO.
Mr M P SIBANDE
Dr S E M PHEKO: Chairperson, I would like to thank all the hon members and parties that have participated in this debate on the Ghanaian elections. Before I close this debate let me remind you that in April 1959 the first President of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, PAC, said:
We regard it as the sacred duty of every African state to strive ceaselessly and energetically for the creation of a United States of Africa, from Cape to Cairo and Madagascar to Morocco. The days of small states are gone.
This was 50 years ago and the PAC was denounced then for saying so as being antiwhite.
Over 50 years ago, Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana, who was most hated, wrote:
If Africa's people are to remain free, if we are to enjoy the full benefit of our Africa's rich resources, we must be united to plan for our total defence and the full exploitation of our material and human means in the full interest of our people. To go it alone is to limit our horizons, curtail our expectations and threaten our liberty.
The idea of a United States of Arica was once laughed off as a very big joke. There was what was called a "Grand Debate" on this subject in Ghana in 2007 during that country's 50th anniversary. This topic was debated vigorously in the recent meeting of the African Union.
The vision of a United States of Africa began in 1910, but has been driven more strongly by Pan Africanist leaders like Ghana's Nkrumah, Sobukwe and Lumumba. Today informed financial institutions and learned people outside Africa affirm that the economic power of Africa rest with the formation of a United States of Africa.
Let us respect the people of Ghana, learn from them and unite with them as with our brothers and sisters in the rest of Africa. Let us congratulate the people of Ghana for their exemplary democratic elections.
After Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown through an imperialist orchestrated coup d'etat, there have been 21 years of military rule in Ghana; six years of one-party state and 16 years of multiparty system. The recent elections in Ghana, which were won by President John Atta Mills, are no mean achievement. Let this House congratulates Ghana for a job well done. Thank you. [Applause.]
Motion agreed to.
Dr S E M PHEKO
ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
Ms N D NGCENGWANE (ANC): Madam Speaker, the economic policy of the ANC-led government will include measures to decisively address obstacles that limit the pace of employment creation and poverty eradication and will intervene in favour of more sustainable and inclusive growth for all South Africans.
The Budget tabled yesterday is consistent with the priority areas of the ANC's objectives to create work and fight poverty. The five principles that have informed the budget planning this year are the following: Protecting the poor, creating employment, investing in infrastructure, promoting competitiveness and fiscal sustainability.
The largest adjustments to spending plans go to poverty reduction. The sum of R25 billion is added to the budgets of provinces mainly for education and health care; R13 billion for the social assistance grants and for their administration.
In the period ahead, South Africa will need a government with both experience and political will; a government that fully understands what needs to be done to address our apartheid past; a government that puts people first, "Batho Pele", and builds participatory democracy.
The ANC working together with the people can form such a government. I thank you. [Applause.]
Dr S M VAN DYK
Ms N D NGCENGWANE
SAA AND MISMANAGEMENT
Dr S M VAN DYK (DA): Madam Speaker, for the past four years the DA has raised the issue of the South African Airways, SAA, and its chief executive officer, CEO, Khaya Ngqula in this House. For four years, the SAA has been a bastion of cronyism and mismanagement. For four years billions of rands that could have been spent on housing, clinics and schools have been fritted away on ineptitude helicopter trips and catering contracts with five-star restaurateurs.
The Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Scopa, has been unanimous in its disgust with Ngqula's performance and brought that to the attention of this Parliament. The SAA is but one of his 38 directorships and the results of his lack of managerial focus can be clearly seen by the further R1, 6 billion allocated in yesterday's Budget. The DA can only hope that that allocation was made on the clear proviso that Ngqula leaves his position.
I want to state it to you that almost half of the Ministers in the Cabinet do not use our national airline in protest to its poor management by this man. For the ANC, the calls of Scopa, the DA and this House fall on deaf ears. In contrast, within a week of the ANC tripartite alliance partners, South African Transport and Allied Workers Union's complaints reaching the press, Ngqula has been put on special leave and there is to be a full forensic investigation of his management.
Whilst we warmly welcome this outcome, it is a sad indictment of our democracy when those outside of this House are listened to more seriously than those within. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE
Dr S M VAN DYK
TRIBUTE TO JULIUS MALEMA
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE (IFP): Madam Speaker, on behalf of all opposition parties, I wish to pay tribute to the "grand hero" of all opposition parties one Julius Malema. Never in the glorious history of this land have opposition parties had such a magnificent organiser and canvasser of votes by the thousands for opposition parties. Never in the history of this country has the ANC had any human being effectively sabotaging the ANC as well as its "grand hero", Julius Malema.
I am personally so grateful for our hero's unstinting efforts to win votes for the opposition that I am prepared to start a fund to contribute to his expenses. Julius, old boy, thank you very much.
Siyabonga kakhulu, mfana.
Please continue your magnificent efforts and, Julius, please don't allow civilised people in the ANC to derail you from your efforts. You will go down in political history as the "grand hero" of the opposition and the magnificent "mampara" of the ANC. [Laughter.]
Mr J P CRONIN
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE
CONDEMNATION OF VIOLENCE IN THE TAXI INDUSTRY
Mr J P CRONIN (ANC): Madam Speaker, the ANC strongly condemns the violence that has been directed against communities, commuters, bus drivers and taxi drivers. This violence has been orchestrated by a small network of warlord elements in the taxi business in, amongst other places, Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. Our communities and the majority of honest and hard-working taxi operators are thoroughly sick of this behaviour which threatens lives and livelihoods, which prevents learners from attending school and workers from getting to work.
All spheres of government are fully committed to the rolling out of integrated public transport systems beginning in our main cities. These new public transport systems will be subsidised and well regulated. They will provide affordable and safe mobility to our people. Central to these plans is the integration and promotion of current taxi operators and drivers.
The great majority of operators must be liberated from their present unsustainable hand-to-mouth existence. They must be liberated from the stranglehold of warlordism. The tens of thousands of drivers in the taxi sector must be brought into proper employment with the full rights that all workers should enjoy. This will be possible with the new dispensation.
While the doors of government must always be opened to bona fide concerns and negotiations, criminal behaviour cannot be tolerated and must meet the full might of the law. We would like, as the ANC, to salute what the security forces have done so far in Nelson Mandela Bay and we urge them to crack down heavily on this kind of warlordism. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr D M GUMEDE
Mr J P CRONIN
E N N NGCOBO'S APPOINTMENT AS COMMISSIONER
Mr D M GUMEDE (ANC): Madam Speaker, the ANC has humbly learnt that hon member Eugene Nqaba Ngcobo, a member of this House and chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Minerals and Energy, has been invited to serve as a commissioner for South Africa in the international commission on Climate Change and Energy Security. [Applause.]
It has further noted that he will be one of the five commissioners from the G5 countries that have been established in order to advise the G13 countries in the exploration of political trade-offs and security implications in the battle against climate change. Thus salutes the hon member and this Parliament for contributing to the advancement of a better life and a brighter future for the progressive global agenda. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms H WEBER
Mr D M GUMEDE
UNANNOUNCED VIST TO NYANGA REFUGEE CENTRE
Ms H WEBER (DA): Madam Speaker, yesterday I conducted an unannounced visit to the Nyanga Refugee Centre. On my arrival, I was greeted by a long disorganised queue of foreign nationals. They were waiting for interviews, renewal or just for clarification. It was total chaos and it would not take a rocket scientist to make this whole process controlled and user-friendly and prevent unnecessary damage to property, as I witnessed. Palisades were broken down by people, out of pure desperation. Surely, a few officials could be placed there in the morning, sort the people out and give them a number and a reference to the correct official inside the building.
According to the manager of operations, each official has a target, so they must know how many people they can accommodate per day. Perhaps this simple idea would be to the detriment of those taking bribes to jump the queue, as various methods of bribery were explained to me. I also have affidavits to this effect. Officials are aware of it, but say they cannot stop people paying bribes; so much for bribery and corruption. The building is totally inadequate and the 22 staff members are also inadequate. There are no megaphones, so people do not know when they are to be called. There seems to be a lack of interpreters.
In short, it is a blatant disgrace that we open our borders to people who suffer hardship in their own country and impose more suffering here. The Minister must decide whether we are a country open to everybody. If so, then she must make arrangements to accommodate them.
The SPEAKER: Order! Your time has expired.
Ms H WEBER: Oh, has it? Can I not just quickly finish by saying the Minister seems to have lost interest in her department. [Time expired.]
The SPEAKER: Order! That statement will be taken in its entirety, but your time has expired. Thank you.
Ms J C MOLOI-MOROPA
Ms H WEBER
REDUCTION OF HIV AND AIDS INFECTION
Ms J C MOLOI-MOROPA (ANC): Madam Speaker, the ANC-led government aims to reduce the rate of new infections by 50% through the aggressive information and prevention campaign; expanding access to appropriate treatment, care and support to 80% of all living with HIV and Aids and their families.
In line with the ANC manifesto the ANC-led provincial government of Gauteng has committed itself to reduce new HIV infections by 50% by 2011 in youth, babies and adults. Furthermore, the provincial coverage of HIV and Aids education in wards, schools, community based organisations and NGOs reaches about 40% of the population, and as such, there is a tremendous reduction of new HIV infections in youth under 30 years of age, increased safe sex behaviour and reduced HIV infection in babies through prevention of mother to child transmission savers.
The ANC government will continue to mobilise our communities around the healthy lifestyle campaign, including the antitobacco campaign and the campaign against alcohol and substance abuse. Thank you.
Ms C N Z ZIKALALA
Ms J C MOLOI-MOROPA
CLIMATE CHANGE AND GLOBAL WARMING
Ms C N Z ZIKALALA (IFP): Madam Speaker, issues regarding the environment, in particular, climate change and global warming have taken greater prominence in recent years. While this is good, it is important to ensure that this increased prominence does translate into the improved plans and actions that are needed to secure environmental protection and sustainability.
In our efforts to protect our environment and to ensure sustainability, the IFP believes that it is vital that efficient monitoring mechanisms are in place to make certain that our environmental legislation and regulations are being properly implemented and are having the desired effect so that if they are not, we can take corrective actions. Information and awareness of environmental issues, especially climate change must not be limited to certain groups. We must find ways of effectively communicating climate changes impact and how to adapt to it for the people in rural areas who still rely on traditional farming methods for survival, as they will bear the brunt of the harsh impacts of global warming. Thank you.
Ms T E LISHIVHA
Ms C N Z ZIKALALA
HIGH UNEMPLOYMET RATE IN RURAL AREAS
Ms T E LISHIVHA (ANC): Madam Speaker, unemployment in rural areas is disproportionately high and many rural areas lack basic infrastructure such as roads, water and electricity supply. These conditions force people to migrate to urban areas in search of a better life, which leads to lack of human resources in rural areas and places an increased burden on service delivery in urban areas. Part of the answer is to develop rural areas.
A bed and breakfast facility in Muhlava Village near Tzaneen in Limpopo, which boasts five chalets and an exhibition centre built in a rural village aim to cater for tourists visiting South Africa during the 2010 Fifa World Cup is scheduled to open next month. The project will help to fight poverty as many villagers would be employed as cleaners and chefs, while local crafters, dancers and storytellers will be able to showcase their skills at the facility.
The project is funded by the partnership of the ANC-led provincial government, the Mopane District Municipality, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the European Union, as well as the Irish Embassy. This partnership demonstrates the correctness of our statement that: "Together ..." Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr G G BOINAMO
Ms T E LISHIVHA
HIJACKING OF SCHOOLS FOR ELECTIONS
Mr G G BOINAMO (DA): Madam Speaker, schools are being hijacked by ANC election campaigning and the DA calls on the Minister of Education to act so as to stop children from suffering yet more setbacks at the hands of entirely thoughtless and self-interested teachers and officials. The deputy principal of a school in Pretoria was seen distributing ANC election material during school hours. He also used teaching time to praise the ANC and warned learners at the Holy Trinity School in Winterveld, who are eligible to vote, not to support Cope.
To make matters worse, it has also been reported that matriculants were given timetables featuring ANC President Jacob Zuma's face next to the list of the school's terms and calendar. This comes on top of many other reports at other schools about meetings during school hours and disruptions of lessons. Learners are sent to school to learn and not to be indoctrinated. Our national leaders need to use their authority and make this very clear. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr G LEKGETHO
Mr G G BOINAMO
CHALLENGES OF SERVICE DELIVERY WILL BE SYSTEMATICALLY ADDRESSED
Mr G LEKGETHO (ANC): Madam Speaker, the ANC is committed to ensure that the challenges of service delivery are addressed in a systematic, determined and transparent manner; at all times working to involve communities in resolving problems and overcoming whatever obstacles may exist.
Hence the Department of Home Affairs, in partnership with the Department of Social Development, the South African Social Security Agency and the City of Johannesburg hosted imbizo at Diepsloot Sports Ground. The purpose of the imbizo was to facilitate the registration for birth certificates and identity documents for the people to access government services.
The residents of Diepsloot came in large numbers to access these services and despite the challenges that people in the area face, they remain positive about government's efforts to improve their lives.
The ANC-led government will continue to work together with the people to implement programmes that are aimed at improving their lives. Thank you. [Applause.]
Dr C P MULDER
Mr G LEKGETHO
THE RIGHT OF SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENS LIVING ABROAD TO VOTE
Dr C P MULDER (VF Plus): Geagter Speaker, algemene stemreg vir volwassenes word in artikel 1 as een van die grondliggende bepalings van die Grondwet genoem. Dit is een van die artikels wat met 75% verskans is as 'n basiese reg.
Artikel 36 van die Grondwet maak dit moontlik om van hierdie basiese regte te beperk. As hierdie artikel dan gebruik word om Suid-Afrikaanse burgers in die buiteland hulle stemreg te ontneem, moet daar logiese redes wees waarom sekere Suid-Afrikaanse burgers in die buiteland wel mag stem en ander nie. Die Pretoriase Hooggeregshof het bevind dat artikel 33 van die Kieswet om presies hierdie en verskeie ander redes, ongrondwetlik is.
As alle Suid-Afrikaanse burgers in 1994 kon stem, en alle gevangenes tans kan stem, is daar geen rede waarom geregistreerde Suid-Afrikaanse burgers nie in hierdie verkiesing by bestaande stembusse in die buiteland by ambassades en konsulate kan stem nie.
As hierdie regering nie bereid is om dit te doen en dit vir mense so moontlik te maak nie, sal die Gronwethof uiteindelik moet beslis hieroor om dit wel moontlik te maak om op 'n praktiese en beslis nie onrealisitese wyse nie, nie almal nie, maar geregistreerde kiesers by bestaande ambassades te kan laat stem. Ek dank u.
Ms F J WRIGHT
Dr C P MULDER
ANC'S EFFORTS IN REDUCING OVERCROWDING IN SCHOOLS
Ms F J WRIGHT (ANC): Hon Speaker, the ANC-led government believes that education is a means of promoting good citizenship as well as preparing our people for the needs of a modern economy and a democratic society.
Building on the achievements in education, the ANC government aims to ensure progressive realisation of universal schooling, improving quality education and eliminating disparities.
The ANC together with our people are working round the clock to deal with the burden of overcrowded classrooms.
ArcelorMittal South Africa and the Department of Education have entered into an agreement that commit the company to build ten schools throughout the country.
The ANC calls upon others in the private sector to emulate this example. Thank you. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: These are extra slots that were created by the absent parties. There is an extra slot for the DA. [Interjections.]No, no, why do you do that, hon members? I've just been assisted at doing my work; at least I haven't failed to ask for assistance.
Mr S J F MARAIS
Ms F J WRIGHT
THE SPENDING OF ANNUAL BUDGET
Mr S J F MARAIS (DA): Madam Chair, Minister Manuel has presented 13 Budget Speeches to this House. Within that time we have seen our debt levels for our personal income tax drop and our tax revenues rise. Yet despite consecutive increases in the Budget of the Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Housing, Department and the Department of Home Affairs, we continue to see the maths and literacy standards of our learners fall below that of the levels in Egypt and Indonesia. Entire provinces' health care systems are collapsing because the annual Budget are spend prematurely and there are new visa requirements for South African citizens because of the Department of Home Affairs is unable to keep track of the passports and the identity documents that they issue.
It is true that prudent fiscal management has made South Africa's expenditure shovel ready. Yet as after every Budget in the past, the poor the pensioners and the marginalised in our society wonder whether this is the year that those in this government will do as they promised, and as the Minister has emphasised yesterday that they should roll up their sleeves and begin digging. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M W SIBUYANA
Mr S J F MARAIS
TRIBUTE TO THE PEOPLE OF BUSHBUCKRIDGE
Mr M W SIBUYANA (IFP): Madam Speaker, in the name of IFP, I stand to pay tribute to the people of Bushbuckridge and their different traditional authorities for being law-abiding citizens even under trying circumstances.
They, with great humility and soul touching dignity, conducted funerals of their relatives who had died in man-made wells in search of water, whilst others had died after drinking water from polluted rivers.
Klaserie dam is nearby and Inyaka dam is in their midst and all rivers are full of flowing water and, yet again the majority of residents have no drop of clean water to drink.
I say to the people of Busbuckridge: Keep it up. Refrain from violence. Keep praying to your God. Your tears are not in vain. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (Ms E THABETHE
Mr M W SIBUYANA
HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN RURAL AREAS
CLIMATE CHANGE AND GLOBAL WARMING
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (Ms E THABETHE): Madam Speaker, I would like to respond to the statement made by hon member Lishivha, on the rural economic development project which is a success. Yes, I do agree with her that by working together we can do more. This is one example that when we talk about these things, some of the people think that we just want votes but, these are programs of government because the ANC-led government is a government that is caring. It is indeed accelerating on ensuring that we can do away with poverty. And I hope that this is one example that other people should learn and do and be able to work together with government.
Government alone cannot create jobs. Government creates the conditions and the environment to attract investments so that one can then be able to come with such projects. I am sure that in 2010 some of our guests will be sleeping here and there are even rooms to increase this if they can contact some of the agencies of the Department of Trade and Industry, DTI, to assist them to expand.
The second statement that I would like to respond to is the one made by the hon member Zikalala on the environment's sustainability, climate change and global warming. I do agree with her that some of the points that she is raising are valid. But, I think as a country we hosted the World Summit on Sustainable Development, WSSD, and also there were responsibilities by government to follow up and ensuring that we implement them.
In implementing those, we also ratified the Kyoto Protocol and I hope that as government we are implementing some of those contents of the Kyoto Protocol to ensure that we can deal with the challenges of environmental biodiversity and other issues that are related to that. We are a country that is very caring and we have passed a lot of legislation in this House to ensure that the polluters are made to pay. Hon Zikalala is a member of that committee and we are doing very well. So, these are good things that we do as this government, again it shows that if we work together we can do more. [Applause.]
Link to that statement, it is the statement that was read by hon Gumede on our member who is going to serve on the global progressive agenda. Surely as a member of this House, with his expertise, he is indeed going to add into this agenda of global change. He is going to ensure that he can contribute positively, and we need really to applaud him and thank him for his good contribution, and ensuring that this is an ANC Member who was trained by the ANC to change not only the country or continent but the world. Yes, together we can do more if we work together. Thank you. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Thank you Deputy Minister, as the executive you have the opportunity to respond to six statements. You have responded successfully to three statements which means your colleagues are left with three statements to respond to.
The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (Ms E THABETHE)
CONDEMNATION OF VIOLENCE IN THE TAXI INDUSTRY
The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Madam Speaker, I fully agree with the hon Cronin on the issue of taxi violence which we have experienced in the past few weeks here.
Our labour laws are very clear. They allow people to withdraw their labour or engage in any industrial action and we will always support that. We will also continue to engage anybody, including taxi owners and operators on any matter that they or may not be satisfied with the government. But, we want to emphasise the point, there will be no negotiations between government and any criminals or criminal acts whatsoever. [Applause.] So, we will do everything in our power to protect our communities.
Here in the Western and in the Eastern Cape Provinces there are people who have already been arrested because of that. We will continue to do that and make it very difficult for anybody to commit crime on our country. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF EDUCATION
The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY
TRIBUTE TO JULIUS MALEMA
ACHIEVEMENTS IN EDUCATION
BUDGET SPEECH BY FINANCE MINISTER
The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Madam Speaker, I will try to inform Mr Malema that the hon Van der Merwe wishes to establish an association with him. I am sure that they will have a very happy discussion together. [Laughter.] I would have thought as a senior member of this House that the hon Van der Merwe would have said something far more sensible and mature. Nevertheless I will convey his view.
With respect to the Budget, Madam Speaker, clearly, the areas of education that the hon Wright has referred to - the excellent focus that the hon member from the DA referred to - the focus of the Minister of Finance on the key challenges of the country and the continued effective management of the micro-economic fundamentals as well as the socio-economic challenges and objectives of our country. All of these do illustrate their targeting of our key priority areas as the ANC of health, fighting crime, promoting quality education, ensuring that there is rural and youth development and of course job creation. All of these are priorities that Minister Manuel has spoken to, well in line with the manifesto of the ANC which indicates to the people of our nation that together we can indeed do more. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: I think we have one slot if anyone would like to take it. Yes.
The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: That is very generous. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. Maybe it is because maths is a challenge in education as the hon member said, although I would remind him that in the 2008 examinations, we had the largest number of young people in our country passing mathematics at higher grade equivalent level than we ever had before. [Applause.] Therefore, the programmes that our country has began to put in place in order to support more and more young to succeed in mathematics and science are beginning to bear results and we will intensify our efforts at improving literacy, numeracy, mathematics and science outcomes through out the education sector.
I met with vice-chancellors of universities yesterday and some of them informed me about the calibre of pass that they have noted amongst new students, particularly in terms of the performance of young people in some of the tests in numeracy and writing skills that the universities have asked young students to do. So, there is progress but it is incremental depending on our effort. As members would be aware, Madam Speaker, it is going to be a long haul.
Finally, I certainly know that this government and the ANC government that will be elected with a significant majority on April 22, will continue their commitment to accountability through contact with the people and will indeed work as Parliament has done to ensure that democracy, participation, good governance and service delivery are brought closer and closer to where our people are. Thank you. [Applause.]
The House adjourned at 17:11.
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