Hansard: NA: Questions for Oral Reply: Deputy President: Cluster 1: Peace and Security
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 04 Mar 2015
No summary available.
04 MARCH 2015
WEDNESDAY, 4 MARCH 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 15:00.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY
START OF DAY
QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, in relation to the first question, I think all of us know that our country engages quite extensively on the continent to promote peace and stability.
Last year, President Jacob Zuma asked me to be his envoy in relation to the conflict in South Sudan. In that role, I was able to travel — as the hon member asked what I did in October of 2014 — to South Sudan. There I met with a number of leaders, such as President Salva Kiir, the President of South Sudan and a number of leaders of his party.
I was also able to travel to Uganda, where I met President Museveni. I also travelled to Ethiopia and met President Merriam de Salan. I also to Kenya.
All the countries in that region are involved in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Igad, peace process that is being facilitated by the African Union, AU. I was also to meet the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Madam Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. In all these discussions we talked of how peace and stability can be fostered in South Sudan.
We principally addressed two issues. The one issue was reaching a ceasefire in South Sudan, where all the parties can work together to bring a cessation to the hostilities. We also got involved - having being asked by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, SPLM, in South Sudan - in dealing with the key issues that still face the SPLM in South Sudan itself.
So we have been involved in these two-track processes, and now of late, we have been joined by the ruling party in Tanzania, Chama Cha Mapinduzi, as well as the ruling party in Uganda, trying to bring about unity in South Sudan through uniting the SPLM.
Earlier this year, the SPLM factions, if you like, were able to reach a reunification agreement which provides that the SPLM will reunite and those who are in Kenya, and those who are in Ethiopia, as well as in other parts of South Sudan, will get together in Juba with a view to ensuring that the SPLM is once more united.
At a governmental level, as we speak now, the various components of the SPLM are involved in discussions at the Igad level, trying to finalise a deal that could possibly lead to a major breakthrough. So the whole process is one in which South Africa has been actively involved. Thank you.
The SPEAKER: I believe hon Masango is taking charge of the follow-up question on behalf of hon Radebe. Hon Masango?
Mr M S A MASANGO: Thank you, hon Speaker. Thank you very much hon, Deputy President, for your elaborate answer, and indeed for your facilitative role in South Sudan.
My follow-up question is: What instructive lessons can we, as a country, learn from South Sudan? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I guess the instructive lessons we can get from South Sudan is that peace is the most important aspect of any nation’s life — peace and democracy and institutions that are well structured and functioning well. South Sudan is a young democracy. It’s struggling with getting to grips with those issues and this is where we can give them a great deal of assistance, but we can also learn what we should not do.
As a country and as a nation, we should continue building and strengthening our own institutions, be they political party institutions, governmental institutions, etc. Those are institutions that we should pay attention to, with a view to ensuring that they are strong, robust and are able to support democracy. Thank you.
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Hon Speaker, could the Deputy President please educate us here. We want to know whether the intraparty talks that are being facilitated by South Africa and Ethiopia are indeed running concurrent with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Igad, peace process; and if so, are they really taking a direction in which we can see the outcome of a constitutional settlement in the near future? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Yes, the two-tracked processes are meant to bring about peace in South Sudan and the intraparty discussions are critically important in that that’s where the real problems started; within the SPLM itself. We, as South Africa, and particularly as the ANC, have been paying a great deal of attention to that and assisting the South Sudanese.
The intergovernmental process is also important and that is being processed in Addis Ababa. These two processes are working along each other in tandem, and soon the parties will return to Juba. Once they are in Juba, we believe that that will strengthen the whole process and peace should be restored thereafter, once and for all. Thank you.
Mr M HLENGWA: Thank you, hon Speaker. Hon Deputy President, it is common cause that in such situations of conflict there will be an increase in instability and in people’s movement and so on, which will result in quite a number of people becoming refugees.
So the question is: What is being done in that situation? What is South Africa’s role in assisting and facilitating the movement of refugees, particularly in the South African context of the recent xenophobic attacks; and in educating South Africans about the dynamics of the home countries of those citizens, thus creating understanding that they will need to be here should the situation continue to escalate — as it is doing — and they need a second home. Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: We are keeping ourselves well informed about all those challenges and problems that are arising from conflictual situations such as war, and in particular in South Sudan. Our embassy and all its officials are intricately involved as are other African countries, and indeed countries from other parts of the world, in assisting those who are going through hardships now.
Many people have been displaced as a result of the war and the conflict in South Sudan. Also, as you know, many people have lost their lives, so we are closely monitoring that situation and where we can, we are giving as much assistance as we possibly can. It is an important aspect of the work of the country — and in this case, South Africa — which is seeking to assist South Sudan that it stands ready to assist the people of South Sudan in whatever way is possible.
In the end, we are not only assisting them with streamlining their institutions, in bringing about peace, but we are also standing ready to assist as much as we can at the humanitarian level too. Thank you.
Mr S MOKGALAPA: Hon Speaker and hon Deputy President, we acknowledge and commend the role that South Africa is playing in peacemaking and conflict resolution.
Given the protracted peace negotiations and broken ceasefire agreements between both President Kiir and former Vice President Machar’s loyal forces, how confident are you, sir, that this round of dialogues will yield long-lasting solutions? What kind of extra resources are needed for you to achieve this objective? I thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The good thing about the South Sudanese conflict is that the two leaders have met on a number of occasions. At the beginning of the conflict, we struggled to get them to meet and talk. We now have achieved a level of success in that they do meet.
As it is now, both of them - I am informed -are in Addis Ababa. They are now involved in a further round of Igad negotiations which is aimed at working out what type of government they will have. As it is now, they are talking about the structure of their government, the nature of their government. I think a lot of success is being achieved.
We continue to work with both of them at a party level. Once, in the next few weeks, we will get both the SPLM in opposition, the SPLM in Juba and the SPLM in Kenya to go back to Juba. That will be a major breakthrough and which is already being planned.
With regard to what resources we are going to need, current resources really only involve travelling thereand travelling to the various countries in the region to meet people and facilitate the peace process. Beyond that, we have not expended a lot more resources. Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Speaker, as members will be aware, the issues that the hon member Maimane has asked about are subject sof legal cases at the moment.
I have been reliably informed that hearings in relation to these matters will be happening in our courts in the next few days. For that reason I feel constrained to answer the question because the matters are before the court and I have been advised that it is best to let that legal process ensue and thereafter one can put forward ones views.
It is safe to say that - I would like to state this as a matter of principle - in Parliament I believe it is correct that we should have a free flow of information. The incident that occurred here, as the President has also said, should not be allowed and should not happen again.
I am prepared to say that. As regards the specific issues that arise in his question, I will be willing to answer them once the legal cases have been concluded. Thank you very much.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Deputy President, I welcome your response and I want to clarify the fact that the matter about the use of the police is, in fact, not yet before the court at this stage.
I think it is also important to note the fact that the Constitution makes a provision in section 91(4) that the Leader of Government Business is responsible for the affairs of the national executive in Parliament. We cannot debate the fact that the police and the use of security agencies and signal devises form part of the executive.
I would as a point of interest like to find out when, in fact, was the Deputy President informed? Secondly, there was the removal of the entire caucus. It was not just members who were speaking on the day who were asked to leave, but there was the removal of the entire caucus from this House.
I hear the guarantee of the Deputy President. However, I would like to know more specifically whether or not, in future going forward, should similar conditions prevail — that is, I am raising a point of order and asking the question — will the Deputy President be willing in the same conditions to give a guarantee that the use of the same extraordinary security measures such as police action, signal devices and the removal of members, in fact, not be allowed in this House.
I would like to get a guarantee from the Deputy President to ensure that that never takes place, noting his constitutional obligation on this matter. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
MOTLATSA PRESIDENTE: Mme Mmusakgotla, ke dumela gore rre o utlwile karabo yame. Ke tlhalositse fa kgang e, e le mo kgotlatshekelong. Fa go ntse jaalo, ga go kgonagale gore ke bue ka kgang e e tshwerweng ke kgotlatshekelo. Ke kopa gore Moeteledipele wa Lekokokganetso a amogele gore nka se kgone go araba potso e gonne e mo kgotlatshekelong. Ke a leboga. [Legofi.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.
The SPEAKER: What is the point of order, hon Steenhuisen?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, the point of order is that in this House we rely on precedence and convention. There have been rulings in this House made from the Chair before that govern the sub judice rule. I would like to address you in terms of the guide to the procedure where it sets out that, and I quote:
The Chair should apply the rule in such a way as to impose minimal limitation on open debate.
This means that members should be allowed to refer to a matter before a court, but cannot discuss the merits of the matter before a court.
I would submit to you, Madam Speaker, that we are not asking the Deputy Presidents to go into the specifics about the merits of the matter before the court. There is a broad principle that we are asking him to answer on, and that is his view on the use of police in this House. It is not about the merits of what happened on the 12th, and it is not about the merits of the case which, incidently, is still not before a court, but it is a simple question and we are asking for an answer to it.
The SPEAKER: Hon Deputy President, can you answer the question?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, I believe I have answered this question. I have answered the question. It could be a matter of opinion on the hon member’s side, but it is my view, my opinion and my advice that this matter is before the courts — and indeed there are two cases that are running alongside this matter and they are going to be heard in court.
I am quite willing and prepared to answer questions with regard to this matter once those cases have been settled. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Thank you, hon Deputy President. I think I have to rule that that is the answer of the Deputy President. He will be ready to come back to this House and answer those questions once they are done [Interjections.]
Ms T V TOBIAS: Excuse me, Madam Speaker …
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, may I address you?
The SPEAKER: Yes, who is calling me?
Ms T V TOBIAS: Madam Speaker, to your right …
The SPEAKER: HChief Whip Steenhuisen, could you take your seat in the meantime.
Ms T V TOBIAS: Madam Speaker, with due respect, do the Rules allow that two questions can be asked from members of the same party at the same time?
The SPEAKER: No, that was a point of order from the hon Steenhuisen and it was not a question.
Hon Steenhuisen, we cannot put the Deputy President on the floor and extract the answer from him. The Deputy President has given his answer so that is as far as we can go. We can’t dictate beyond that, but he is coming back. He promised that he will come back, but I now want to move on to the next supplementary matter.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: May I address you, Madam Speaker on this particular matter? I refer you to Hansard of 1998, second session, column 2(8) where there was a ruling from the Chair, and I quote:
References to cases in the courts and to the facts in the cases would not be a violation of the subjudice rule.
I hear what you are saying, that the Deputy President will come back. We were told last year that the President was going to come to answer questions and we are still waiting for that.
The SPEAKER: Hon Steenhuisen, let us take the word of the Deputy President in good faith and he will indeed come as he has always done.
Dr B H HOLOMISA: Hon Speaker and hon Deputy President...
... ndiyabona ukuba uligwala kwezi ntsuku Nobhala wam. Phendula nje umbuzo mfondini awusayi kubanjwa.
In relation to ... [Interjections.]
... andiwazi ke lamankentshana angxolayo apha emva kwam ukuba athunywe ngubani na. [Kwahlekwa.]
In relation to the original question, media has widely reported that on the said day you intervened through the Minister of State Security. Is that true? If so, does that not constitute a breach of the important principle of separation of powers?
Ayidibananga nankundla zamatyala le into. Iya ngqo kwinto yokuba oonondaba batsho kanjalo, uthini ke apho Mhlekazi?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, I would just like to say to the hon Holomisa that ...
... ndifuna ukuba undimamele ohloniphekileyo Bantu, ungathi ndiligwala kaloku nguwe umntu oligwala kuba wabaleka apha kuthi. [Kwahlekwa.] Andiyazi ukuba wawubaleka ntoni kuba bekufanele ukuba ukweli cala.
Anyway, hon Holomisa, I have heard of such media speculation and I expect that the issue that you are raising will also be raised in one of the court cases that are underway. Without … [Interjections.] No, no, without you even beginning to say that I don’t want to answer these questions, I’m quite happy, willing and prepared to answer all these questions.
To be quite honest, I would like to say that I would like to answer them once these cases are over because there is a view that I would like to put forward in relation to all these matters and the incident that occurred the other day. So, Madam Speaker, that is what I am requesting. I am bound by the advice that I have been given, namely that I should wait until these matters have been finalised. Thank you very much.
Mr K Z MORAPELA: Speaker and hon Deputy President, will you please share something with us. The hon Mahlobo was seen giving you a note. Will you share with us what was it that you were telling him? [Interjections.] [Laughter.]
Would you agree with me, Deputy President, that the jamming of the signal was deliberately done so as to hide the ill intentions that you had of assaulting and dragging members of the EFF out of the Chamber?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: As I said, Madam Speaker, I’m quite willing and prepared to share all this with members, but I am, as I said, constrained by the fact that this matter is before the court.
In relation to notes that pass amongst members, my own observation is that there are many notes that go around in this House from member to member on an ongoing basis. But as the media have been speculating that there were notes that were passing between the hon Mahlobo and I, I would like to address that once all those cases are over. Thank you very much.
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Madam Speaker and hon Deputy President, in the debate on the state of the nation address, Sona, we raised an issue which we thought had nothing to do with the cases in the courts.
It is the question of sections 4, 5 and 11 of the Powers and Privileges Act, and in our view and judgment this Act is in conflict with the provisions of the Constitution in that those sections grant the Presiding Officers of Parliament powers to usurp executive powers and command the security services of the country. Nothing could be more in conflict with the Constitution.
When is the Presidency going to bring that back? We requested that it be returned to Parliament so that Parliament should amend and expunge those sections and make us consistenct with the Constitution. It is dangerous to keep that Act in place because the reason the police could come in here and assault Members of Parliament is because of that anomalous situation. This is very urgent, sir, and could you please do something about this.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Speaker, as I understand hon Lekota, he is actually pleading that something must be done with an Act of Parliament and that we should look into it. I hear him and I’m sure that he is prepared to motivate this even a lot more than he has done.
We are always open to hearing views and suggestions. Speaking for myself, I am happy to hear hon Lekota coming across so constructively by putting forward a view that he would like us to consider. We shall consider what you are suggesting. Thank you.
Mr N S MATIASE: Madam Chair, on a point of order: I want to demonstrate that the Deputy President’s answer is insufficient. It is a fact that the answer is insufficient and we cannot come to terms with an answer of this nature when this House has been ransacked, vandalised ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon member, I actually ... [Interjections.]
Mr N S MATIASE: And when is this chair going to be fixed? This demonstrates the violence which was visited upon us. We want answers to this question now.
The SPEAKER: Hon member, please take your seat now. You have demonstrated your point.
An HON MEMBER: Look at these broken chairs!
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: I am rising on Rule 110(6). Questions to the Deputy President are required to be submitted nine days before the Deputy President appears in this House. That is so that the NA Table can have a look at them, and the Deputy President’s Office can also have a look at them and prepare responses to them.
Instead of the Deputy President coming here today and hiding behind the sub judice rule, I think that it would have been far more honest of him to have indicated that, when the questions were tabled in his Office, rather than to wait for the day and to come here and refuse to answer questions in the House. [Applause.]
If the Deputy President had failed to do that, I think that the NA Table should have then ruled these questions out of order to enable the opposition to have put forward other questions or prioritised other questions.
What has essentially happened today is that the Deputy President has been allowed to hide behind a spurious interpretation of the sub judice rule and the opposition has been denied the opportunity to exercise oversight over him. [Aplause.]
The SPEAKER: We have noted your point, hon Steenhuisen, and I’m quite sure that the Deputy President’s Office has also taken to heart what you are saying.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, I would like to thank the hon Shivambu for this question. What he has asked about is not a new phenomenon for developing countries, and particularly for many of our countries on the African continent. Speaking for us as a country, let me say since 1994 our government has worked hard to ensure that we have systems, structures and institutions such as the SA Revenue Service, Sars, and the SA Reserve Bank, SARB, to look closely at the matters that he has raised.
Working together with these institutions as well as the prosecuting authorities, we have made, I would say, a great deal of progress in closing the loopholes that can be used for tax evasion. As I indicated in my previous response, the legal and financial regulatory framework to deal with illicit financial flows has been significantly improved in South Africa. It is sound and effective, and the SA Revenue Services continues to expand its revenue collections as a result of this.
At the continental level, the recent report of the high-level panel on illicit financial flows from Africa aims to assist the continent to deal with this problem in a collective manner and to take steps to radically reduce those outflows and ensure that Africa’s development resources remain on the continent.
The report itself recommends that existing laws which have proven successful in combating illicit financial flows should be replicated as global best practice and standards. It is noteworthy that the very same report makes mention of how South Africa’s tax laws enabled our country to deal with a case of abusive transfer pricing and successfully reclaim up to US$2 billion of unpaid taxes.
As indicated by Minister Nene during his Budget speech, the government is taking a lot of steps to enforce our efforts to combat financial leakages. Thank you very much.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Speaker, I think there might be some degree of conceptual confusion about tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.
The question that we have posed to the Deputy President is in relation to aggressive tax avoidance. The high-level panel on illicit financial flows says that the US$2 billion — that is, more than R20 billion — was recovered only from one multinational company and not from the whole phenomenon of transfer pricing and illicit financial flows.
As you know, the phenomenon of transfer pricing and illicit financial flows defines virtually all practitioners in the mining sector, including Lonmin in which Shanduka - his company – has shares.
Just over a very short period of time, R2,1 billion was lost in some subsidiary company of Lonmin, in a Bermuda type of situation. What exactly are the proper pieces of legislation that are in place to deal with that because we don’t have a framework which combats that phenomenon?
If there were a framework, the crisis of transfer pricing and illicit financial flows would not be deepening. If you are saying it was there from 1994, then why is the crisis deepening? If there is legislation and prosecuting authorities are paying attention, why then is the crisis deepening?
Over R600 billion rand is lost to illicit financial flows. In South Africa this goes up to trillions of rands - that is R600 billion annually - that are lost because of mining operations of which some you are beneficiaries as directors of these companies. What exactly is happening with regard to legislation, because what you are giving us now is a reflection of conceptual confusion and wrong information in terms of the actual phenomenon?
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, I don’t know where the conceptual confusion comes from. The Minister of Finance addressed this issue, but much more than that, there are quite a number of initiatives which are underway.
The Davis Tax Commission is dealing with this matter and we will be coming up with a number of proposals that are going to make sure these illicit financial flows, be they in the form of transfer pricing or invoicing that is often incorrect, are actually dealt with.
I think we need to applaud our SA Reserve Bank as well as Sars, including the Financial Intelligence Centre, Fic, in that they have been able to keep a very close watch on these flows on an ongoing basis. And I think with the legislative proposals that the Minister will be coming up with, we will find many ways of combating all these problems.
As the member is so well informed about all these matters, what I think will also be most helpful is for him to come up with suggestions on how all these things that he is aware of can be stopped and combated.
This is an area where, I would say, we all need to work together to come up with the bright ideas, which he seems to have, and put them on the table so that the Minister of Finance, as he brings forward legislation, can actually act on such wonderful suggestions. So, this matter is being addressed and there are legislative instruments that are going to be put in place. Thank you, Madam Speaker. [Applause.]
Ms S J NKOMO: Speaker, Deputy President, what are the estimated amounts which could have been added into our economy through a legitimate inflow of taxes — noting the illegal transfer of monies and nonpayment of taxes by more than 500 multimillionaires and multibillionaires in our country. We just want an estimate.
One other area that we would like to know about are the types of legislative measures that are being put forward – I noted that the Deputy President stated that there are lots of measures - to stamp out the outflow of illicit finances. Maybe he could give us about three or five examples of these.
Also, what sanctions, through legislations, are in place to bring all culprits to book, noting the reports that came out in the newspapers two to three weeks back about a lot of people who have money in some of the banks outside the country.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, the amounts that are involved in all of this are actually quite startling. They are huge amounts. The good thing is that they are now on the radar screen. In some cases they mention up R1 trillion that could have left the country in the past decade alone through the activities of large co-operations, wealthy individuals as well as criminal syndicates.
A Washington DC research and advocacy group, which is called Global Financial Integrity, believes that South Africa suffered illicit financial flows totaling more than US$122 billion — and that was between 2003 and 2012. Although they say not all of this money would have found its way into the state’s coffers, some of it should have benefited the fiscus. That is what they say.
So there is quite a lot of money that should have found its way into the fiscus. This is precisely why I am saying that the Minister of Finance and indeed, SARB, Sars and the Financial Intelligence Centre have this on their radar screen. Already the Davis Tax Commission has latched onto this matter and it is going to be addressed.
There will be legislative instruments or proposals that will come forward to combat this. This is money that should not be leaving the shores of our country. Now the important thing is that, on a global basis, this has now become an area of focus, and in our country as well, various institutions are beginning to focus on this and look at it.
The SPEAKER: Hon Gamede.
Mr D D GAMEDE: Hon Speaker, mine was pressed on the second question for a follow-up question and I am subject to your ruling.
The SPEAKER: The second question, the one that we have already passed?
Mr D D GAMEDE: Yes, hon Speaker.
Mr D D GAMEDE: Yes, hon Speaker. Hon Speaker, you skipped it.
The SPEAKER: No, your name didn’t appear there so we now move on to hon George.
Dr D T GEORGE: Speaker, South Africa seems disinterested in exercising the political will to tackle the problem of illicit financial flows. The Deputy President said, in the NCOP, that capital flows are necessary for economic growth and that the Reserve Bank and Sars regularly monitor the inflows and outflows of capital.
Illicit financial flows also relate to and fund human trafficking, possible terrorism networks and other illegal activities. Given recent reports that have painted South Africa as a hive of terrorist activity with wanted militants freely going about their business in the country, how and why have our financial intelligence services, police, security and intelligence services not prioritised the goal of shutting down these illicit financial flow conduits in the country? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, I think it is safe to say that this matter is under regular consideration. Also, as I have said, there are those institutions that are continuously looking at this and they literally go beyond the SA Reserve Bank and Sars. They also involve our security agencies.
Those agencies are keeping a close watch on a continuous basis on all these matters, including human trafficking as well as illicit financial flows.
I would like the member to rest assured that the government, through its various agencies and institutions, is keeping a close watch with a view to making sure that our resources are kept safe. Soon we will be closing all the loopholes, or as many loopholes as we possibly can, because we are dealing with criminals and criminal syndicates that always reinvent themselves and reinvent new ways of doing things.
We are also going to keep on making sure that South Africans continue to lead their lives in safety and security. So, all these things are being closely looked at.
A number of my colleagues here, who are dealing with security matters, are on a daily basis seized with such matters and are looking out for people and institutions that want to flout our laws and do a whole number of things with regard to our laws. So I would like to give him that assurance that we are looking at all these issues.
Dr M B KHOZA: Hon Deputy President, not withstanding the fact that the Standing Committee on Finance has dealt extensively with profit-shifting , price transfer, illicit trading and tax avoidance in its exercise of fiscal oversight, and that such a matter can’t be dealt with in unison within this current environment, would you kindly unpack the additional measures that the SA Revenue Service, Sars, and possibly the SA Reserve Bank, SARB, have put in place to curb elicit financial flows in a manner that will boost our current economy, as it is contracting. Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Speaker, the SA Revenue Services, Sars, and SA Reserve Bank, SARB, have a number of measures as it stands now. What is now underway is that we are taking advice and proposals from various institutions, including the Davis Tax Commission, which is an important institution – as I have said, and I have said this a few times.
Together with Sars and SARB, the government is going to examine all those proposals and measures. If these measures are not curbing tax avoidance, illicit financial flows and transfer pricing and if they are not doing the work effectively, they measures will be tightened up.
The advice and proposals that are coming from the tax commission are going to be very helpful indeed. To this end, the work of the portfolio committee is also commendable because as they exercise their oversight role, they do come up with a number of proposals that need to be taken up at the executive level.
However, also at the legislative level, that is, at the parliamentary level, members are free to come up with suggestions. There is no monopoly of wisdom in regard to this matter. We would like to put all the ideas on the table so that we can conserve the national resources of our country. Thank you very much.
The SPEAKER: The last Question was asked by hon E M Mthethwa.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Speaker?
The SPEAKER: Yes, hon Shivambu.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: I thought that in terms of the follow-up questions, there are supposed to be four. The hon member up there forfeited his time to ask a question. Is it possible that we take the name that is coming immediately ... [Interjections.
The SPEAKER: No, hon member, we have taken four supplementary questions already. So, we are moving on to the next one. [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Speaker, it was four including the hon member. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: No, hon Shivambu, please take your seat.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The question is on language, and I think all of us will agree that language can be seen as a vessel in which a society tends to store its memories, its experiences and its history. If you allow that language to disappear, those memories and those experiences — also the type that the President was relating during his response to the debate on the state of the nation address — can disappear and become inaccessible. So language is very important.
The equal promotion of all our languages in South Africa remains a critical part of our nation-building effort. This is entrenched in our Constitution. Cabinet approved the National Language Policy Framework in February 2003. This framework aims to promote the equitable use of all our 11 languages – the official languages.
This enables the citizens of our country to access government, to be able to interact with government, to get information from government and, indeed, also to get services from government.
Currently government is implementing the Use of Official Languages Act of 2012, as a means of promoting the previously marginalised languages and multilingualism, as well as to foster the equitable treatment of all 11 of our official languages.
This Act requires that by May this year, every national department in our government, public entity and public enterprise must have adopted a language policy. It also provides for the establishment of a national language unit in each of these public institutions.
It is hoped that this approach will be emulated by the private sector and, indeed, other organisations. I believe that it is in the best interests of the private sector, acting through the companies, to embrace multilingualism.
These companies typically have a diverse workforce and also have a diverse customer base. Their supply chain is also made up of diverse people who speak various languages. One hopes that the private sector will also be able to do what government is doing to promote the use of as many of our languages as possible. This is a task that needs to be taken up by all of us, as South Africans, in all our institutions. Thank you.
Mr E M MTHETHWA: I thank the Deputy President for his answer.
In terms of training, what is government going to do to train the African language teachers and better resource the African Language departments at universities? Linked to that is the question of the promotion of sign language as well as the Khoi and San languages. Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: We have promulgated quite a number of Acts that deal with language. One of those is the Use of Official Languages Act, and a number of other instruments.
What I do know is that the use of various languages is now being promoted actively in our educational institutions, and the Minister of Higher Education is on record as saying that at the higher educational levels we want to be promoting more and more, even in our universities and technical and vocational education and training, TVET colleges, the use of the various languages that are used in our country.
Therefore training is going to become an important component that follows that, because with the focus that we are now beginning to place on this, training has to follow and I am confident that that training is going to continue happening.
The Constitution of our country enjoins us all not only to use the various languages, but to promote their usage and, indeed, sign language also falls in that category because it is also mentioned in our Constitution. So the use, not only of the official languages, but also the various other languages that are used by South Africans, has to be promoted.
We would like to see them being used more and more and as part of this process, we would like to see people being trained in the use of this language.
The association that has been formed is called the SA Language Practitioners’ Council. One of its aims is to regulate the language profession, and through this association I’m sure that quite a lot of training will also take place.
Dr P W A MULDER: Hon Speaker, I thank the Deputy President for the answer.
I totally agree with what the Deputy President has said, but our experience is really exactly the opposite, and what he said here remains theory in government. This House has adopted the Language Bill and has debated it, and now it must be implemented.
The feedback from government is that they are not serious about implementing the requirements of the Bill. The Deputy President might know that the implementation already had to be postponed once because departments could not reach their deadlines.
If they don’t move very quickly, they’re going to miss the deadlines again in May. So my question is: What will the Deputy President do to put pressure on the Cabinet Ministers and departments to avoid another postponement?
We are worried about going through that again as well as another court case, because that is the only to force them to implement the Bill. Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Ek is baie bly dat agb Mulder met my saamstem. Ek is baie bly. Wat gaan ons nou doen?
Obviously, we are going to follow up on this matter ...
Ons sal daarmee voortgaan en sorg dat dit mooi hanteer word.
It must be followed up properly and I’m glad that you have raised this. We have passed a law and it needs to be implemented. If there are any blockages, they need to be removed. It’s matter that can be given attention to. I’m glad you’re raising it here because we need to implement the laws that we have passed. Thank you very much for being so constructive and raising it in the manner that you have. Thank you.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Chair, I am putting the question. My question has three parts: Firstly, PanSALB was allocated R78 180 000 between 2013 and 2014. Could you please indicate what it has done to promote indigenous languages.
Secondly, wouldn’t you agree that the inclusion of Die Stem van Suid-Afrika in the national anthem to supplement Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika of Enoch Sontonga is actually an indication that indigenous African languages in and of themselves are not adequate to represent the national imagination inclusive of everyone?
Lastly, at this stage, shouldn’t we already have instituted in the Constitution the Khoisan language as an official language of South Africa? Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Ndlozi, the issue of the Pan South African Language Board, PanSALB, and the R78 million is a matter that I don’t have any knowledge about right now. I’m willing to gather the information and I’m willing to write to you and give you some information on what has happened.
In relation to the programmes of PanSALB and what they have done with the money, I’m quite certain that they have used the money in one way or another to promote their programmes. [Laughter.] You seem to be quite knowledgeable on some of their programmes - some of their programmes will be to promote indigenous languages and I am sure they would have used their money to do so.
I am actually quite surprised to hear you say that the insertion of Die Stem in our national anthem was meant to replace Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika, as composed by Sontonga. Maybe I did not hear you correctly, but whatever it is, the crafting of our national anthem was an outstanding effort at nation-building.
When our flag was crafted, that was nation-building; when our national anthem was put together — and let me say that it was put together by a plethora of people, South Africans, united in their desire to rebuild their country from the ashes of apartheid — we all decided that we should compose a national anthem that would unite all of us. Today we have that national anthem. [Applause.]
Let me say that whatever doubts you may have, that national anthem, which includes Die Stem, which includes Nkosi sikelel’ Afrika, has served to unite us as a nation. Beyond that we have also done a number of other things that are of a nation-building nature.
I would like you to accept that these things have been aimed at one thing and one thing only: to unite South Africa as a nation and to unite all our people so that they can derive a great deal of pride from their South African-ness.
You would also have seen this in the crafting of our coat of arms. Our coat of arms has been crafted in a way that represents our origins as a nation.
This takes me back to the question that you asked about the Khoi language. The Khoi language is clearly addressed in our Constitution. In fact, if you read our Constitution carefully you will see it says that we should be seeking to promote the usage — and that also means the development — of those languages that are used by South Africans so that those languages are never ignored and or relegated to the background.
The Khoi language is one of those languages that has to be promoted and a number of South Africans in our own country speak the Khoi language; and many of us, as we do our political work, interact with them on an ongoing basis and we get a full sense of how they feel about their language and how they would like us all to join them in promoting their language so that it becomes well developed and becomes a written language.
I think we should all join hands to promote other languages, and as they get promoted and as we get to speak those languages the better a nation we will be. Hon Ndlozi, our task here is to build a nation and these are some of the things that we build a nation with. [Applause.]
Prof C T MSIMANG: Hon speaker, while we do compliment the government’s intentions and efforts to promote our languages and cultures, there are members of the public who still come across officials in government offices who refuse to address them in any other language except their own.
The question is: What is the government doing about such tribalistic attitudes; and secondly, what relief is available to members of the public who are confronted with these tribalistic attitudes? Thank you.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Tribalism, racism and sexism are some of those deviant practices that our Constitution has a clear position on and we all, as a nation, should be completely opposed to those practices. Being opposed to that should also mean that whenever we encounter racism or tribalism we must stand up and speak out against it.
When we finalised our Constitution it ended with 11 languages. Let me go back a little. When we were negotiating our Constitution, I recall an occasion when I sat down with Roelf Meyer and we were talking about the final languages of our country.
He sort of casually said that, of course, it had to be English and Afrikaans, and I asked him what about the other languages? His answer was that maybe it could be English, Afrikaans and IsiZulu.
I asked him about all the others because we speak 11 languages in this country, and in the end the languages that will be enshrined in our Constitution have to be languages that unite all our people. That is how we finally came up with 11 official languages for our country.
We have the languages that in the past were marginalised, disregarded and put in the dustbin. Today all our 11 languages are on an equal footing and they should have equal recognition.
There will be occasions when we encounter people who prefer to be spoken to or address others only in one or the other language. Our Constitution and the precedents that have been set in our various courts tell us that you are allowed to address whoever is an official or in authority in the language of your choice. So if you are listening, which you are not doing at the moment, I would say to you that whenever anyone of our people has to get a service from any government department they are entitled to speak in the language that they are most proficient in.
That should not be seen as being tribalism or anything else like that. Tribalism is something that we should banish completely from the face of South Africa and never see it again and never see it again in this country. Thank you.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Chairperson, on a point of order: With your guidance, Chairperson, what happens when the response from the people we are puting question to is outside the scope of or does not address the question that you asked, maybe because they did not understand it or for other reasons. What do you do?
The Deputy President admitted that he did not understand me, but went on to speak and did not answer my question. I asked why the languages of the Khoi and the San people are not official languages, why are they not part of the 11 languages, not why is it not promoted.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Ndlozi, thank you very much for your point of order. The Deputy President has answered the question. As you say it may not be in the manner in which you intended the question to be answered.
My submission to you would be that you can follow up with a written question to the Deputy President, maybe to clarify further what you meant about the question or rather in the question that you were asking. For now we have concluded questions to the Deputy President. Thank you very much, Deputy President.
GROUP 1 – PEACE AND SECURITY
GROUP 1 – PEACE AND SECURITY
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Madam Chairperson, the Ministry has prioritised a number of elements in the National Development Plan, NDP, for implementation in the 2015-16 financial year, as reflected in the 2015-16 Annual Performance Plan, APP, that will be tabled here in Parliament during this month.
Among others things, we are emphasising the four pillars of the National Development Plan. The first one is the strengthening of the criminal justice system, which essentially is about the creation of justice co-ordination structures at provincial and local government level. The second area of emphasis is on operationalising the community outreach programmes at the level of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster, JPCS, as well as the capacity-building of community safety and policing forums.
The second pillar talks to the professionalisation of the Police Service. In this regard, we are looking at establishing relations with research and academic institutions to develop change and transformation programmes as well as marketing campaigns.
The third pillar is the demilitarisation of the SA Police Service, SAPS. In this regard, we are looking at the development of self-discipline and leadership programmes as well as levels of training and equipment that will capacitate and enable the police to deal with issues of public policing.
This area is about the recapacitation of public-order policing as well as advocacy campaigns on the Police Code of Conduct.
The fourth pillar is building safety, using an integrated approach and in this regard, again, we are emphasising the question of community outreach programmes with a specific focus on crime hotspots and crime areas.
A second aspect, of course, is to partner with sister departments such as the Department of Social Development and the Department of Home Affairs, the business sector and other community-based organisations. Largely, it is an effort to increase police presence and visibility as well as programmes to enhance the safety of marginalised and vulnerable groups. Thank you very much.
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: I think that hon Beukman comes first.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): Thank you very much. I think that there is a challenge here with my information. Hon Beukman.
Mr F BEUKMAN: Chairperson, I thank the hon Minister for the response. We, on this side of the House, agree that the question of the professionalisation of the police should be an important priority.
Last Friday, 27 March 2015, the Ministry of Police published the White Paper on Policing, and in Chapter 3 there is a special reference to the question of the professionalisation of the police. In the same chapter it also refers to specialised police units, but also the very important question of ensuring that the police, in terms of going forward, have the necessary resources.
Maybe just to get a response from the hon Minister, what will the police do in terms of the short term to ensure that the professionalisation of the police receives the necessary priority attention? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Hon Chair, we have made a number of varied interventions insofar as our efforts to professionalise the SA Police Service, SAPS. In fact, the publication of the two White Papers, that is, the White Paper on Police as well as the White Paper on Safety and Security, will also serve as a platform that must enrich the discussion and debate in our society on this particular effort.
The White Paper on Police, for instance, has to assist us with ensuring that we have an accountable, professional and competent police service as well as focusing on the level of the skilling of our Police Service.
Of course, I have alluded to the issues of the four pillars of the National Development Plan, NDP, insofar as issues of professionalisation, demilitarisation and all other points of emphasis, including the question of enhancing community participation, are concerned.
The White Paper on Safety and Security will also serve as a platform from which to assist the criminal justice cluster as a whole; for instance, in the creation of the co-ordination structures at the local, provincial and national levels to assist both our legislative and administrative work in the execution of this particular function. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): Hon Kohler.
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Chairperson, it is Kohler-Barnard.
I gave up asking the previous Minister about the demilitarisation in terms of the Defence Force ranks, but I have personally asked the current National Police Commissioner because the SAPS today seems to be a paramilitary force which sees our citizens as the enemy. The National Commissioner said that she has no intention of doing so, and patently she loves being called a general almost as much as hon Bheki Cele does, even instructing various entities to still call him that despite having absolutely no right to the title. When will we rid our SAPS of the odious apartheid era military ranks? Sir, give us the date. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Hon Chair, I certainly do think that the question of demilitarisation should be an issue that is seen far beyond the question of ranks. The point of emphasis here is the approach that we have to adopt as a police service, for instance, in relation to executing our work as the police and not necessarily in terms of ranks.
The example that I can give you is that you can demilitarise or strip away ranks as much as you can, but if you have not worked on my state of mind, I will still be militaristic in my approach. The second example is that you have, for instance, the Salvation Army, which is a religious formation or denomination of sorts whereby reverends are called captains and everything else and so on. [Laughter.] But it does not take ... [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): Order, hon members! Let us please allow the Minister to finish his response.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: I am trying to illustrate a point here, Mrs Barnard, that ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): It is hon Barnard.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Okay, hon, Mrs Barnard. I am trying to illustrate a point that ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): Hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Yes, Chairperson?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): The hon member prefers to be called hon Barnard without the prefix of Ms or Mrs.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Okay. My apologies, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): Thank you.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Hon Barnard, I am trying to illustrate a point here that the fact that you hold a particular rank does not necessarily make you militaristic or violent in any form or in any other way.
The point is that in the debate that this society should have on the question of the demilitarisation of the police service, for example, the emphasis should be on the question of the approach to policing as opposed to the question of ranks. That is the starting point. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mnu M A MNCWANGO: Mam’ uSihlalo, bengithi angizibuzele nje la kuNgqongqoshe kususela empendulweni yakhe, njengoba ethi bazoqinisa amaxhamo okuxhumana phakathi kwamaphoyisa nomphakathi, ubona ukuthi lokhu kuzoyenzeka kanjani njengoba ngikhuluma manje ubudlelwano phakathi kwamaphoyisa nomphakathi bububi kangaka. Okwesibili ukhuluma ngokuphucula umsebenzi wamaphoyisa, lokhu abathi phecelezi, i-professionalisation, ubona ukuthi uzokwenza kanjani lokhu nxa umholi wamaphoyisa engesilona iphoyisa. Phela ukuze lokhu kwenzeke kahle okokuqala kufanele ukuthi loyo ophethe amaphoyisa kube elinye iphoyisa eliqondayo ukuthi ubuphoyisa nesiphoyisa kusebenza kanjani. Ngiyabonga.
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZAMAPHOYISA: Ngibonga kakhulu kumhlonishwa, umhlonipheki Mncwango, kulokhu akubuzayo. Empeleni kuyiqiniso ukuthi ubudlelwano phakathi kwethu singamaphoyisa nomphakathi kusenebanga elide okufanele sisebenzele phezu kwalo. Kodwa lapho mina nawe singeke, mhlawumbe sivumelane kahle khona, mkhaya wami, ukuthi angeke sithi bubi ngendlela sizesifune ukukuqathanisa nalesiya sikhathi sikahulumeni wengcindezelo. Empeleni lide ibanga eselihanjiwe ukuzama ukukhuculula nokugeza insila yobuso bamaphoyisa ukufika kulesi simo esikuso namhlanje. Lokhu akusho ukuthi konke sekulungile kuphelele. Kusho ukuthi kusadingeka ukuthi kusetshenzwe kodwa izinhlaka ekufuneka ukuthi zisetshenziswe yizo izinhlaka zomphakathi njengo-community policing forum kanye nezinhlangano zenu enihlala kuzo emphakathini, kanye nalezi zenu zezombangazwe. Kufanele zisondele ekusebenziseni nokusebenzisana namaphoyisa ngoba umsebenzi wokwakha isimo sokuphepha emphakathini esakhe kuyona kungumsebenzi wethu sonke. Akuwona umsebenzi okuthiwa uzokwenziwa yiphoyisa ngoba nakhu efake iyunifomu kodwa ngumsebenzi wokuthi endaweni engihlala kuyo senza kanjani ukuthi kube khona isimo sezokuphepha.
Udaba lokugcina, kule nto oyishoyo mayelana nokuthi umholi wamaphoyisa kufuneka kube ngumuntu onjani, hhayi singaphikisana kuze kushone ilanga impela, ngakho-ke ngizocela ukuthi ngingangeni kuleyo ndawana ngoba angeke isisize ngalutho. Okubalulekile ukuthi amaphoyisa njengenhlangano kufanele aholwe futhi ahambe ngendlela ethize ukuze abe yithulusi lokuthuthukisa intando yeningi kanye nokwakhekha kwesimo esiyisonasona okufanele siphile ngaphansi kwaso ...[Isikhathi siphelile.]
Mr M L W FILTANE: Hon Chair, to the hon Minister, the question is: In the context of your partnership with other government departments, what immediate steps do you intend taking — immediate is the key word — in order to secure judges and other personnel in Mthatha High Court? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF POLICE: Assuming that I understood your question and that it is more of a specific matter pertaining to the issue of securing judges in Mthatha, frankly I will not be able to give you an immediate answer right away except to say that, of course, it is the first time I hear that there is a specific matter pertaining to the safety of judges around the jurisdiction of Mthatha and so forth. I would love to be exposed to that …
Mr M L W FILTANE: [Inaudible.]
The MINISTER OF POLICE: We’ll meet for a coffee? Okay. I would love to be exposed to that particular circumstance as an example so that we can then study the actual factors and circumstances pertaining to the particular matter in regard to Mthatha. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA)
MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY
THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): We now move to the next question, but before we do so can I address hon members.
The Speaker received a letter from the Minister of State Security about certain questions that could be sub judice and asking that these questions should stand over. [Interjections.]
Rule 115(1) does allow for a question to stand over. The indication is that the matter should also be raised by the Ministry with the member who had asked the question.
I take it that this issue relates to an earlier issue where the hon Steenuisen, indeed, expressed that it would have made it easier if the matter could have stood over, instead of, in his view, that the question was answered in the way that it was.
In respect of that, and having taken into consideration Rule 115, I would suggest that the question stands over.
Mr J H STEENHUISEN: Madam Chair, I would like to address you in terms of Rule 67. The sub judice rule, as I said earlier, refers to matters where there is a judicial decision pending and where issues discussed in the House may tend to prejudice the outcome of the case.
In relation to the signal jammer, in Parliament’s own papers before the court they have conceded the point already. There is a letter from the Secretary of Parliament indicating that it was an error and that it will never happen again — and that matter has been disopensed with.
What is before the court in the SA Editors Forum, Sanef, matter now, is the issue about the outside broadcast from this Chamber. Therefore the matter of the signal jammer is no longer sub judice. And that was why the Minister was very happy to issue a public statement on the matter.
He was quite happy to throw a junior official under the bus for it, but now won’t come to account to this House for those public statements.
Madam Chair, I must implore you not to allow the executive to put on the shroud of the sub judice rule in an effort to deflect the tough political questions that they need to answer in the House. [Applause.]
The matter is not sub judice and the MNinister must please answer the question. [Applause.]
THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): Hon members, as I indicated when I addressed the House, the Speaker has indeed received a letter from the Minister in this regard. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: And what happened?
THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): Hon Steenhuisen!
I then said that in terms of the Rules, the Speaker or the one who is presiding at the time can make a ruling in terms of Rule 115.
I explained that the letter had been written. I indicated that given the earlier discussion and the very point you yourself raised after the Deputy President responded, and having considered it, I would recommend that the question stand over. You have, indeed, raised the point that in your view the letter may not apply to this question.
I will now take hon Ndlozi’s point of order. [Interjections.] Hon Maimane, take your seat.
THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, firstly, it is not clear from the pronouncements you have made which questions fall away. I wanted clarity on that first. Which questions fall away? But as a matter of principle ...
THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): Can we address the first question? We said the question falls away, but it actually doesn’t fall away, it stands over. The question from hon D J Maynier stands over, the one we are referring to. Does that answer your question, hon Ndlozi? [Interjections.]
Dr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Voorsitter, ek dink die reëling is verkeerd en ek sal vir u sê hoekom ek dink dit is verkeerd.
Agb Maynier vra vir die agb Minister of hy verantwoordelikheid sal aanvaar. Hy vra nie oor die saak, die meriete van die saak of enige iets anders nie. Hy vra bloot die vraag of die agb Minister die verantwoordelikheid sal aanvaar oor hierdie aangeleentheid. Ons weet nie wat die uitslag gaan wees nie.
Ek dink dit is ’n baie billike vraag komende van hierdie Huis, ten opsigte van die verantwoordelikhede van die Minister. Die vraag handel, met ander woorde, nie oor die hofsaak en die sub judice-reël nie, maar die vraag handel oor die verantwoordelikheid van die agb Minister, en die agb Minister moet dit beantwoord. Dankie.
THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): Thank you, hon member. Hon members, may I make a proposal? Given the issues that are being raised, we would like to have a consultation and then I will come back to the House. [Interjections.]
I have noted your point, hon Maimane and I will come back to you. Can you give the Presiding Officer a chance to consult with the legal services and the Minister in respect of this question and then I will come back to you? I am not saying that we are not going to discuss this matter.
THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, I just want to give input into the consultation you are going to have. This is because next week — in fact, seven days from now — the President will be here to answer questions. I want to know whether we will use signal devices and whether the police are also coming so that we can prepare ourselves, regardless of the sub judice rule. You can use the sub judice rule, but next week he is coming, so the Minister must answer.
THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): The question that you have just raised does not assist the Presiding Officer. I said that I will consult in respect of these two questions and come back to the House. [Interjections.]
Mr M WATERS: Chairperson, may I address you on a point of clarity: You said that you are going to consult with regard to the two questions and come back to the House. Will you come back to the House before the end of the session today?
THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): Yes, before the end of the session today.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Chairperson, could you mention the second question that will stand over because you mentioned only one. While you are doing that, may I contribute to the consultation? [Interjections.]
THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): Hon Ndlozi.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Chairperson, I am just trying to assist here. Give me a chance to speak. Don’t be intimidated by the House.
THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): Hon Ndlozi, are you rising on a point of order? Hon Maimane raised the point, trying to assist me. I allowed him to do so and clearly, it was not assisting me as he was putting a new question, so hon Ndlozi, may I ask you to just write a note to me to advise me?
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Chair, I want you to go to Hansard.
THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): No.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Chairperson, I am not going to play games. On a very serious note, I would like you to consider the principle here that these questions have been submitted on time. The parliamentary leadership is aware of this, the leadership of the Cabinet is aware of this and if a decision is taken that they stand over, there must be recourse.
It also means that we must be able to use the time that we have; we must not forfeit this time. We must ask a new question. Can that be a consideration? The Minister must respond.
THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): Firstly, you said you wanted to assist and clearly the matter you raised did not assist. You were asking a completely new question in respect of the process.
Can I just say to hon members, on your point that the questions were submitted on time, you are correct. The member of the executive received the question and wrote to the Speaker in terms of his rights too, referring to the question. I have just read the response from the executive in respect of that question.
Clearly, hon Steenhuisen argues that this question is not affected by the sub judice rule, and I said to members to allow me to consult and we will then come back before the end of this session of the House. So I don’t think issues of consequences apply at the moment. In respect of Question 31, we will hold the consultations with legal services and the Ministry.
Dr P J GROENEWALD: Hon Chair, on a point of order: I just want to make sure that you clearly understood what I said because I doubt whether the legal people understand Afrikaans as well as they are supposed to. Is it clear that the point the FF Plus is rising on is not a question about the court case but a question about the responsibilities of the Minister to answer in this House? I just want to make sure. Unfortunately, I cannot repeat it in IsiXhosa or IsiZulu and I apologise for that.
THE HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T DIDIZA): I heard you perfectly well. Can we move to the second question as we allow for consultations?
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: Chairperson, let us just indicate that, when you look at Question 46 and the other subsequent Questions, we must firstly be able to record that we did receive the Questions, and secondly, this matter, which is also referred to in Questions 31 and 46, is the same.
Members are aware of these matters. Even they themselves are speaking as representatives of SA Editor’ Forum, Sanef. I am a fourth respondent in the High Court here in the Western Cape, on a matter that deals with what happens here in the Chamber. Hon members, as you took an oath, you must respect the Constitution and respect the Rules ... [Interjections.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Chair, on a point of order ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: Ms A T DIDIZA: Order, hon members! Hon Minister, please take your seat. Hon Ndlozi?
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Chairperson, you have just made the ruling that with respect to the Questions that are sub judice, you are going to come back to the House.
The hon Minister, conscious of this, stands up and his point of departure is that this Question and the Question you have just ruled on are the same. So I think that we must assist one another. Let us be consistent. You are going to come back with a ruling. So the Minister must put it in that basket and not take up this time.
I have made a proposal that if he is not going to take this time to respond to this Question, we take another Question that we must be given because we acknowledge that we all had enough time to know that we don’t want to respond to these Questions. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: Ms A T DIDIZA: Thank you, hon Ndlozi. Hon Minister, if you would agree with me, can we just allow some consultation with you and Legal Services on these two Questions and we will then come back?
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: Well, Chairperson, I respect your ruling, but let us not create an impression about something that is not there.
We need to be given a right to respond to impressions that are not factually correct. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: Ms A T DIDIZA: Okay.
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: And I will ask that permission on Question 46, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: Hon Minister, thank you very much. I respect your right. Can you just allow the Table and me to consult with Legal Services on these two Questions and we will come back to you.
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: I respect your decision, Chair.
Question 5 / The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Hon Chairperson, the plough-back campaign has many successful events and projects which have enhanced the development aspirations of local communities. This has brought about closer relations between offenders, victims and communities, thereby facilitating the healing process that the programmes, in part, aim to achieve.
The following programmes, for example, have been introduced as a means to enhance social reintegration of offenders.
First, with the Adopt-a-School programme, the different skills of offenders are being utilised in disadvantaged communities to renovate dilapidated schools, clean schoolyards and establish food gardens.
Second, in the cleaning campaigns, the offenders are used to clean community parks, buildings and graveyards without any compensation. School repairs and cleaning programmes are undertaken by parolees, probationers and ex-offenders in most of the regions in the country.
In the Western Cape Region, parolees and ex-offenders have cleaned and repaired schools in Cape Town, namely in the West Bank area and in the Southern Cape in George and Mossel Bay areas.
Third, in building campaigns offenders were utilised to build houses for the victims of crime. This has led to restoration, reparation and acceptance of offenders by victims in many of these instances.
Fourthly, in campaigns for employability of offenders, prospective employers were lobbied to employ parolees and probationers, despite their criminal records and the stigmatisation that follows as a result of past offenders’ behaviour and the stigma that is associated with it.
Last, in the school-tours campaign, the offenders, by becoming ambassadors against crime, are used to motivate pupils to abstain from committing crimes. These tours expose pupils to the environment of correctional centres which serve as deterrent to crime. Thank you.
Mr V G SMITH: Hon Chairperson and Minister, we agreed that this all goes a long way in assisting with the reintegration of offenders.
Minister, you alluded to destigmatisation and discrimination with regard to criminal records. Our own experience is that a criminal record is probably the biggest hindrance to the productive reintegration of ex-offenders and the return of their human dignity. However, I heard you saying that you have asked certain industries to employ ex-offenders regardless of that, but the question I am asking is: Hasn’t the time arrived when we reduce the bureaucracy that is required to expunge criminal records?
I am asking that question because in the main, those whom are affected by this stigmatisation are the poor people, the black people and they need the assistance the most. I thank you.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Hon Chairperson, I am in agreement with the hon member that indeed having a criminal record has the effect that he has alluded to. As the hon member is aware, in general, the expungement of criminal records is available to persons who have not been sentenced to prison without the option of a fine, and only after a period of 10 years has lapsed since the date of the conviction.
I have been informed by the department that the expungement process can unfortunately take a long time due to the volume of applications for expungement and the verification process of criminal records, in terms of which a person must first apply for a clearance certificate from the Criminal Record Centre at any police station before the application can be submitted to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for consideration.
However, I need to indicate that on a daily basis, I receive requests also in relation to the applications for the presidential pardons, which is another avenue that is used to actually expunge criminal records.
We do concede that indeed a criminal record has a negative effect on somebody when it comes to being able to move on with their lives, and as a result, especially with minor crimes that do not involve violence or the violation of women, we tend to be very amenable to recommending the expungement of such criminal records so that previous offenders are able to develop further in their lives. Thank you.
Ms C DUDLEY: Hon Chair, are we right in our understanding that the budget for rehabilitation was underspent last year, and will this campaign help to address that underspending in any way? Is the campaign fully operational and what challenges are hindering implementation? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Chair, we have, since we commenced with the current administration, identified a number of weaknesses in the programmes of the department.
Therefore we have been in intense engagement with the management of the department to identify those weaknesses, especially in the area of rehabilitation, skills development and community reintegration. This is because we believe that those are the priority areas where the impact of our intervention and our new policy thrust can find expression, and the policy thrust being that the focus is no longer to run prisons, but to run correctional facilities and correctional services in order to correct past criminal behaviour and to skill offenders so they can be reintegrated and engaged in constructive conduct and activity after they have served their term in our correctional facilities. Thank you.
Mr N S MATIASE: Madam Chair, we, as the EFF, want to put a simple question to the hon Minister: When are they going to stop justifying and rationalising the irrational, that the Justice and Correctional Services department, in its sober mind, decided to release Eugene de Kock, a cold-hearted murder who acted in defence of a system which was declared worldwide to be crime against humanity.
Yet, the department and the government of the ANC decided to release such a man, whereas thousands of Azanian People's Liberation Army, Apla, cadres are still languishing in prisons and have been denied ... [Interjections.] ... – I don’t know about MK – have been denied bail on a continuous basis. Don’t they believe in their own people, in their own justice and their rehabilitation?
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Chairperson, I am not sure about the denial of bail, whether that is in relation to matters that are on trial in that regard, or whether the member actually wants to refer to parole, because the matter of Mr Eugene de Kock was essentially about an application for parole.
However, be that as it may, if indeed the hon member is asking about parole, we would like to first indicate that indeed following a dispensation that political parties represented – most of which are represented in this House in 2007 — a dispensation was agreed upon to consider presidential pardons in respect of certain persons who committed political offenses.
Certain recommendations were made to the then President. However, they were intercepted by court judgements following court challenges that were mounted in that regard.
We have in the interim decided to fast-track the parole applications in respect of those who were identified and are still in our correctional facilities in order to ensure that their parole applications are processed speedily and are brought to finality, whilst the issue of presidential pardon applications, in respect of those offenders, continues to be dealt with in the Office of the President in consultation with the Justice Ministry and us.
So, certainly, very soon we should be in a position to make some announcements with regard to the release on parole of some of those offenders who were affected in that regard. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T A Didiza): Order, hon members!
Prof C T MSIMANG: Madam Chair, we do appreciate the strategies by government to help reintegrate ex-offenders. Our observation, however, is that on the ground there are certain communities which are still reluctant to rehabilitate ex-offenders.
The question is: Can these ex-offenders have recourse to the government? In other words, will they receive any measure of support from the department if they cannot access work or are sidelined from funding due to their criminal record? If not, why not? And, if so, what are the relevant details? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Hon Chair, thank you for the follow-up question. I wasn’t sure of the context in which the hon member states the role of communities in rehabilitation because I thought that is the responsibility of Correctional Services.
But, be that as it may, on the second part of his follow-up question, which relates to the resistance to absorb ex-offenders in the employment environment and to offering them employment opportunities, we continue from our side to advocate for the employment of these offenders.
We acknowledge that, in fact, in some instances, there are specific laws that restrict the employability of ex-offenders, especially those who would not have had their criminal records expunged yet.
I can say that, for example, by way of illustration, that having served on the Magistrates Commission, where we consider applications for appointment as magistrates, we look objectively at the nature of the offense, and whether it impacts on the suitability, in other words, whether that applicant is a fit and proper person to appoint.
There have been instances where people have committed minor offences in the past and have volunteered information in that regard by disclosing such offences so that we’ve been willing to actually recommend their appointment and, in fact, they have been appointed.
So, the mere fact that a person has committed an offence in his or her life is not in and of itself a permanent ban on that person to obtain employment in life. We want to encourage employers, not to deny them the opportunity to participate in gainful employment purely on the basis that a person has committed an offence. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION (Ms N C Mfeketo): Madam Chairperson, the response to the question by hon Mncwango is that South Africa, in her practice of international relations, advocates for the settlement of conflict through peaceful means, including entering into genuine negotiations.
South Africa has recognised the state of Palestine since 1995, and it supports the Palestinian cause to establish a viable and territorial Palestine state, existing side by side in peace with the state of Israel at a bilateral level. South Africa has continuously used her influence to leverage in the multilateral fora to advocate for the recognition of Palestine’s right to self-determination.
Over the past 20 years South Africa has undertaken a number of efforts aimed at supporting Palestine towards the achievement of a two state solution. These include the following bodies.
Firstly, at a multilateral level, there is particularly the UN Group of 77, G77 and the Non-aligned Movement, Nam; as well as the African Union, AU; Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Brics; and the India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum, Ibsa.
Secondly, South Africa supports and lobby’s for the independence and self-determination of Palestine. In this respect, it calls for serious and genuine negotiations that would result in a just resolution of Palestinian and Israeli conflicts.
Thirdly, as you would know, the President appointed former Minister Zola Skweyiya and former Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad as his special envoys to convey his message of concern with regard to the escalating violence to the people of Palestine;
Fourthly, South Africa has also contributed by pledging US$1 million for humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza following the 50-day war between Israel and Palestine in 2014.
Finally, through the Ibsa partnership programme, South Africa has partly funded the construction of social development infrastructure projects in Palestine. In this regard, three such projects were initiated, namely the Ramallah Indoor Sports Complex that was officially inaugurated in October 2011; the Red Crescent Al Quds Hospital in Gaza launched in 2012; and the People with Disabilities Project in the city of Nablus.
On 22 August 2012, the South African Cabinet approved government Notice 379, pertaining to the correct labeling of Israeli goods produced in Palestine’s occupied territories. Thank you, Chair.
Mr M A MNCWANGO: Madam Chairperson, all these diplomatic niceties that the Deputy Minister is talking about are indeed commendable.
However, the real issue is how South Africa is to remain credible in assisting in the negotiation process when members of the ruling party in this House take a firm stance in favour of Palestine over Israel, in contradiction of government’s proclaimed stance of supporting the two-state solution.
It’s amazing that Parliament also joined the bandwagon in that during the official opening of this Parliament, it actually extended an invitation to none other than a political maverick by the name of Khaled.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION (Ms N C Mfeketo): Chairperson, the policy of this government is a two-state solution. That doesn’t mean that people cannot articulate what is right.
All of us gathered here know that the 50-day war in Gaza in 2014, targeted civilians, in particular, women and children. For a long time we have known of the suffering that the people of
Palestine have been going through, so the fact that we acknowledge that they must also be free doesn’t mean that we are moving away from saying that the solution will be for these two countries to live peacefully, side by side. [Applause.]
Mr A M MPONTSHANE: Chairperson, on a point of order: I didn’t want to disturb the speaker when he was asking a follow-up question, but I think it’s below the dignity of a Minister of state to keep on angrily waving at the speaker while he was talking. I’m referring to the Minister of Small Business Development. [Interjections.]
I think it’s beneath the dignity of a Minister of state to do that. I think we have been talking about keeping and maintaining the decorum of the House, but if this comes from a Minister of state, I really wonder what we are talking about.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Mpontshane, thank you very much, but that was not a point of order. [Interjections.] Order hon members! You are raising a question which I’m sure the members of the Rules committee seated here will be able to take up in discussion. For now can we allow hon Ndlozi to ask a follow up question?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Ndlozi, ask your question.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Minister, in its international solidarity conference in 2012 the ANC adopted boycotts, divestments and sanctions as a strategy to deal with the international isolation of Israel. It did this, and it said this was because Israel is an apartheid, colonial, occupationist state which denies the people of Palestine the right to self-determination.
Negotiations have failed. Israel bombed Gaza during negotiations last year. So you can’t insist on saying negotiations, negotiations, while you yourselves agreed at your conference that the only route is boycotts, divestments and sanctions.
Therefore, we are asking when you as government are implementing boycotts, divestments and sanctions as an international solidarity strategy against Israel, particularly as it pertains to the diamonds of South Africa being cut in Israel.
Viva, Leila Khaled! Viva!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Ndlozi, I’m not sure whether the question you are asking is directed to the ANC or to the Minister of state but I will allow the Minister to respond. [Interjections.] Order!
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION (Ms N C Mfeketo): Chairperson, I’m sure hon Ndlozi was putting the question to the ANC, and I’m sure the ANC would answer that question adequately. I am standing here responding on behalf of the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, which is responsible for the policies of this government in relation to these issues.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: On a point of order, Chair. [Interjections.] Hon Chairperson, on a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Ndlozi, can you take your seat?
Mr M Q NDLOZI: I am rising on a point of order, hon Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Can you take your seat. I will recognise you. Deputy Minister, have you finished answering the question? Thank you.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Chairperson, I think you must assist us because you are responsible, in your preamble, in allowing the Minister to answer after misconstruing my question. My question asked: When is the government implementing that particular strategy articulated in the ANC?
I am asking why your policies are not going via the route of boycotts, divestments and sanctions. You influenced her in evading the question by asking whether I am asking the ANC or am I asking government. By the way, when it is convenient those two things are the same.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Ndlozi, you have gone further than your point of order by also giving an opinion. I think the Minister has answered you and I will now recognise baba Khubisa.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon House Chairperson, on a point of order: There is a follow-up question as to when government is implementing boycotts, divestments and sanctions.
That question has been put to the Deputy Minister of International Relations. Can we please get a response to that question without having to speak about other organisations? Can we please get a response to that follow-up question and not this zigzagging which is being done here? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order hon members! Thank you very much, hon Shivambu. [Interjections.] Order hon members! Hon members, I think it’s important for all of us to appreciate that we put questions to members of the executive and they provide answers. In your opinion it might be that the answer that you were given was not adequate or was no answer as you say, but in this instance the Deputy Minister has answered.
If you would like, you could ask another follow-up question in written form, which I think is possible for members to do, or maybe ask a further question during another Question session. For now ... [Interjections.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Chairperson, please assist the House. You are the one who must assist us here with having order. My question was very clear: When is government implementing boycotts, divestments and sanctions?
You influenced the Minister in thinking that I’m asking the ANC the question. You must correct it! It’s not wrong to admit that there was a mistake made with regard to this matter. Even the Deputy Minister just said that the ANC will answer, and sat down.
However, we are not asking the ANC. We are asking when the strategy on Israel will be boycotts, divestments and sanctions. The Minister must answer, so please assist us.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Ndlozi, can you take your seat. If you can assist me so that I can assist you, you will take your seat. Thank you very much.
Hon Deputy Minister, I saw you indicated that you want to indulge hon Ndlozi once again.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION (Ms N C Mfeketo): Madam Chair, I am sure what caused the confusion is what the hon member said earlier about where the policy was made.
In answer to the last question of when is the government going to implement the policy of boycotts, there is no policy of boycotts in the government. Therefore, it’s not going to be implemented. Thank you very much. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order hon members! Hon Ndabene, can you please allow hon Khubisa to ask a supplementary question?
Prof N M KHUBISA: Chairperson, I just wanted to ask whether the two envoys who were sent to Palestine by the President have concluded their work. If they have, have they submitted the report and when are we going to be presented with the report — if there is a report. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Khubisa, the question you are raising is a new question to the one asked by hon Mncwango.
Prof N M KHUBISA: Madam Chairperson, on a point of order: I think this question is related to the original one. We are deliberating on matters related to Palestine and the question speaks to the President’s emissaries who went to Palestine.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Khubisa, in terms of the question, it is indeed a new question you are raising. However, as you said, the Minister in her response referred to that matter, so I will allow the Minister to respond if she has an answer.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION (Ms N C Mfeketo): Chairperson, the response is that the envoys appointed by the President have contributed so much to what we saw as relief after the 50-days war.
They went around the whole region – all the countries that must play a role in resolving the question of Palestine – and attended many meetings.
I think the question is: Have they completed their task? They have not completed it as yet. Yes, there is relief, but they continue to deliberate.
As we all know, the whole of the Middle East is burning. They are continuously deliberating with different countries and different stakeholders to find a permanent solution which is not there at the moment. So it’s still work in progress. Thank you very much.
Mr S MOKGALAPA: Deputy Minister, the issue at hand is that of mixed communication around the official South African position. Can you clearly and consistently clarify what South Africa’s position is with regard to the role that government intends to play in order to ensure that the Israel-Palestine conflict solution is achieved – clearly and consistently?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION (Ms N C Mfeketo): Chair, there is no confusion here. There is one policy for this country of solving problems through negotiations and a peaceful resolution to the problems.
This is our policy with Palestine as well as Israel. We talk to both of them and try very hard. As I said earlier, whilst we are doing that we can’t ignore that there’s a side, because of its strength, that at times doesn’t really want to be part of the negotiations, but the policy remains the same.
We are sharing our own experiences, namely that we are sitting here today because we solved our problems — which were not that different to Palestine’s problems - through negotiations. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza)
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION (Ms N C Mfeketo)
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon members, earlier on, on Question 31 and Question 46, I said I would come back to hon members. We’ve had consultations with our legal services and we also consulted the Minister with regard to the questions that have been asked and how members reacted during my earlier pronouncement.
In terms of legal services they have said that indeed the matters are before the court and the Minister also indicated the same. The Minister did however say that he would be willing to answer. But members should appreciate that he might not be able to deal with some of the matters, because those are matters before the court. I will allow the Minister to respond to Question 31 and then to Question 46.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Chairperson, on a point of order: Because you said he must deal with them combined, can you please outline the procedure of follow-ups? We are already dealing with technology that we are not confident with here with regard to the follow-ups. Are you going to take eight follow-ups; what’s going to happen?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Ndlozi, please take your seat. There is no change in the way in which questions are answered. I only said that the Minister will answer both questions. He will start with Question 31, and there will be follow-up questions as usual.
Then we’ll come to Question 46, and supplementary questions will follow – as they are supposed to — so there is no change.
The reason I said he would deal with both questions was because those two questions were suspended while we were consulting.
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: Chairperson, as far as Question 31 is concerned, the issues that are in front of the court, we will respect our oath and our Rules and we will not deal with them because hon members will know that in terms of the public domain those issues were there.
Quickly, to dispense with Question 31, let me say we have issued a statement. There was no executive authority or political decision. That is the answer and we have indicated that in terms of operational efficiency, an error occurred and we regretted the error. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon members, hon members from the DA, would you please lower your voices. Your member asked the question and the Minister is responding. So please lower your voices so that we can allow the Minister to conclude.
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: And on that basis, we extended our apology. There was no intentional disruption of the signal. We took a decision as the responsible authority to carry out an investigation into that, but I can’t give you the details because those details are before the courts.
The member should know that there was no executive decision, as per our statement, and thus the other part of the question becomes irrelevant. Thank you.
Mr D J MAYNIER: Chairperson, the Minister is absolutely the last person who should stand up in this House and give us a lecture on the Constitution, because the root cause of the problem is that the State Security Agency, SSA, is becoming like a Stasi, which cannot tell the difference between a national-security threat and a political threat to President Jacob Zuma.
The Minister has set a new record by generating two scandals in the last two weeks — first signalgate and now spycablegate. I would like to ask the Minister whether he does not agree that it is in his interests, in our interests and in the country’s interests that he take political responsibility and resign rather than relying on a rogue official’s defence and making some poor official walk the plank. Thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: Chair, it sounds to me as if the version you want to give is your understanding of our mandate. I thought that our mandate is clearly stipulated in terms of section 191 of the Constitution. The same House passed various pieces of legislation. One of them is the National Strategic Intelligence Act, with the General Intelligence Laws Amendment.
I would request that the hon member should not forget to read the documents. [Interjections.] We have a duty. Our duty is to protect the citizens of this country, the sovereignty of our own state. We are going to protect the infrastructure, including all South Africans – whether they belong to the ANC or not, including Maynier. He enjoys the freedoms and the liberties because of the work that our men and women do on a daily basis to keep South Africa safe. I thank you.
Mr J A ESTERHUIZEN: Madam House Chair, hon Minister, 12 February 2015, marks the day this country became an overly ANC-led securotocracy. We have never been poorer at any other time in the last 20 years in terms of our much-vaunted Constitution.
Hon Minister, you took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution and the rights enshrined therein, which includes the right to freedom of speech.
How do you correlate your department’s actions on 12 February 2015, with your role as guardian of our Constitution, even if it was unintentional? Do you see South Africa as now being a state-controlled securotocracy? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: Chair, our security cluster and the State Security Agency, SSA, has been transformed. We operate within the ambit of the Constitution. [Interjections.]
Remember, we inherited national intelligence services and secret services that had no regard for human rights; that maimed and killed civilians and people who held a different view. Over the last 21 years, we have brought these men and women together with clear accountability measure.
When South Africans look at the record over the last 20 year they will see that we have ensured that this transition went well, because those men and women were working on incidents where this country was on the verge of incidents like those before the elections where right-wing elements wanted to kill the leadership of the ANC.
We can also speak about issues like the World Cup where other people tried to harm us. We have done well.
For accountability measures we have the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and we also have the office of the Inspector-General for Intelligence.
There is one message: We’ll respect the law. But to all South Africans, irrespective of your views, rank and standing in society, we say, “Don’t be on the wrong side of the law.” [Interjections.]
The intelligence agencies are going to pick out those South Africans who don’t want to respect the laws of the country, because they threaten this country. We cannot be apologetic about that. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr K Z MORAPELA: House Chair, Minister, during the media briefing about the jamming of the signal one of the responses was that it was meant to protect the air space. In terms of the response that you are giving now, can you admit that you were trying to manage things by providing that particular answer, because today you are saying that you are still going to go back and investigate what actually transpired on that day? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: Chair, thank you to the hon member. We are going to try to indicate that if the member could find time and space and familiarise himself with the statement in totality, the statement is easily available and you will then be able to look at the details there.
One of the things that we admitted to all South Africans is the issue of an operational error and Ministers don’t get involved in that. [Interjections.]
What we can indicate is that if the member wants to understand the technology that is being used as a countermeasure and to do the trade craft, we are gladly allowing people to join our programme. He can be trained to become part of those men and women who can safeguard our country and intelligence office. I thank you.
Mr P J GROENEWALD: Chairperson, let me start by saying that I quite agree with the hon Minister when he said that the services did well. They did very well. They did so well that you can read all the secret documents from Al Jazeera. [Applause.]
I want to ask the hon Minister, in his answer he said that the executive didn’t take any decision. Therefore, if I understand you correctly, hon Minister, you represent the executive, so, you, as the Minister, didn’t take such a decision?
In that case I want to know: How is it possible that a member of the executive cannot be involved in a decision where the legislative body is involved? Because if you said that — as you said, you were not involved — then you didn’t follow your responsibility.
If you said yes, you yourself were involved in that decision, then, also, I want to know how you see your responsibility. [Time expired.]
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: Chair, it is understandable that some people actually don’t understand the role of the executive when they have never been in the executive or in operations. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon members, can we please allow the Minister to give the answer.
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: There is a segregation of duties in terms of our own legislation that has been passed by the House. There is the role of an executive authority clearly spelt out. Then there is the role of the administration led by the accounting office. But, more importantly, if you work in the Intelligence community, you will know that the National Strategic Intelligence Act, including the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Act, say that, as a Minister, I must be able to have regulations and operational directives.
I don’t implement operational directives. If people don’t know our responsibility, we’ll find time through the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and do public awareness so that members will be able to respect the segregation of duties. I thank you.
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: Chairperson, I will not go into the details that are currently before court, save to say that the hon member should look at the legislation passed by the House. You can look at section 199(1) of our Constitution where there is a clear definition of our role as the security services of the country.
Security services are defined as the defence, the police, and the intelligence services. Equally, earlier on, hon member Mr Lekota also made reference to the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act. We did apply the law. [Interjections.]
The reference to the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Act would be in a position to indicate that it does provide for issues of a broader definition of national security. Equally, a copy of the Act is available to clarify that broader mandate. There are a number of pieces of legislation that governs our task in executing our role to secure the state, our people, and our interests as a country. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M S MBATHA: House Chairperson, my follow-up question to the Minister is as follows: If the assertion of the Minister that following the law is about rehearsing how you are going to beat up Members of Parliament, MPs, three days before the sitting, then I have serious concerns about you.
Also, if the further assertion is the following – that the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Act may not have applied to the national Parliament, and you know that very well, it may not even have applied even in preparing anything of that sort here in the House, and that is not part and parcel of the court case that you keep hiding behind.
By taking it out of Parliament, as it is now, the way you handled the situation here ... [Time expired.] [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: Chairperson, I want to put it on record that three days before the sitting, the Minister of State Security or any official in my department had not beaten any person.
If the member has been beaten by any officer from my department or by me, there are law-enforcement agencies, and there is a judiciary. The member has a right to recourse, but the member cannot give a statement that is factually incorrect to the country. I would request an apology because our people – including me – have never beaten anybody here. I thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Mbatha, please stand up. In your follow-up question, did you say the Minister or his officials in the department beat up people three days before the state of the nation address?
Mr M S MBATHA: I said in his understanding of the law, if it meant ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Did you say that in the understanding of the law, three days before the state of the nation address, either his officials or he himself beat up people?
Mr M S MBATHA: House Chair, perhaps we should start from the beginning.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): No, I am just asking a question for clarity because the Minister asked that you withdraw.
Mr M S MBATHA: He is not going to get an apology. [Interjections.] He is not. Let’s start from the beginning.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon member, I will look at Hansard in terms of the statement that you made, and then I will rule but not today. I will come back to the matter tomorrow.
Mr M S MBATHA: Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Can we ask ...
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Chair?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Ndlozi, what point of order are you rising on? [Interjections.] Your hand was up.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: The point of order is: What would be inappropriate? It is not an insult to say, “You beat me up”. Why are we being asked to withdraw the statement that the state security beat us up?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Ndlozi, order! Hon Ndlozi!
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Mahlobo beat us up. What is wrong with that, Chairperson?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Ndlozi, take your seat. Can you take your seat, hon Ndlozi? I have said I will rule on this matter tomorrow. I will look at the exact statement of hon Mbatha and then come back to the House. Hon Shivambu?
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: House Chairperson ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon members, order! Hon Shivambu, take your seat.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Yes, but can I ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Can you take your seat. I’ve recognised you. Take your seat. Hon members ... [Interjections.] ... hon Mbatha, in his follow-up question, made a particular reference that the Minister, in answering, asked him to withdraw.
I asked hon Mbatha whether he used that phrase. He explained himself, and he said that he would not withdraw it. I then said, because he did not give me a clear answer to that question, I would look at Hansard for his statement and then come back to the House and rule. I am not sure what you would want to debate further on this matter. [Interjections.]
Can we please proceed. Can I take hon Shivambu and then I will come to you, hon member? Hon Shivambu, what is your point of order?
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Chairperson, the point of order is that your intention was to say that if, indeed, hon Mbatha said that, you would ask him to withdraw. [Interjections.] He is not going to withdraw it because the security forces were called from outside to come and assault members. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Shivambu!
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: That is the reality. You must deal with that.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Shivambu, order! Hon Shivambu!
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Come back with Hansard. There won’t be any withdrawal or any apology.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Shivambu, take your seat!
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: It is a fact we must remind you of. [Interjections.]
Mr D D VAN ROOYEN: Chairperson, in his address, hon Ndlozi indicated that Mahlobo beat us up. I really think you should instruct hon Ndlozi to withdraw that unfortunate remark. Thank you. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon members, can I first address hon Shivambu? Hon Shivambu, I don’t think we talk about intentions here, and there was a specific reason why I said I would come back after reading the Hansard.
The member, in his follow-up question, was very specific about the timelines. He specifically said “three days before”. That is why I am saying that in order for all of us to avoid confusion about the matter, I will look at Hansard, come back, and make a ruling. That will assist in ensuring that we do not actually give our own impressions or our own recollection of issues.
Hon Ndlozi, a matter that has now been raised is that, in your point of order, you said, “Hon Mahlobo beats us up”. [Interjections.] Can I ask you to stand? Did you make the statement?
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Yes, Chairperson, I made a mistake. I said “Mahlobo.” I withdraw that – “hon Mahlobo”. But our members’ matter of having been beaten up makes a case that it was on the instructions of the security cluster of which hon Mahlobo’s department is part.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon member!
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Chairperson, I agreed. I said that.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon member, can you please withdraw the statement?
Mr M Q NDLOZI: No, I cannot. I cannot withdraw. Chairperson, I do not see what is wrong with saying that hon Mahlobo beat us up.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon member, factually your statement is incorrect.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Then let’s debate it. It must be made in substance as a motion. It must be made in substance; it is a matter of fact.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Ndlozi!
Mr M Q NDLOZI: It is not a matter of an insult. It is not an insult!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Ndlozi, can you please withdraw?
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Chairperson, you are asking me, in my revolutionary conscience, to betray it. [Laughter.] I cannot betray my revolutionary conscience. [Interjections.] This government called the police here to beat us up! Hon Mahlobo, hon President, hon all of them – the Cabinet – they called people. They beat us up! They are responsible. They must take responsibility! They — including the Speaker, including all the leadership of Parliament — beat us up. [Interjections.] You beat us up. You physically removed us from here! You beat us up! You must take that responsibility.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon Ndlozi, take your seat. [Interjections.] Hon Ndlozi, in respect of this issue, I have asked you to withdraw. You have refused to withdraw. I name you, hon Ndlozi. I name you, and I am sure you understand what the consequence of that is. Thank you very much. I now recognise the hon Mncwango to ask a follow-up question.
Mr M A MNCWANGO: Chairperson, my follow-up question was actually ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hon members, can we allow hon Mncwango to ask his question?
Mr M A MNCWANGO: Chairperson, I actually wanted to know from the Minister whether, in fact, the Minister was not aware of the jamming device that jammed the signal in this House. I am asking this because he said that those were operational issues of which he knows nothing.
Secondly, I would like to know whether the Minister can disclose in this House the content of the alleged notes that were exchanged between him and the Deputy President.
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: Chairperson, I would like to thank hon Mncwango. We should be able to reiterate that the executive, including myself as a responsible executing authority ... [Interjections.]
No, there was no decision that we took in terms of the interruption of signals. That is my answer. We are very clear, Mpangazitha. You will always have a separation of the roles. We, as legislators, should be the first people to say that when we do this separation well, we must be recognised. However, when it comes to the issue of the notes ...
... ayandiza lapha eNdlini, mhlonishwa Mpangazitha. Ukundiza kwawo-ke akusiyona into eqatshukwayo futhi ngeke kube yinto yokugcina.
Njengoba nginguNgqongqoshe oqondene nokuphepha kwesizwe ngibona kufuneka sihloniphe inkulumo ephakathi kwabantu abaphethe isizwe. Sifuna ukwakha izwe elinjani uma sizofuna ukungenelela ezinkulumweni eziphakathi kwabantu abenze isifungo sokuphatha izwe? Into ebalulekile ukuthi kunabantu lapha abayinkinga; umuntu akhulume aqekethe izindaba ageqe amagula athi: Ngathola incwajana ngaphuma kwase kubuya inethiwekhi. Uyakwazi ke lokho ukuthi kungamampunge aluhlaza cwe. Singayivumeli into enje ukuthi iqhubeke ngoba lokho kubulala isizwe. Le sizwe ngeke sasakha phezu kwamanga. Yilokho ke, ngiyabonga kakhulu mhlonishwa. [Ihlombe.]
Mr D J MAYNIER: Chairperson, the Minister gave us a lecture on the Constitution, and then he gave us a lecture on the law. [Interjections.] However, it is very clear that the Minister does not understand the law.
I say that because the Minister said that the threat was a threat of disruption. Given the fact that the threat of disruption is not terrorism, is not espionage, is not the exposure of state secrets, is not serious violence, and given that the threat of disruption is not a national security matter, will the Minister tell us what authority in law the State Security Agency, SSA, had in order to exercise domestic intelligence and counterintelligence functions ahead of the state of the nation address?
If the Minister can’t point to the exact section in the law, I would suggest that he reconsider his position and resigns. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: Chairperson, I would like to thank Mr Maynier. We are running a risk. The risk that we are running is not to speak factually or correctly.
In terms of the Constitution, read the role of the security services well. Go to section 191. Go to the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act. You go to section ...
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: On a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order! Minister, please take your seat. What is the point of order, hon member?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: House Chair, it is now the second time that the Minister has referred members of this House to section 191. I don’t know if it is a Freudian slip from yesterday, but section 191 deals with the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC. [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: Chairperson ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order, hon members! Hon members from the DA, I won’t be able to know exactly who it is, but can you please lower your voices and allow the Minister to respond?
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUPHEPHA KWEZWE: Okunye okubalulekile kakhulu Sihlalo ukuthi abantu abangamalunga ahloniphekile kuyofuneka baziphathe ngendlela ehloniphekile. Ilunga eliqavile elikhulumayo lihamba limemezela lithi liwuSekela Mphathi weziNhloli. Kukhona ukungazi ukuthi umthetho weziNhloli usebenza kanjani ngoba phela umthetho weziNhloli wukuvikela izwe. Uma ubuka ubungozi obufufusela iNingizimu Afrika, lobo bungozi - uma uyazi imithetho yezobunhloli ...
... you will never be in a position to disclose that threat. It never happened. If you understand our tradecraft, our issues, we hold them in confidence. [Interjections.] The issue that you hold there, you hold your oath. [Interjections.] What is more alarming is that the member who is so active on intelligence and security matters was given a chance ...
... ukuthi asondele abe yilunga eliqavile leKomiti Elingaguquki LeziNdlu Zephalamende KwezobuNhloli, phecelezi i-Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence. Wabalekela uhlelo lokuqinisekiswa kwemininingwane yakhe ukuze akwazi ukuthola izindaba eziyimfihlo zikahulumeni engiziphethe. [Ubuwelewele.] Uhamba nje ememeza esidlangalaleni. Uma ememeza esidlanglaleni ngeke ngamphendula ngezindaba zokuphepha kwelizwe.
What does it mean? It means that if I actually am going to say that we should hold a roadblock, we must announce it. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Are there any supplementary questions? I have on my list hon Mashabela.
Mr N S MATIASE: House Chair, I want to put a question to the Minister of secret services.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): State Security. [Laughter.]
Mr N S MATIASE: I would like to know whether he realises that his actions on 12 February confirms two things: firstly, that his government is a reincarnation of apartheid in totality and, secondly, that he is no different from Hernus Kriel, Magnus Malan, and all the other apartheid military spies and operatives. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY: We should be able to put the facts. The fact is that we are proud of the work the intelligence services for this country have done. [Interjections.] We are proud of the work they continue to do. Admittedly, we have agreed that, like the nature of the threats in the world that are becoming so complex, there are areas of improvement that we must attend to.
Some of the areas of improvement ... [Interjections.] ... there are issues around the ability to use the recent technology so that we can deal with serious threats such as cyberspace threats and cyberterrorism.
We must also be able to deal with issues of economic intelligence because a number of issues that speaks around issues of the illicit economy. We must be able to deal with issues of terrorism, but it is not factually correct to try to compare the intelligence services of today and yesteryear. That could not be correct. [Interjections.]
We can assure South Africans that we will continue to discharge our responsibility to keep this country safe. We have done our utmost best, and we will continue to strive to ensure that all people, irrespective of their views, enjoy their right to safety, their right to privacy, and other rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. [Interjections.]
I want to say thank you very much to those who are doing well, in terms of improving some of those situations in our country.
The insinuation that we are the same – there are accountability systems. If a member feels that our actions are outside the law, there is recourse. You did pass an intelligence oversight Act here that creates a body to make referrals to of our own misconduct if there are issues of misconduct.
Equally, the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, comprised of members of all parties, has a responsibility to call us. We will always come here gladly and answer their questions because they are the public representatives. [Interjections.] Thank you.
NOTICES OF MOTION – Ms V P MOGOTSI
QUESTION 46 The MINISTER OF STATE SECURITY
NOTICES OF MOTION
Ms P V MOGOTSI: House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House–
- debates striving and promoting linguistic and cultural diversity in our schools and in our day-to-day interactions.
Mr A R MCLOUGHLIN
Ms P V MOGOTSI
Mr A R MCGLOUGHLING: House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House–
debates ways of ensuring that South African motorists and pedestrians obey the applicable traffic laws and rules of the road.
Mr M HLENGWA
Mr A R MCGLOUGHLING
Mr M HLENGWA: House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the IFP:
That the House–
debates the need to strengthen section 139 of the Constitution to ensure that it is not abused, inconsistently applied and to safeguard it from party political interests.
Prof N M KHUBISA
Mr M HLENGWA
Prof N M KHUBISA: House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the NFP:
That the House–
debates some bottlenecks and impediments that impact on land reform in South Africa.
Mr A M MUDAU
Prof N M KHUBISA
Mr A M MUDAU: House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House–
debates promoting the establishment of co-operatives and clusters in each of the poorest district municipalities to transform rural economies.
Mr G MACKAY
Mr A M MUDAU
Mr G MACKAY: House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House–
debates the role of independent power producers and their potential in resolving South Africa’s ongoing and deepening energy crisis.
Mr T MAKONDO
Mr G MACKAY
Mr T MAKONDO: House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House–
debates accelerating the teaching of a new national identity through promoting national symbols such as the national flag, the national anthem and the preamble of the Constitution of South Africa in every school.
Mr C T MSIMANG
Mr T MAKONDO
Prof C T MSIMANG: House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the IFP:
That the House–
debates the need to increase the capacity of fire-fighters and other emergency services personnel, so that they are able to deal with emergencies effectively.
Mr D W MACPHERSON
Mr C T MSIMANG
Mr D W MACPHERSON: House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House–
debates the role of the manufacturing competitiveness enhancement programme in supporting and expanding the manufacturing sector after the first decline seen in the sector for four months and that such a programme can play in supporting small, medium and micro enterprises, SMME’s, in the sector.
Mr T J RAMOKHOASE
Mr D W MACPHERSON
Mr T J RAMOKHOASE: House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House–
debates protecting and nurturing small businesses as they have the potential to uplift the country’s economy.
Mr M MPONTSHANE
Mr T J RAMOKHOASE
Mr M MPONTSHANE: House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the IFP:
That the House–
debates the continued failures of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, to disburse funds to needy and poor students and the high level of fraud and corruption plaguing the NSFAS.
Ms M R M MOTHAPO
Mr M MPONTSHANE
Ms M R M MOTHAPO: House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House–
debates improvement of the state’s capacity to investigate, prosecute and convict those charged with corruption.
Mr J J MCGLUWA
Ms M R M MOTHAPO
Mr J J MCGLUWA: House Chair, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DA:
That the House–
debates the poor performance of most government departments with regard to the service delivery improvement plans.
MOTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
11TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MAHATMA GANDHI SALT MARCH
Mr D D VAN ROOYEN: Chair, I move without notice:
That the House-
- notes that more than 1 000 people are expected to take part in the 11th Anniversary of the Mahatma Gandhi Salt March on 29 March this year, following the campaign launch on Sunday, 1 March;
- further notes that the march is aimed at honouring the late freedom fighters, Mahatma Gandhi and Inkosi Albert Luthuli, for their role in fighting for peace and equality in our country;
- recalls that the Salt March is an annual event, held in Durban, in which people from all walks of life meet to celebrate the lives of Mahatma Gandhi and Inkosi Albert Luthuli, both of whom were vocal in their support for the development of a culture of nonviolence and ubuntu;
- further recalls that the Salt March originated in India in the 1930s and was an act of civil disobedience led by Gandhi to protest against British rule in India;
- believes that this march will help to promote goodwill and friendship among all South Africans; and
- wishes well all those who will be participating in this historic march.
Mr A G WHITFIELD
Mr D D VAN ROOYEN
SUCCESS OF THE 2014 MATRIC CLASS AT NTSIKA SECONDARY SCHOOL
Mr A G WHITFIELD: House Chair, I move without notice:
That the House-
- notes the success of the 2014 Matric class at Ntsika Secondary School in Grahamstown;
- further notes that this class achieved an 81% pass rate in 2014;
- recalls that the pass rate at Ntsika in 2012 was 28% and in 2013, 62,3%;
- recognises the outstanding commitment and leadership of principal, Madeleine Schoeman, in contributing to the success; and
- congratulates Ms Schoeman, all the teachers and the matric class at Nsika for this remarkable achievement.
Mr A G WHITFIELD
CONGRATULATIONS TO FORMER MINISTER OF JUSTICEAND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT, BRIDGET MABANDLA
Ms J M MALULEKE: House Chair, I move without notice:
That the House-
- congratulates the former Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Bridget Mabandla, on her appointment as a member of the African Peer Review Mechanism, APRM, Panel of Eminent Persons;
- notes that her appointment was announced during the meeting of the APRM in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Thursday, 29 January 2015;
- recalls that Ms Mabandla replaces hon Baleka Mbete, who stepped down after her election as the Speaker of the National Assembly in South Africa;
- acknowledges that the APRM was established in 2003 under the New Partnership for Africa’s Development and is an instrument that is voluntarily acceded to by African Union Members States;
- remembers that the mandate of the APRM is to ensure that the policies and practices of participating states conform to the agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards as contained in the 2003 Abuja Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance; and
- wishes Ms Mabandla much success in her new position and taking forward the mandate of the APRM.
Dr H C VOLMINK
Ms J M MALULEKE
SPREADING OF EBOLA VIRUS ON OUR CONTINENT
Dr H C VOLMINK: Hon House Chair, I move without notice:
That the House:
- notes that at a time when Ebola cases have notably decreased, it should not forget the human cost of the current epidemic, which has claimed the lives of over 9 700 people, making it by far the deadliest outbreak of the disease on record;
- also notes that the spread of the Ebola virus is due, in large part, to broken health systems in many countries on our continent, as indicated by a recent report published by Save the Children;
- further notes that, in our country, we should ensure that there is a sustained political will as well as a practical implementation plan that drives research for vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tools;
- congratulates the health professionals’ community, particularly Doctors Without Borders, as well as our very own National Institute for Communicable Diseases, for their outstanding efforts at the frontline of the Ebola epidemic; and
- remembers that the work is not yet done and that we should resolve to never lower our guard against this deadly disease.
Mr D D VAN ROOYEN
Dr H C VOLMINK
THE SOUTH AFRICAN LEG OF THE JESSUP INTERNATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION WON BY THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WESTERN CAPE LAW FACULTY
Mr D D D VAN ROOYEN: House Chair, I move without notice:
That the House-
- notes that the University of the Western Cape Law Faculty has won the South African leg of the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, by beating the University of Pretoria in the finals on 31 January this year;
- further notes that this great achievement qualifies the University of the Western Cape Law Faculty team, to be the first team from a previously disadvantaged university to win the finals and stands a chance to represent South Africa abroad;
- recalls that the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is the oldest, largest moot court tournament in the world, comprising of over 800 participating and competing universities;
- congratulates the University of the Western Cape Moot Court team, namely Kessler Perumalsamy, Raeesa Ebrahim, Toni Dammert and Hendrik Theron for winning the regional qualifier of the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition; and
- wishes them well in their preparation for the international rounds in Washington D C from 5 to 11 April 2015.
The House adjourned at 18:01
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