Hansard: NA: Suspension of Rule 29 for purpose of giving precedence to questions to President
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 16 Apr 2015
No summary available.
Thursday, 16 April 2015 Take:
THURSDAY, 16 APRIL 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:07.
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers and meditation.
START OF DAY
LOSS OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERSHIP
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, I wish to announce that the vacancy that occurred owing to Mr S S A Mphethi’s loss of membership of the National Assembly in terms of section 47(3)(c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 has been filled by the nomination of Mr L R Mbinda with effect from 14 January 2015. The member has made and subscribed to the oath and affirmation in the Speaker’s office. I wish to welcome hon Mbinda, who has since become a member of this House. He is there at the back. [Applause.] He is from the PAC. [Interjections.] Order!
MOTION 1 - Mr B A RADEBE
The SPEAKER - ANNOUNCEMENT
SUSPENSION OF RULE 29 FOR PURPOSE OF GIVING PRECEDENCE TO QUESTIONS TO PRESIDENT
Mr B A RADEBE: Hon Speaker, I move the Draft Resolution printed on the Order Paper in the name of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, as follows:
That the House, notwithstanding Rule 29, which provides for the sequence of proceedings–
(a) gives precedence, after notices of motion on the Order Paper, to an executive statement by the President of the Republic in terms of Rule 106, followed by party responses; and
(a) deals with notices of motion and motions without notice after Questions to the President.
MOTION 2 - Mr B A RADEBE
MOTION 1 - Mr B A RADEBE
SUSPENSION OF RULE 106
Mr B A RADEBE: Speaker, I move the Draft Resolution printed on the Order Paper in the name of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, as follows:
That the House, notwithstanding Rule 106, agree that the time allocations for the executive statement by the President of the Republic today and the subsequent party responses be as follows: President – 30 minutes; ANC – 12 minutes; DA – 8 minutes; EFF – 4 minutes; and all other parties – 3 minutes each.
MOTION 3 – Mr B A RADEBE
SUSPENSION OF RULE 111
Mr B A RADEBE: Hon Speaker, I move the Draft Resolution printed on the Order Paper in the name of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, as follows:
(a) notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 111, the opportunity to put supplementary questions to the President on 16 April 2015 be limited to the questions originally asked by Ms H H Malgas, Mr M A Mncwango and Prof N M Khubisa on 21 August 2014 and which subsequently lapsed in terms of the Rules;
(b) four supplementary questions be allowed in respect of each answer, as published in the Question Paper and the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports on 14 April 2015, for the information of Members of the Assembly and the public;
(c) the first opportunity for a supplementary question be given to the member in whose name the question originally stood; and
(d) in accordance with Rule 113(6), a member who asks a supplementary question may make a statement or express an opinion but may not speak for more than one minute.
The SPEAKER: Order! I now put the motion. Are there any objections? Hon Shivhambu, proceed.
Mr N F SHIVHAMBU: Speaker, the reason this special question session was convened outside the parliamentary programme was because of the insistence of the EFF that the President should conclude the Questions that were asked on 21 August 2014. Rule 111(16) says that where the order in which the questions are put to the President according to Rule 108(9) is interrupted at the end of the question session, the next question session to the President starts from the point where the order was so interrupted.
You will remember that the 21 August 2014 question session was interrupted when there was still an answer and follow-up questions outstanding on when the President was going to pay back the money. That is the question that we should be building from because prior to that question being answered, there was already a follow-up question from hon Holomisa. That is where we should be commencing from in terms of the Rules of the National Assembly. We want to request that we comply with the Rules and make sure that we conclude that question session in accordance with the Rules. Thank you very much.
The SPEAKER: Hon Shivhambu, I wish to remind you of my long ruling on the occasion here of the last session of questions to the President. For whatever reason, it seems I need to repeat that ruling, at least in a summarised format.
Hon members, the format of today’s question session was discussed among the Whips, of which hon Shivhambu is one. It was discussed in the Chief Whip’s Forum and by the National Assembly Programme Committee. It was agreed that the written replies that were received from the President to the three questions that were not reached on 21 August 2014 would be published in the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports and Question Paper.
It was further agreed that the session would be limited – that is today’s session – to the questions originally asked by hon Malgas, hon Mncwango and hon Khubisa, and that a resolution to that effect be considered by the House at the start of proceedings.
Hon members, as I said, on 11 March 2015 I gave a ruling explaining the application of Rule 111(6). The essence of that ruling is that this Rule 111(6) must be read with Rule 108(9) and it refers to the sequence in which political parties have the opportunity to pose questions.
When the order of questions is interrupted, as it was on 21 August 2014, the next session starts from the next party in the rotation. That issue was discussed, clarified and agreed to by Whips of all parties. In fact, the approach that will be taken in today’s session was adopted by all the Whips of all the parties. Clearly, for some reason, hon Shivhambu was not covered. Therefore, we will now proceed with the business of the House on the basis of the agreed approach. [Interjections.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Speaker, we tried to bring to your attention and to the attention of the Whippery of the ANC that, in our memory, there were consultations to the effect that the order would be to begin with the question to the President from the EFF. It was our question probing when the President would pay back the money. So we want to put it on record that the agreements you are referring to are not correct. As a matter of fact, the after-consultations with the Whippery of the ANC and ourselves were precisely that the President was going to begin there – with the question where the procedure was interrupted; that is, the follow-up to the question put by the EFF. So, we cannot be bound by an agreement that we did not agree to.
We brought that to the attention of the hon Speaker, requesting that the President be given the opportunity to continue with the follow-up questions, and they were according to party. So, the question of the parties in terms of the Rule that you are reading applies in terms of follow-up questions. Follow-up questions are also done according to different parties. We request that we must continue. As a matter of fact, the hon Shivambu was not part of the Chief Whips Forum on that day. There were agreements and we placed it on record that we wanted the questions to start with the EFF question in terms of follow-up.
So, again, we request that, hon Speaker, and hopefully the President will not mind. He is on record that he does not mind. The Deputy Chief Whip of the ANC came to us to guarantee us that we were of one understanding and that we were going to begin with the follow-up question of the EFF. So, we think the President must begin there, by clarifying, and then hon Holomisa must follow, as per the sequence for follow-up questions.
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon Ndlozi, we note what you think and remember, but the situation is as I have put it to you - according to the ruling. We will proceed according to what has been agreed by all the other parties, except for what we are hearing from the EFF. [Interjections.] Yes, hon Holomisa?
Dr B H HOLOMISA: Hon Speaker, I wish to join this discussion in the following manner: I submit that there is no rational basis for treating supplementary questions in respect of Question 3 as any different from the supplementary questions in respect of Question 4 to 6 that are on today’s Question Paper. The answer cannot be that the supplementary questions in respect of Question 3 lapsed under said Rule 316(1) because today’s Question Paper states that all the questions that stood over on 21 August lapsed at the end of 2014 term - yet here we are, asking supplementary questions only in respect of the lapsed Questions 4 to 6.
Finally, Madam Speaker, I request that you exercise your authority under Rule 2 to direct that the supplementary questions that stood over in respect of hon Malema’s Question 3 on 21 August be dealt with today and that you allow me to ask my supplementary question to Nxamalala, not to you.
The SPEAKER: Hon Holomisa, there is an agreement among all the Whips of all the parties and we are going to stick to that, as we proceed with the business of today according to the Order Paper. [Interjections.] Yes, hon Malema?
Mr J S MALEMA: Hon Speaker, you cannot keep on insisting that there is an agreement on how we need to proceed today, because what we are saying is that we are not part of that agreement. We have a right to ask the question. You said all these questions had lapsed and now you have brought them back here. It will be incorrect of you to answer questions piecemeal. Take the whole of the questions of 21 August and where the President ended, and that is where we need to start. That is what the Rules say! It cannot be that because you are uncomfortable with one question, it has to lapse but the rest should not lapse and actually there must be follow-up questions to those. There is no Rule like that! We are asking in a very polite way that the President should be given the opportunity to answer the question of when is he paying back the money. We can then close the question and move forward. Otherwise that question will keep on repeating itself. So, the best thing is to ask the President: When is he paying back the money? [Interjections.] Blade, if you want to speak, ask the Speaker. Communist party, please man, you must behave! [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, I now want to put this matter to the House to decide. We cannot go around and around in circles, listening to the views of only one group of people in this House. [Interjections.] So I put the draft resolution as put forward to the House. [Interjections.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Speaker!
The SPEAKER: No, hon Ndlozi!
Mr M Q NDLOZI: On a point of order.
The SPEAKER: No, hon Ndlozi! I am not taking any points from you. Please take your seat now. [Interjections.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Speaker!
The SPEAKER: I wish ... No, hon Ndlozi! [Interjections.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Speaker, I am rising on a point of order, hon Speaker!
The SPEAKER: Hon Ndlozi, I am not taking any more points. [Interjections.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: But the Rules allow me to rise on a point of order, hon Speaker! [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Ndlozi, take your seat!
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Speaker, I would like to take my seat, but the Rules allow me to rise and ask you to recognise me in terms of a point of order! And I am sticking to the Rules, requesting you to recognise me and listen to my appeal for a point of order! [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Ndlozi... [Interjections.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Please, hon Speaker, may I get the right to address you on a point of order.
The SPEAKER: Hon Ndlozi, take your seat. [Interjections.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon Speaker, will you allow me to address you on a point of order? [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: I am not!
Mr M Q NDLOZI: But that is illegal, hon Speaker!
The SPEAKER: Hon Ndlozi, take your seat! [Interjections.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: The Chief Whips Forum’s decisions according to these Rules are not binding! [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Ndlozi, please take your seat! [Interjections.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: And please, hon Speaker, you cannot ask us to stick to an agreement of a forum that the ANC misled us on! [Interjections.] You must stick to the Rules. You have a duty to stick to the Rules. The Rule says that we continue according to where we ended when the order was interrupted and where we ended was on when the President was going to pay back the money! There is a different angle that other hon members who were in line would have wanted to introduce and the President might be able to respond to them. We cannot subject this to a vote when there is a Rule! [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Ndlozi, please take your seat! [Interjections.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: It is illegal! [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Take your seat, hon Ndlozi. Hon members, I put the motion, as put forward by ... [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Speaker!
The SPEAKER: ... the Chief Whip of the Majority Party. [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Speaker! [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: And I want to know ... No, hon Shivambu, … [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: No, hon Speaker, I am rising on a point of order.
The SPEAKER: Hon Shivhambu, I am not recognising you. I have not recognised you. [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Speaker, but we cannot allow you to follow a wrong procedural process ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Take your seat! Take your seat, hon Shivambu! [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: ... in terms of how the programme of Parliament is determined.
The SPEAKER: Hon Shivambu, please take your seat! [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: The programme of Parliament is not determined by a vote in the way you are going to do now. [Interjections.] The programme of Parliament is discussed in the Chief Whips Forum. It goes to the programming committee and then that is where an agreement is made. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order! Order!
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: There is an agreement that is contrary to what you are saying there.
The SPEAKER: Take your seat, hon Shivambu! [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: We must comply with the Rules in terms of what they say should happen with the question session. Why are we uplifting it for our own convenience? [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Shivambu, take your seat. [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Speaker, can you listen to the order before you subject us to a vote? [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Shivambu, take your seat! I am not!
Mr J S MALEMA: Hon Speaker, on a point of order, …
The SPEAKER: Hon members, is there any objection ... [Interjections.]
Mr S J MALEMA: No, hon Speaker, you are taking the wrong direction, because ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Malema! [Interjections.]
Mr S J MALEMA: No, no, you cannot want to subject ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Malema, you are not going to take over from me! [Interjections.]
Mr S J MALEMA: I am not going to take any seat! You cannot want to apply the Rules when they favour you! We are saying to you that there are Rules that need to be followed and you are not listening to us. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order! I am making a ruling ... [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: You want to subject this ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: ... and I have told you what the basis of my ruling is! [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: But you are making an illegal decision! [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Take your seat, hon Malema!
Mr J S MALEMA: The decision you are taking is illegal! We cannot sit back and comply with an illegal decision!
The SPEAKER: Hon Malema!
Mr J S MALEMA: It is incorrect! [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Malema, take your seat!
Mr J S MALEMA: Hon Speaker, stop what you are doing! Please! Please ask all of us about this matter and the President should start where he ended! We are the ones who demanded that 21 August must come back to this House. This is what we asked for and we are getting a raw deal. This cannot be right. We are saying to you, the matter of 21 August ended on the question of the EFF so let the question of the EFF be answered! That is all we are asking. We are not going to take a seat here on issues that are illegal. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Malema! [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: We have been subjected to an illegal process!
The SPEAKER: Hon Malema, I am going to have to throw you out of this House. [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: How do you throw me out - on which Rule? Which Rule is that? On which Rule? [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, ...
The SPEAKER: Continue, hon Steenhuisen. [Interjections.]
Mr S J MALEMA: Point out in the Rule book - which Rule are you applying?
The SPEAKER: Please take your seat, hon Malema! You have not been recognised! [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: You keep on taking illegal decisions! And the courts keep on reversing your decisions because they are illegal! [Interjections.] You keep on taking illegal decisions! We cannot sit back and allow that because every time you take a wrong decision we have to go to court! [Interjections.] The court just ruled against you yesterday, because of such conduct! Please, let us stick to the Rules. [Interjections.] I am not going to go anywhere! I am not here at your invitation; I was elected to be here. The EFF has been elected to be here and its questions must be answered by the President! We have a right to hold the executive accountable and that is what we are doing. So, please let us start where it ended. The Deputy Chief Whip of the ANC assured the EFF that we were going to start with our question. That was the Deputy Chief Whip of the ANC! [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Dlakude!
The SPEAKER: Order! I wish to recognise the hon Steenhuisen.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, at the outset, I just want to ask that we do not throw anybody out of the House today. Secondly, Madam Speaker, the DA and I want to know when the President is going to pay back the money. We do want to know that, but we have to uphold and protect the Rules of Parliament.
You will remember that I raised a point of order in this House a month or two ago around why those questions had to be regarded as standing over. I would like to direct you to page 202 in the Guide to Procedure. We have also looked into this matter, because we want the President to pay back the money. When it comes to supplementary questions, a question already answered cannot be held over for supplementary questions. This is based on a ruling that was delivered in the House by the then Deputy Speaker in 1994. It is contained in the Annotated Digest of Rulings, so it forms part of the precedence and rulings of this House.
So, it says very clearly why questions already answered cannot be held over for supplementary questions - those are the Rules. We can like them or we cannot like them, but they are the Rules as they exist at the moment and we must protect them and defend them.
And so we agreed in the Programming Committee, after having looked very carefully through the Rules and at all the implications, that we want the President to come back to this House, to this Parliament, and answer the questions that he did not answer at that time. That question, unfortunately, was reached. It was answered; the President gave an answer. Therefore, we cannot start the session with supplementary questions again.
What we have decided to do then, as a party, is that at the very next question session, when the President is back in the House for oral questions, we will be putting very specific questions to him about when he will pay back the money. We have to use the Rules of Parliament to do that because that is what we are here for as Members of Parliament. We cannot pick and choose Rules and use Rules in ways that suit agendas, because it then undermines the entire fabric of the Rules and they then fall foul.
So, I would ask that we continue with the business of the House today. We want to ask the President the follow-up questions on the three questions that were not reached at that session and we want to hold him accountable because that is what we have been sent to this House to do. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon Steenhuisen is confirming the situation as I had put it forward in my ruling. That, in fact, was what all the party Whips agreed to.
Ms H O MAXON: Point of order, Speaker.
The SPEAKER: The party Whips agreed that the business of today is based on the answers to questions 4, 5 and 6 of 21 August that the President had forwarded to Parliament. The continuation of those three questions that were not reached on 21 August, as hon Steenhuisen is explaining, is the basis for the business of today.
Ms H O MAXON: Point of order, Speaker.
The SPEAKER: Therefore on ... Hon Maxon, do not interrupt me.
Ms H O MAXON: I am just rising on a point of order.
The SPEAKER: Please, take your seat!
Ms H O MAXON: Just recognise me, at least.
The SPEAKER: No, I am speaking. How can I recognise you at the same time as I am speaking?
Ms H O MAXON: Just say that you are noting me.
The SPEAKER: I am talking. Sit down!
Ms H O MAXON: You can just say, “I am noting you, hon Maxon, but I am still speaking”, because I have risen on a point of order.
The SPEAKER: Take your seat!
Ms H O MAXON: Please, can I be noted, Speaker? [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Now, today we proceed on the basis of those answers to the three outstanding questions. When we start, when the President goes to the podium, we will go to Question 4 and take the supplementary questions, not the main answers, because the President already submitted those and we published those answers. So, we will take four supplementary questions on each of those questions and the answers the President had given, and then we finish the business in terms of that issue.
So, hon members, I think it has ... [Interjections.] We know what the position of the EFF is.
Ms H O MAXON: Speaker, I am not talking on the position of the EFF. I am talking as a member.
The SPEAKER: What are you talking about?
Ms H O MAXON: I am saying, Madam Speaker, your ruling is incorrect. You cannot just pretend that the question that was posed by the EFF on 21 August was answered. And I find it very difficult to understand why you are protecting the President. The President is here. He must talk for himself, without you protecting him. Maybe the President wants to answer the question about when he is going to pay back the money.
The SPEAKER: Hon members, with what hon Steenhuisen and I have just said, I really think the issue has been more than adequately canvassed and clarified and we must reach a point where we can proceed.
Mr S J MALEMA: Hon Speaker, I think hon Maxon is coming up with a different approach.
The SPEAKER: Hon Malema, I have not recognised you.
Mr S J MALEMA: But you are not going to recognise me. That is how you are running this House. [Interjections.] Steenhuisen gets recognised because the DA and the ANC agreed that President Zuma must not pay back the money. [Interjections.] It’s your agreement. It’s your friendship. That’s your arrangement.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: On a point of order.
Mr S J MALEMA: The DA and the ANC are saying President Zuma must not answer the question about when he is going to pay back the money. Hon Maxon says, put the question to the President and let the President answer for himself. Let the President decide if he wants to answer that question or not. I thought this was a way forward.
The SPEAKER: Hon Malema, I actually do not want to throw anyone out, but you cannot continue to disrupt us.
Mr S J MALEMA: You don’t have such powers. You can’t throw me out. You don’t have such powers.
The SPEAKER: Don’t try to disrupt ... [Interjections.]
Mr S J MALEMA: You are taking illegal decisions. You can’t throw me out. All we are saying is that the President ... [Interjections.] You throw me out, you go to court. All I am saying is that the President must answer if he wants to take the question. Let the President give us an answer. He is here. Don’t be overprotective of the President. Stop creating an impression that the President is incapable of answering questions and stop responding on his behalf. Let the President take the podium. Let the President tell us if he wants to answer it or not.
The SPEAKER: Hon Singh, I have seen you raise your hand for some time.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Point of order, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, on a point of order, if I may.
The SPEAKER: Okay, let me take your point of order. Hon Singh, I will come back to you.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, I wish to address you in terms of Rule 69. The DA and I made it very clear, when I got up and prefaced my remarks, that we want President Zuma to pay back the money. It is therefore material misrepresentation. Obviously the hon leader of the EFF has materially misunderstood what I said, but allow me to repeat it.
The DA wants President Zuma to pay back the money, but when this House starts operating outside of the Rules, then all of us become vulnerable, including the smaller parties. And that is why all of us in this House are duty bound to protect and uphold the Rules even when they do not suit us. That is why I made the point that I did. [Applause.]
Mr N Q NDLOZI: On a point of privilege, hon Speaker.
The SPEAKER: I would like to recognise hon Singh.
Mr N Q NDLOZI: Hon Speaker, this is very difficult to take.
The SPEAKER: Hon Singh, continue.
Mr N Q NDLOZI: Hon Steenhuisen gets recognised and understood comprehensively, but we not. We are privileged to speak in this House. For us it is a privilege to hear, “I recognise you, hon Ndlozi”.
The SPEAKER: Please, take your seat!
Mr N Q NDLOZI: We are privileged, when we rise on a point of order, to hear, “Speak on a point of order”, but you don’t do that to us. How do you expect us to stick to the Rules when you do not? I feel racially segregated in this House. [Interjections.] Yes, I said point of order, point of order, point of order, but you did not recognise me. The hon Steenhuisen stands and says point of order once, and you take him. It must be noted today that we feel racially segregated by you, hon Speaker. [Interjections.]
Mr N SINGH: Hon Speaker, I hope you don’t feel racially segregated by giving me an opportunity. [Laughter.] I think the issue here is not the answer to the question. The moot point is whether the question was answered on 21 August. And in considering this matter at the Chief Whips Forum and subsequently at the Programming Committee, we realised that in terms of the Rules, the question was answered. Whether the answer was satisfactory or not is another issue. So, we contend that we proceed with questions 4, 5 and 6 and we will all, as opposition parties - as we did when the Nkandla Report was presented - object to it vociferously. We will continue asking these searching questions. So, I would like to contend that we continue with question 4, 5 and 6 fully. Thank you.
Mr S J MALEMA: Hon Speaker, it is incorrect to say that the question was answered, as there was a follow-up question, put by the UDM, which was the first follow-up question. How do you know that the question of the UDM was answered before it was asked? The question from the UDM was not asked. Let the UDM be given the opportunity to ask a follow-up question to the EFF’s question and then that will be it. Let the President come to the podium, answer that question and then we will be done. That is all we are asking for.
There were going to be three supplementary questions and I do not know of any rule that says only the main question gets to be answered. The question stands and the President must answer. Three supplementary questions must be answered. The UDM was the first in the queue, so let’s continue with the UDM asking a follow-up question to our question. You don’t know the question. As hon Ndlozi said, maybe the other parties were going to introduce a different angle to the question, which could lead to the President giving a relevant answer.
Also, do not undermine what this guy says about racial discrimination. [Interjections.] When we were removed from this House because we are black and young, it was easy for you to order the police to remove us. However, when the DA continued in that line, especially white males taking the platform to continue with that attitude, you treated them differently. The only reason could be that they are white and you are scared of white people. That is what you do. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: On a point of order.
The SPEAKER: Hon members, I wish to recognise hon Pandor, who has had his hand up. I will come back to quite a long list of hon members.
The MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Speaker, it is “her” hand. I do not feel racially excluded, but I do feel that the rules of the House are being significantly breached. We are here to do the work of Parliament. I have appealed to the Presiding Officers before that when there is a resolution on the floor, could we deal with the resolution and finalise it so that we do not allow disruptions that actually do not assist us in proceeding with the business of the House. There have been meetings of structures of Parliament; therefore we cannot say today that we do not recognise them because they are merely this, that or the other. The Programme Committee agreed on this programme. A resolution has been tabled before this House. Can we therefore move on to a decision on that resolution and expedite the business of this House and this Parliament? Thank you. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Hon Pandor, we will do that. Hon Mulder, hon Khubisa and hon Mmusi, do you still want to persist or shall we go back to the resolution that has been put to us? [Interjections.] Let me then take us back to draft resolution three, as put forward by the Chief Whip of the Majority Party.
Question put: That the draft resolution as moved by Mr B A Radebe be agreed to.
The House divided.
[Take in from Minutes.]
Question agreed to.
Motion accordingly agreed to.
MOTION 4 - Mr B A RADEBE
MOTION 3 - Mr B A RADEBE
Suspension of rule 23(2): SITTING OF HOUSE
Mr B A RADEBE: Hon Speaker, on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party I move:
That, notwithstanding the hours of sitting of the House as provided for in Rule 23(2), Extended Public Committees may sit as agreed to by the Programme Committee.
The PRESIDENT – STATEMENT
MOTION 4 - Mr B A HADEBE
VIOLENCE AGAINST FOREIGN NATIONALS IN KWAZULU-NATAL AND GAUTENG
(Statement by President)
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, hon Deputy Speaker, hon Deputy President, hon Members of Parliament, fellow South Africans, during the past week we have witnessed shocking and unacceptable incidents of violence directed at foreign nationals in some parts of KwaZulu-Natal, which has now spread to some parts of Gauteng. Similar incidents took place in Soweto in January.
No amount of frustration or anger can ever justify attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops. We condemn the violence in the strongest possible terms. The attacks violate all the values that South Africa embodies, especially respect for human life, human rights, human dignity and ubuntu. Our country stands firmly against all intolerance such as racism, xenophobia, homophobia and sexism. We extend our condolences to the families of all who have lost their lives and wish the injured a speedy recovery.
We appeal for calm and an end to the violence and restraint of violent actions. Criminal elements should not be allowed to take advantage of the concerns of citizens and sow mayhem and destruction. Any problems or issues of concern to South African citizens must be resolved peacefully and through dialogue. The police have been directed to work around the clock to protect both foreign nationals and citizens and to arrest looters and those committing acts of violence.
We urge communities to assist the police by providing information on the incidents that have taken place in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal so that perpetrators can be brought to justice. We thank religious leaders, nongovernmental organisations and other stakeholders who are providing humanitarian assistance to the displaced people. While we strongly condemn the attacks, we are aware of and are sympathetic to some of the issues that have been raised by affected South African citizens.
We reiterate our view that South Africans are generally not xenophobic. If they were, we would not have such a high number of foreign nationals who have been successfully integrated into communities all over our country; in towns, cities and villages.
There are socioeconomic issues that have been raised and are being attended to. These include complaints about illegal and undocumented immigrants in the country, the increase in the number of shops or small businesses that have been taken over by foreign nationals and also perceptions that foreign nationals commit or perpetrate crime. We wish to emphasise that while some foreign nationals have been arrested for various crimes, it is misleading and wrong to label or regard all foreign nationals as being involved in crime in the country. In addition, not all foreign nationals who reside in our country are here illegally. Many are in the country legally and contribute to the economy and social development of the country. Many bring skills that are scarce that help us to develop the economy and are most welcome to live in our country. Others came to South Africa as refugees, having run away from conflict or wars in their countries of origin, in the same way that many South Africans left this country at some point and lived in other countries on the continent and beyond.
We were treated with generosity, dignity and respect by our brothers and sisters from the rest of the continent. We will never forget that hospitality and solidarity. The support of the Frontline States in Southern Africa and that of the Organisation for African Unity was critical to the achievement of the freedom and democracy we are enjoying today. [Applause.] In this regard, government will continue to play its role and fulfil our responsibilities and obligations as members of the African Union and the United Nations. Refugees and asylum seekers will be accorded support in line with international law and protocols, with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
We appeal to our people to support and protect refugees and asylum seekers. During the weekend, I deployed the Ministers of Police, State Security and Home Affairs to work with the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government to quell the violence and bring the situation to normality. They have done well but the problem requires a much more comprehensive and sustainable long-term intervention. I have therefore assigned the entire Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster to work on this issue intensively, joined by the Ministers of Social Development, Trade and Industry, and Small Business Development. The Security cluster and economic departments had already begun working on this matter, following the Soweto incidents in January. I have now directed them to work faster and to engage affected communities, organisations representing foreign nationals, business, nongovernmental organisations and other stakeholders to attend to the concerns raised on both sides.
The objective is to avoid future incidents by improving relations and promoting peaceful coexistence between citizens and our brothers and sisters within the continent and in the continent as well as other foreign nationals. We will also be seeking co-operation and support from the affected foreign missions based in South Africa. The Minister of Home Affairs met with African Heads of Mission last week. The Minister of International Relations and Co-operation will take these discussions forward as well in her engagements with the African Heads of Mission tomorrow on 17 April. We request Members of Parliament to work with us as well in their constituencies to improve relations and promote peaceful coexistence between our people and foreign nationals.
Measures are also being put in place to improve controls and better regulate immigration into our country. In this regard, government is making progress with establishing the Border Management Agency, which will manage the border environment and all ports of entry. The capacity of the Department of Home Affairs is being improved to enable it to better handle migration issues, especially at border posts. In this regard, the SA National Defence Force, SANDF, will transfer 350 soldiers to Home Affairs to work as immigration officers at border posts. Furthermore, the SANDF has deployed military personnel along the border line in seven provinces to prevent border crime activities and illegal border crossings.
Fellow South Africans, we urge all of you to exercise calm and restraint. We also urge those who use social media to refrain from fanning the flames of violence on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. [Applause.] We all have a responsibility to promote social cohesion, peaceful coexistence and good relations in the country. Foreign nationals help us to develop a cosmopolitan atmosphere and we welcome their presence. We also want to see an increase in tourism figures from countries on the continent and to share a lot of business opportunities as part of promoting sustainable economic development on the continent.
The upcoming Africa Month celebrations in May provide an opportunity for us to further promote our African identity and good relations with our brothers and sisters from the continent. We look forward to the celebrations of Africa Day in every province on 25 May.
Bakwethu, siyakhuza sithi asehliseni imimoya. Ukuhlaselwa kwabantu bokufika kuleli zwe akwemukelekile neze.
Sathola usizo emazweni amaningi ngesikhathi silwela inkululeko. Abazange basixoshe noma basihlukumeze.
Siyazizwa izinkinga ezibekwayo njengokuthi abanye abangabokufika kuleli zwe abanamvume yokuba seNingizimu Afrika. Kubuye kukhalwe futhi nangobugebengu obenziwa ngabanye abangabokufika kanye nokuthatha amathuba okuhweba nemisebenzi. Siyazizwa lezi zikhalazo noma lokhu okubekwayo futhi sizozilungisa. Kodwa siyagcizelela ukuthi akukho okungenza udlame lolu lwamukeleke ngalezo zizathu. Siyalugxeka kakhulu udlame. Sithi akubekhona ukubuyisana kanye nokukhuluma. Uma kukhona okubi, asikubike emaphoyiseni.
Thina njengohulumeni siyayisebenza le indaba esiyizwayo yokuqinisa ezokuphepha. Siyayisebenza nayo ezindaweni ezisemingceleni ukuze abantu bangangeni nomakanjani emingceleni ngoba mhlawumbe ingavikelekile. Awukho umthetho kunoma yiliphi izwe othi abantu bazingenele nje bengaphethe amaphepha. Lokho-ke siyakusebenza. Sesitshale namasosha ukuze asize uMnyango weZasekhaya okuyiwona ophethe lo msebenzi.
Hon members, let us work together to provide support to all foreign nationals who have been affected by this violence. The Freedom Charter says, “There shall be peace and friendship.” Our responsibility is to promote this legacy of peaceful coexistence and take it forward.
We also reaffirm our responsibility to contribute to a better Africa and a better world. Let us work together to make our country a better place for all who live in it. Thank you. [Applause.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
The PRESIDENT OF THE RSA
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Hon President, Deputy President, hon members ...
It is a very important day today in South Africa as we speak about this issue and I believe Parliament must take an active and a leadership role in this matter. The matter of the President and paying back the money will be dealt with on another day. I believe today we need to be able to lead the people of this country. That is what they asked us to do and we must take a firm stance in what is a very difficult situation that faces our country, which is xenophobia.
Over the past two weeks, South Africa has again witnessed a wave of xenophobic attacks across our country, with media being dominated by heart-breaking images of fellow human beings being subjected to the cruellest form of treatment. I recall an image I saw last week that really touched me, not only as a South African but as a husband and a parent. It was an image of a mother and a father fleeing an angry mob, carrying their children to safety. My heart goes out to those foreign nationals.
Growing up in Soweto, we have seen the capability of humans to inflict violence on one another. I do not believe ...
Bagaetsho re batla go boela koo. Re bone gore batho ba rona ba ile ba swa jang. Ga re batle go boela morago.
I have seen people being beaten, I have seen people being necklaced, and I have seen their property being destroyed. These images I shall never forget and I pray that our children will never have to witness these images first-hand. Our humanity ...
Botho ba rona ...
... is slipping away from us and we cannot allow that. We cannot stand by as fellow human beings are tortured and murdered. We condemn all acts of violence against foreign nationals.
I understand the frustrations being felt by the people of South Africa, especially young people who are unemployed; who struggle to access opportunities to improve their lives. Jobs are scarce and our economy continues to exclude millions of South Africans. But to focus this anger and frustration on a small group of foreign nationals who have become unfairly vilified and victimised does not address the cause of that frustration.
We must not turn xenophobia into a political football, but we must not shy away from the root causes of the problem either. The root of this problem lies in our inability to bring about economic growth and decrease the inequality that plagues our nation. Unemployment today stands at 36,1%. Two out of three of the people who are unemployed are young people. Many of these young people come from communities that were disadvantaged under apartheid and grew up without access to quality education.
In every community I have been to, I have met young people and young women who share the same story of economic exclusion. It is in fact this hopelessness that results from unemployment that, at times, drives drug use or, at times, criminality in communities and that sometimes underlies xenophobic attacks.
Furthermore, it is clear that our borders are porous and that is fundamentally because the SA Defence Force is understaffed and underserviced due to a shortfall of R700 billion. But while these factors may in some way help to explain the situation, they cannot be used as an excuse to resort to violence or criminality. There can be no justification for human beings inflicting pain and suffering on other human beings.
Instead of acknowledging these socioeconomic root causes of tensions in our communities, there are people in powerful positions attempting to shift the blame or even condone the criminality and xenophobia. Leaders who make statements that lead to these situations, whether they are royalty or are politically connected, cannot be allowed to get away without taking responsibility for their actions and the statements they make. [Applause.]
Therefore, we must never forget that during the dark days of apartheid, African nations opened their borders to South Africans involved in the struggle for freedom. Yet we now vilify those who flee persecution and oppression and make them scapegoats for the real rage we feel arising from economic exclusion.
We need an immigration policy that recognises that the rights of refugees and asylum seekers are based on our commitment to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. And we should make sure that our borders are protected so that those who seek to make a life in our country can do so through the correct processes and procedures.
But if we want to really solve the root causes of xenophobia, we need to address the issue of unemployment. We need to support the growth of small businesses and create jobs. Small business owners are key to growing our economy, but we need to make sure that they are given the support to do so. We need to make it easier for those with good ideas and ambition to get their enterprises off the ground. In order to succeed, small businesses require capital to allow them to get off the ground and the skills that are needed to manage them.
That is why, as the DA, we advocate for the establishment of a national venture capital fund to provide initial funding for start-ups and any businesses.
The township economy must be revitalised, Mr President. This will enable the people to get access to capital and to fund start-up enterprises. We need to empower entrepreneurs to be able to put together business plans and budgets, and we can begin by teaching business skills in our schools. We must equip young people with a basic knowledge of maths, accounting and economics and educate them on how they can maximise the power of collective buying.
Ultimately, there needs to be a greater roll-out of small business incubators, which entrepreneurs can access to share resources in a supportive environment and to empower them through assisting them with the cost of training and advisory services.
Bagaetsho, ke a utlwa batho ba rona. Re utlwa bohloko ka ga batho ba rona ba bona mathata ko ba nnang teng. Ga re bona gore go lwantsha ga go thuse ope... Ga re leba, re tshwanetse re itse gore
... we cannot allow people to brutalise others. Foreign business owners are not the enemy. Perhaps we need to redirect ourselves - we need to ensure that the real enemy in our society is the culture of corruption that takes from the poor and gives to the rich; a culture that reserves opportunities for the elite and excludes everybody else; and a culture where sometimes we leave dialogue as the last resort, not the first, when we want to engage on issues. If we work together to root out this culture, we stand a chance of ending xenophobia and restoring humanity in our society.
In 1994, President Mandela made the commitment that ”Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another”. Let us honour his memory by honouring that dream. Let’s never dare to forget ...
... botho, gore motho ke motho ka batho.
Let us remind ourselves of that. Therefore, we cannot, at any point, ever, perpetuate racism in any culture and in any society. We are all human beings; we are all Africans. I thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr S J MALEMA
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
Mr S J MALEMA: Hon Deputy Speaker, and the President of the Republic, Mr President ...
... ka Sepedi ba re: “Pinyana ge e re ping, E kwele ping ye kgolo.”
So, the state, being the elder of the whole society, becomes responsible for all the violence meted out against foreign nationals. It was through the state that our people were taught that resolution of differences should be through violence. It was under your leadership that when you disagreed with people in Marikana, you killed them because you never believed in peaceful resolution of differences. When people had problems in Relela, you killed them. When people had problems in Mothutlung, demanding water, you killed them. When Tatane protested against this state, you killed him.
When there were differences, not so long ago, in this Parliament, you applied violence against the leadership of the EFF. When your friends, the DA, marched to Luthuli House, you responded with violence. When the structures of the EFF were emerging at lower levels, you responded to that with your lower structures through violence.
Mr President, you taught our people that everything must be resolved through violence. Therefore, you must take full responsibility for having misled our nation that peaceful resolution does not exist and that those who do not listen must be whipped into line.
You have lost control of the country because you have lost control of your own family. Your own son continues to say these people must be killed. You stand up here and you do not say anything. King Zwelithini has been misinterpreted, as he says, and we accept that explanation. But you do not take to a platform to ask the King and to call on the people of KwaZulu-Natal and everywhere else - particularly those who could have misunderstood him - to refuse to engage in violent activities.
I must never be misinterpreted to be saying that the King is responsible for that. But that interpretation ... [Interjections.] ... was misinterpreted by the media and the people understood him to be saying that. How can you rule the country when you cannot rule over your own family? And your son is such a typical example of a family member that you cannot whip into line.
We have a responsibility from these incidents of xenophobia to teach our people that peaceful resolution is a sustainable solution to every problem we have.
Mr President, you come here and you want to condemn xenophobic violence. The Cubans have taught us that body language speaks volumes more than a prepared speech. You come with a prepared speech but your body doesn’t suggest that you are a leader who is concerned about the killings in KwaZulu-Natal. [Interjections.] When you were defending the spending in Nkandla, your body language was stronger than it was when you were condemning the violent activities in KwaZulu-Natal. Fellow South Africans ... [Interjections.] ... we need each other. Let us not kill each other. [Interjections.] There is no country in Africa that can survive in isolation. Not even the USA can survive in isolation. We need each other. South Africans, let us not kill fellow Africans. We are one. Africa is one. We must refuse the artificial borders imposed on us by colonisers, which led to the division of Africa. Africa, we are one! [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Prince M G BUTHELEZI
Mr J S MALEMA
Prince M G BUTHELEZI: Hon Deputy Speaker, Your Excellency the President, Your Excellency the Deputy President, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers and hon members of the National Assembly, why are we slow to arrest violence when it is targeted at foreigners? I ask, Your Excellency, because the violence that started in Isipingo two weeks ago has already spilled over into the Johannesburg central business district, Soweto, Germiston, Durban, Phoenix and Verulam. Why are we only now hearing an executive statement on the violence in KwaZulu-Natal?
Our country’s past has taught us that when violence flares up, the response of leaders must be immediate and unequivocal. When leaders stay silent, people die. In 2008, when our people necklaced Zimbabwean refugees and went on a murderous rampage against foreign nationals, it was me who spoke up on behalf of the South African leadership. It was me who apologised on behalf of our nation and urged our people to desist. [Interjections.] Now, when people are again living in fear, running for their lives and watching their houses and businesses burnt to the ground, it is me who immediately went to the hot spots and apologised on behalf of our nation. I know I have been ridiculed by the largest newspaper that I was punching above my weight, but both President Mandela and President Mbeki gave me the responsibility of Home Affairs. I am very close to this problem and I know it is not simple.
South Africa’s leaders are slow to act and it fuels the fire of violence. When we stand among the nations of the world, how can we feel anything but shame? I remember visiting President Kaunda in 1974 after we had been invited to Addis Ababa, together with our leader, the late Dr Oliver Tambo, to talk about sanctions. In Kenya, we discussed the same matter and Dr Tambo said I must go because we should not disagree on a public platform together. We travelled together to Lusaka, where I thanked President Kaunda for giving sanctuary to our political leaders. How can I face him today?
I visited President Nyerere as well, to thank Tanzania for welcoming our exiles. We were part of Africa then and we are part of Africa now. Are we not ashamed when Her Excellency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma heads the African Union? Let us put ourselves in her shoes today, when a bilateral and multilateral trade agreement with the Southern African Development Community has secured billions of rand for South Africa; when we deployed our Defence Force to keep peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Indeed, how can our peacekeeping missions on this continent have any authority or credibility when we are refusing to deploy the Defence Force on our soil even though lives are being lost?
Earlier this week, I called for a peacekeeping intervention by the Defence Force to stop the violence from spreading, but the hon Minister of Police disagreed and the premier of KwaZulu-Natal scoffed. It would have been over by Thursday. Well, Mr President, it is now Thursday. [Time expired.]
Mr M L SHELEMBE
Prince M G BUTHELEZI
Mr M L SHELEMBE: Hon Deputy Speaker and hon members, the NFP strongly condemns the violent xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa. We are dismayed at the displacement of thousands of people, and at the destruction and looting of properties. We are, in particular, deeply saddened by the tragic loss of lives.
Xenophobic violence is not new in South Africa, hon Deputy Speaker. In 2008, we witnessed the violent and destructive nature of these attacks and then again at the beginning of this year. The questions we have to ask ourselves are: What is the cause or causes of these attacks? What has government’s response been to these attacks? How are we going to address the causes of xenophobic attacks?
The causes of xenophobic attacks are complex and must be viewed holistically. It is, however, possible to identify several contributing factors. The first one is the failure to maintain the rule of law. People see that they can engage in violence without fear of arrest or successful prosecution. The second factor is the collapse of proper border control mechanisms, which allowed millions of people to gain entry into South Africa illegally. The third one is corruption in the state sector. This corruption has filtered down into the various government departments, resulting in anger among the South Africans at immigrants with illegal documents getting access to services. The fourth factor is the high level of unemployment, which results in competition among South Africans and foreign nationals for employment. The last factor is the lack of education among South Africans to inform them of the reasons why many foreigners are in the country legitimately.
These factors are major contributors to xenophobic attacks in South Africa. The response of government has been deafening silence and a reluctance to acknowledge the nature of the attacks as xenophobic. It is only during these past few days that government acknowledged the true nature of these attacks. The way forward will not be easy, but as the NFP we say that we need action and not words.
The NFP would like to see the state deploy all its resources to quell the violence and assist those who had been displaced by the attacks. In the long term, we believe that effective border control measures must be implemented to prevent a further influx of illegal immigrants into South Africa and for current illegal foreign nationals to be repatriated. We also propose an intensive government education programme to explain to South African citizens the legitimate reasons why some foreign nationals are and should be allowed to stay and work here in South Africa. I thank you.
Dr B H HOLOMISA
Mr M L SHELEMBE
Dr B H HOLOMISA: Deputy Speaker, hon President, Deputy President and hon members, the UDM would like to add its voice to the condemnation of the acts of violence against foreign nationals. We extend our condolences. A country with high levels of poverty, a high unemployment rate and high levels of inequality, blended with leadership whose attention is on filling their pockets through corrupt activities, breeds all social evils, including criminality.
Compounding the situation is that the African Agenda, of which we were once the champion, has taken a back seat. We must agree that indeed the violence that we see today in KwaZulu-Natal, with the potential to spread to other provinces, can best be described as reckless, inhumane, barbaric and criminal. This debate must contribute to the stoppage of this inhumanity in the history of our democracy. We must also acknowledge that the levels of lawlessness in our country are increasing daily. This has to come to a stop if we are to redeem our image as a country and attract investors.
To address this situation, the following steps need to be taken. An immediate presidential visit to the kingdom of the Zulu nation has to be done immediately after this House concludes this debate to share with the king the spirit of the House on this important matter.
Nxamalala ke sakube sikulungele ukuba sikukhaphe, khe siye kuphunga ikofu nesilo samabandla.
We must contain the current situation in KwaZulu-Natal by, among others, enforcing the law to the fullest. Such a step must be taken to communicate to all that South Africa is not a lawless society. The state of our intelligence services requires urgent attention because these activities should have been detected before their occurrence. Special police units as well as special courts to deal with incidents of sporadic lawlessness must be established nationally. A comprehensive audit must be conducted on foreigners already in our country, what are they doing and where, how and with whom they are engaged in those activities. This will help to expose those who are in the country for the wrong reasons, like corrupt activities that include drug and human trafficking. [Time expired.]
Dr C P MULDER
Mr B H Holomisa
Dr C P MULDER: Deputy Speaker, you are and you become what you think. That is true of a nation as well. What is in our heads and in our minds? After the 1994 elections, various heads of state visited South Africa and they stood on this very podium. Their message was basically the same: They all said that they were privileged to speak in this Parliament and in South Africa, the giant of Africa.
In this country we were a rainbow nation full of hope and full of expectations of our future. The FF Plus wants to condemn these xenophobic attacks in the strongest terms. There is simply no place in South Africa for these kinds of acts. It is completely unacceptable.
However, it seems there is a kind of evil spirit running around in this country at the moment. Where are the positive values; the values of respect, honesty, integrity and discipline? We do not see that. What do we see? We see greed, disrespect, theft and corruption. We see lawlessness. Look at the Freedom Charter - and the President referred to that as well - where it clearly states that all national groups shall be protected by law against insults to their race and national pride. The preaching and practice of discrimination and contempt on the basis of nation, race or colour shall be a punishable crime.
It seems that these acts are quite well orchestrated and planned. The problem, Deputy Speaker, is that things do not just happen by chance. There is a cause or a link. It is true, and the question that should be asked is: Why did this happen in KwaZulu-Natal? Why did it start there?
The fact of the matter is that there is a quote that you can go and have a look at – you can go and listen to the tape - where, unfortunately, this was said by the Zulu king, on a stage: “We ask foreign nationals to pack their belongings and go back to their countries.” We should not be surprised, then, when these things happen.
In today’s Daily News newspaper, the following is reported in terms of what happened in Pietermaritzburg yesterday: “We saw about 30 people armed with knobkieries and sticks. They struck cars gridlocked in traffic with their weapons, screaming to white and Indian motorists to ‘f*** off’ and chanting ‘Africa is for Africans’.”
Do we realise or understand where we are going to, if we as leaders do not take responsibility? Words have meaning, and it is necessary for the leaders in South Africa to reach out and take hands. We need to be wise in terms of these things.
With all due respect, Mr President, your quote in January with regard to Jan van Riebeeck also did not help. [Interjections.] Your may say that it is historical, but things should be seen in context. I believe that there are enough people in this country who are moderate and understand the seriousness of this situation who can ... [Time expired.]
Mr M G P LEKOTA
Dr C P MULDER
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Deputy Speaker, on 10 December 1996, speaking at the signing of the Constitution into law at Sharpeville, President Mandela declared:
By our presence here today, we solemnly honour the pledge we made to ourselves and to the world, that South Africa shall redeem herself and thereby widen the frontiers of human freedom. As we close a chapter of exclusion and a chapter of heroic struggle, we reaffirm our determination to build a society of which each of us can be proud, as South Africans, as Africans, and as citizens of the world.
We who walk in his footsteps can look at ourselves and our situation today. We have failed to bear the burden of that promise. President Thabo Mbeki, for his part, warned of a nation in a state of calamitous drift. From drift we are noticeably edging towards anarchy, because racism, Afrophobia and xenophobia have bared their vicious fangs and we are deeply ashamed of how low we have sunk.
We have one of the largest and costliest governments in the world. Sadly, it is grossly ineffectual. We should be valuing our multiculturalism and pan-Africanism and not devaluing and despising them. For these ideals to root themselves in our native soil, the government needs to espouse its pan-Africanism more vigorously than it is doing.
We need to turn resentment into appreciation for what these economic migrants bring to South Africa. We must also temper our hostility by recalling the warmth with which African countries received many of us when we too were political refugees. We need awareness campaigns and these must encompass multicultural, historical and anthropological education. In this regard, we certainly do not need camps for civilian refugees, as was suggested by the general secretary of the ANC.
Without the active promotion of Africanism, tolerance and the integration of migrants into our communities, our increasingly tarnished image in Africa will alienate us. We have a lot to lose. Cope sees Afrophobia, xenophobia as nothing but Afrophobia and xenophobia, and we utterly condemn it.
We are also critical of those who carelessly or overtly fan the flames of hatred by word or deed. Let us act decisively and purposely to end Afrophobia and xenophobia.
Most importantly, let us make good the promise of Nelson Mandela to us, to Africans and to the World. Now, more than ever before, we desperately and urgently need inspired and visionary leadership. I thank you.
Rev K R J MESHOE
Mr M G P LEKOTA:
Rev K R J MESHOE: Deputy Speaker, hon President and hon members, on behalf of the ACDP I firstly want to repent before Almighty God on behalf of my nation for the barbaric attacks and killing of innocent foreign nationals who came to seek refuge in our country.
Secondly, I want to ask for forgiveness from those nations whose citizens were attacked and shown hatred for having come across our borders seeking refuge, help and a better life. Thirdly, I want to convey our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their loved ones in the madness we witnessed these past few weeks. We also wish a speedy recovery to all those who have been injured in these senseless and barbaric killings.
The ACDP is deeply embarrassed and ashamed of what has been done to foreign nationals in our country. We strongly condemn these xenophobic attacks, which have once again tarnished our image in the eyes of the world. With the advent of democracy, South Africa became a beacon of hope for many, a model or example for the rest of the world because of our willingness to show forgiveness and reconciliation. However, the recent attacks in KwaZulu-Natal and now in Gauteng are changing that and are threatening foreign investor confidence in our growing tourism industry.
It is important, therefore, that we look at what should be done to prevent further attacks on foreign nationals in our country. The first vital thing that needs to happen for us to see change is that this Parliament must start setting a good example to the nation. The disrespect displayed, and the vulgar language that is sometimes used by some members of this House, is disgraceful and must come to an end.
Many impressionable young people who watch Parliamentary debates are tempted to emulate what they see their leaders doing in this place. If there is no respect, tolerance and ethical behaviour here, then it will not be found in our schools and our communities.
Secondly, those radical members and political parties that are popularising and encouraging a culture of disrespect, rebellion, lawlessness, anger and intolerance must be confronted and told to stop poisoning the minds of desperate and vulnerable South Africans. [Applause.] I believe that some members of this House must first deal with their anger before they would be able to successfully help build a strong, united, democratic and prosperous nation. [Applause.]
Thirdly, government must beef up the intelligence department. It should be able to establish who the instigators are of these organised attacks on foreign nationals. Get the police to arrest them and do a thorough investigation that would lead to the conviction and incarceration of those who are found guilty.
Lastly, I would like to appeal to church leaders to be more proactive in fulfilling their role in society as ministers of reconciliation. I encourage all churches to pray and build this nation so that it can be as peaceful as is expected. [Applause.] In 2 Chronicles 7:14 it says ... [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr M P GALO ...
Rev K R J MESHOE
Mr M P GALO: Deputy Speaker, hon President and members, the AIC, which believes in African humanism, freedom and liberty for all human beings, is saddened by the unacceptable xenophobic happenings in some parts of our beloved country. The AIC is also joining peace-loving South Africans in condemning these unholy happenings, which are indeed damaging the image of our country.
However, we cannot run away from the fact that the ANC government, because of the lack of values-based leadership, has dismally failed the people of this country, especially the poorest of the poor. By saying so, we are not ignoring the cosmetic changes that the ANC government has made since 1994.
Hunger and poverty have always been the first reason for mass protest and revolution throughout the world and South Africa is no exception. The poor masses of this country are very angry because they are neglected by the very leaders they trusted. It cannot be right for you as a ruling class to continue enriching yourselves and your loved ones while the ordinary people continue kissing the dust and scavenging from dustbins.
The xenophobic violence we are talking about today is in a way perpetrated by the government by not taking care of the business interests of the country’s citizens. The AIC is of the view that government must protect the business interests of the nation. Those who are coming into the country from outside for business opportunities must be restricted. Those who came into the country as refugees must be restricted to refugee camps until the situations in their countries are addressed. Those who came into the country illegally must be repatriated back to their countries. The AIC commends the Malawi government for the bold steps it has taken to ensure that the people of Malawi are repatriated back home. The big brother, President Robert Mugabe, must do the same.
In conclusion, the AIC is concerned about the xenophobic violence in South Africa and calls on the Southern African Development Community, SADC, leadership to encourage the leaders of the affected countries to do the right thing and repatriate their citizens back to their countries, as the Malawi government is doing. This will go a long way in averting a civil war in our country. I thank you.
Mr M A PLOUAMMA
Mr M P GALO
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Hon President, first of all, “ke be ke kgopela go bolela ka Sesotho” [may I please speak in Sesotho]. Hon President, our country is becoming a country without law. What I want to say is that what we are experiencing is a country where the laws are not being observed. I say this because it is not only xenophobia that we are experiencing, but also land grabs and the defacing of statues without following proper processes. We have irresponsible leaders whose methods of survival are manipulation and the incitement of civil strife. We know our people feel betrayed because they see their leaders living opulent lives without caring about them.
Xenophobia is the result of deep-rooted socioeconomic problems. When we established this country in 1994, it was based on hope. That hope is lost because most of the leaders, particularly the black elite, when they get to government, they get there to enrich themselves and fill their pockets. Some of the leaders in this House actually encourage lawlessness without shame. They even go out – as this is their method and their political tool - to use our people as guinea pigs to achieve their objectives.
If we want to build a country that will be able to survive, we cannot do that without the world. We are a global world. But I must say that all the leaders in this House must also know that we are not here for ourselves. Even when we are outside, we are there for our people. What we do, what our parties do and the way in which we behave reflect either well or badly on us. Our people are watching and they learn from us. If we steal, they will think it is the right way and they will also steal. If we loot, whether we are looting in a strategic way, they will also loot but in a very simple way.
I am humbly saying, hon leaders, from now on, let us lead by example and let us be leaders in the mould of Nelson Mandela. Even when we differ, we should all respect the Constitution of this country. In this way our people will know that the only way to survive is through hard work. Thank you.
Mr L R MBINDA
Mr M A PLOUAMMA
Mr L R MBINDA: Deputy Speaker, hon President, Deputy President and hon members, the PAC obviously condemns the killing of African nationals. We cannot, as African people, attack others on the basis of them not being South African. To us as the PAC, South Africa is an integral part of the whole continent of Africa and it cannot be isolated from the rest of Africa. That is why we always call for a united Africa.
The focus now should be on looking at the root causes of this Afrophobia and to work out realistic solutions. The PAC welcomes Judge Pillay, who is to investigate the causes. Our contention is that government is responsible for bankrupting African informal trade through tariff charges; the harassment of informal business owners by the police; and the failure to support the informal vendors in townships and villages. Our people cannot afford bulk stocking, hence the rise of Afrophobia.
Police must do their job at the border gates. We cannot have an intelligence department that is not able to detect activities of this nature. This is a reflection of poor immigration policy - if we are saying it is not poor, then someone is not doing his job. We cannot have a situation where we cannot trace the whereabouts of these immigrants. To catch them on the street, we cannot impose the dompas system by asking them to produce their IDs. That is what the current government is doing. A driver’s licence could also be used in certain instances. We therefore propose that informal sector business be regularised and an investigation be conducted on who is funding the African nationals. There is defiance by Afrophobic and looting gangs who act with impunity.
Amnesty International listed three things that must be done: Do not use the phrase “illegal immigrants” when dealing with xenophobia because by doing so you create confusion; government should deal strongly with those who are in our country illegally; and prosecute and sentence those who are found guilty of criminal activities.
Robert Sobukwe declared that there is only one race to which we all belong and that is the human race. That is why we say, “Africa for Africans”. That is the slogan that we must keep on pushing so that even our fellow brothers can understand that they cannot kill ...[Time expired.]
The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS
Mr L R MBINDA
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon President, hon Deputy President, hon members, it is with deep regret that we join the hon President and hon members, as well as the rest of the people of our country today in both condemning the violent attacks on foreign nationals in our country and in expressing our sincerest regret to fellow African and other nationals in South Africa who have been the victims of this savage act by criminals.
Today is not the occasion for cheap political point scoring. We need sober minds and solid leadership. From the outset, we would like to make the emphatic statement that most foreign nationals in our country make a very positive contribution to our society. First and foremost, immigrants contribute to our country’s economic development by investing in the economy; supplying critical skills, including to our health facilities; teaching our children and youth in schools and universities and thus transferring knowledge and skills. They pay tax, which contributes to expanding the national fiscus, while many also need to send remittances back home and yet still sustain themselves and their livelihoods in South Africa.
Furthermore, many nationals from our neighbouring countries travel to South Africa daily, weekly or monthly to buy groceries or purchase goods from our retail shops to sell in their own countries, paying toll fees on our roads. That means they are contributing to revenue generation, which is vital to increase government social and economic expenditure to the benefit of South Africans. Consequently, the allegation that all foreign nationals in South Africa do not pay tax is as preposterous as the assumption that all South Africans pay tax.
Secondly, by entering our country through our designated ports of entry as regular migrants, and by complying with both our immigration and other legislation, most foreign nationals contribute to enhancing South Africa’s national security and ensure that we manage the visitors in our midst, while protecting them, as well as South Africans, in our country.
Recently, we have enhanced our legislation and regulations in order to protect South Africa more effectively by managing and minimising the risks to our country that arise from the processes and phenomenon of international migration.
Thirdly, immigrants in our country contribute to nation-building and enhance our social cohesion by bringing greater diversity to our nation and by creating a better understanding of the diverse nature not only of Africans and of Africa but also of the peoples of the world.
By having new groups of immigrants in South Africa in recent years, we have become a more cosmopolitan country and our understanding of who we are as a nation has been deepened, based on the new complex dynamics that have enriched our nation.
Today, for example, you have new entrants into the South African nation that are not rigidly part of an African majority, but who are part of both the African majority and the immigrant minority at the same time. Furthermore, their home languages are none of those that we have come to know over the centuries of the formation of our nation.
Fourthly, immigrants have integrated South Africa into the global community and African immigrants, in particular, have made South Africa the integral part of the African continent that we rightfully are. Every country on the continent can find its nationals on our shores. In some instances we now have South Africans of descent in fellow African countries.
We, as a people, are better and more humane than we have ever been because of these fellow Africans and peoples from elsewhere in the world who have chosen voluntarily, and mostly through regular means, to live among us and make South Africa their permanent home. We must accordingly be very clear that immigrants are welcome in South Africa.
To what, then, do we owe the recent barbaric attacks on African immigrants in particular? If the concern was about the shops owned by foreign nationals, why have human beings been attacked and ruthlessly uprooted from their homes through nothing but savage methods?
The irrefutable fact is that it is wrong to claim that all immigrants are undocumented and therefore illegal in South Africa. It is wrong to claim that all undocumented immigrants are African and that all African immigrants are undocumented and therefore illegal. It is wrong to claim that all immigrants do not pay tax and therefore are a drain on the South African economy. It is wrong to claim that all African immigrants commit crime in South Africa.
African tourists have increased by leaps and bounds in South Africa, arriving through O R Tambo International Airport and our land ports of entry. The towns of Nkomazi, Musina, Ficksburg, and even Nelspruit, Polokwane and Mangaung, benefit enormously from the revenue they generate from our neighbours.
Most immigrants in our country, particularly the African immigrants, enter South Africa properly as regular migrants with documents and are therefore in this country legally.
Where some have entered the country irregularly, without documents and illegally, the immigration services of the Department of Home Affairs have been deporting them yearly at a cost of hundreds of millions of rands per annum.
As we speak, having transferred the Border Control Operational Co-ordinating Committee, BCOCC, from Sars to the Department of Home Affairs, plans are afoot to establish the Border Management Agency, BMA. Towards this effect, the BMA legislation should be submitted to the House in the course of this year. While the BMA will not and must not be viewed as a panacea for the correction of all the ills of our borderline, its specialised capacity will be of great importance to border management.
While working on the establishment of the BMA, the department will soon launch a new campaign to enhance border management, which will focus on integrated approaches under the BCOCC and the BMA Steering Committee. At the same time, in addition to the regulations announced in May last year, the department is working hard on a new international migration policy framework, which will create new migration management approaches.
The new policy framework will be clearer, among other areas, on how to manage economic migration in South Africa. It will also address the question of the regulation of shops owned by foreign nationals and how to ensure that foreign nationals whose visas entitle them to work in South Africa are not employed outside the provisions of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
In addition to this and the other matters mentioned by the President earlier, the Department of Home Affairs will be spending R118 million over the next three years to recruit inspectors in order to increase its inspectorate capacity to detect and prosecute companies and businesses that employ undocumented migrants or those without work visas. In year one, 170 inspectors will be recruited, increasing marginally over the next two years.
Furthermore, the department and National Treasury will soon announce plans to overhaul the physical and systems infrastructure of our ports of entry.
Notwithstanding all of this, we must reject, with the contempt it deserves, any notion that all immigrants, particularly the African immigrants, are criminals. The fact that there are South Africans trafficking drugs and consequently serving long jail terms in the prisons of Thailand, China, Brazil, Peru and elsewhere does not mean that all South Africans are drug traffickers or that the nationals of those countries must chase South Africans off the streets of their countries.
We must all be very concerned about the repercussions of this criminality as they might spark diplomatic and retaliatory action against South Africans in other countries. This is why we have already met with the diplomatic corps twice to express very strongly the views of the South African government, on behalf of most South Africans who detest xenophobia and Afrophobia to the core. We are due to meet them again this coming Friday for an update on the steps we have taken to deal with this situation.
We are working very closely with the provincial and metro governments in this endeavour. Yesterday, alongside the premier, the MECs and the mayor and deputy mayor of eThekwini, we visited some of the flashpoints and addressed the people on the ground, rallying them behind the peace effort. We have also met with religious leaders and other stakeholders towards the same objective.
We have visited the temporary shelters for displaced people, expressed our regrets about this situation and talked to them about our plans to bring the violence to an end and to facilitate their reintegration. As we speak, in some of the communities, the reintegration process has already begun. We have listened to the displaced people and their complaints and will attend to them. We have committed that we will assist those who wish to be voluntarily repatriated, so that they return home safely and with little hindrance.
Today’s march in Durban, attended by people from as far away as Gauteng, should further demonstrate the humanity and African solidarity of the people of South Africa.
We must emphasise the point that not all South Africans are involved in this savagery. Many of us who have friends from outside South Africa, some of whom are now naturalised South Africans, and those of us who have travelled the continent a bit know just how hardworking and honest our fellow Africans are.
We must echo the President’s call that concerns must be resolved peacefully and through dialogue. We wish to add that our people must refer all their grievances to the state. We know the challenges of our people, especially the youth, who face unemployment and economic marginalisation. We know that these are the most urgent challenges facing the youth of our country. However, we need to resolve them through the institutions and programmes we have agreed to and not by chasing foreign nationals out of the country and down the streets and committing acts of criminality and barbarism.
Furthermore, this is also not an excuse for the cruelty that we have witnessed. The state must and will stamp its authority on acts of violence and lawlessness, whether it concerns foreign nationals being attacked or those who are invading land.
Today, hon Malema has allowed us to peep into his heart to see and hear what he and his party are planning. This government is ready. We will act to root out lawlessness. Hon Malema is probably the best student of the school of nonsense, as he stands here and peddles it quite easily, talking about the President and how he is leading his family and not referring to himself and how he relates with his own father. The disrespect he shows to his father he now transfers to the President. That must end. I thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, on behalf of the presiding officers, we would like to express our condolences to the families of those foreign nationals who lost their lives. We also wish to say that peaceful co-existence is what we expect from all the people of our country and those who are in our country legally and otherwise.
QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY – THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY
THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
Ms H H MALGAS: Hon Deputy Speaker... [Interjections.] Sorry, hon Deputy Speaker, I did not know I had to start.
Ek wil net dankie... [Tussenwerpsels.]
May I start?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Proceed, hon Malgas.
Ms H H MALGAS: Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker.
Ek wil net vir ons President dankie sê vir die geskrewe antwoord wat hy gegee het op die vraag wat ek hom gevra het.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, please hold on a bit. Members are putting... The President is putting on his... [Inaudible.] Go ahead. [Interjections.]
Me H H MALGAS: ... en hierdie vraag... [Tussenwerpsels.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon members! You do not have the floor; she does. Do not tell her what to do!
Me H H MALGAS: Hierdie vraag is vandag nog toepaslik. Ek wil net vir hom en die ANC bedank dat hulle so hard werk wanneer dit kom by die formele erkenning van die Khoi en die San leierskap en gemeenskap.
When it comes to your question, before I speak to our community again - because there are certain things I would like to speak to them about - your answer has three elements, hon President. Element one speaks to the Traditional Affairs Bill...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon member, please ask your question.
Ms H H MALGAS: I am going to ask...
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Ask your question quickly.
Ms H H MALGAS: All right, fine. My question, then, is about the third element. What progress has been made thus far on the Traditional Affairs Bill? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: The Traditional Affairs Bill was revised during 2014, based on the comments received after the publication of the Bill in the Government Gazette of September 2013. The comments were carefully analysed and many of them have contributed to the improvement of the Bill.
The Bill will now be known as the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership and Governance Bill. This Bill intends to consolidate and repeal the existing national legislation relating to traditional leadership, namely the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act of 2003, and the National House of Traditional Leaders Act of 2009.
The Bill addresses the limitations of the existing legislation and provides uniformity in respect of traditional leadership matters. It makes provision for the statutory recognition of Khoi and San communities and leaders, provided that they meet the criteria for recognition as contained in the Bill. This is the first time ever in the history of our country that provision is made in legislation for the official recognition of the Khoi and San people. [Applause.]
In addition to the recognition of the Khoi and San communities and leaders, the Bill also makes provision for the establishment of a Khoi and San council for each recognised Khoi and San community. It also makes provision for the establishment of an advisory committee on Khoi and San matters to assist government with the recognition process.
The Bill also provides for the integration of Khoi and San leaders into existing Houses of Traditional Leaders, which will in future be known as “Houses of Traditional and Khoi and San Leaders”.
As far as the advisory committee on Khoi and San matters is concerned, its members will have to be experts in, among other areas, Khoi and San customs and customary law. The public will be invited to nominate persons to be considered as members of the advisory committee.
The Bill will soon be resubmitted to Cabinet for final consideration. Thank you, Speaker.
Mr T W MHLONGO: Madam Speaker, Mongameli, why is government taking so long to address the exclusion of Khoi and San communities? For example, when can we expect to be informed about government’s plans and policies regarding the exclusion of these communities? Almost a year later, we remain in the dark.
Asazi ukuthi kwenzakalani, Mongameli.
Until now, land claims have been limited to the date of 1913, because of the bad 1913 Natives’ Land Act. But this cut-off date has resulted in the exclusion of Khoi and San communities from this process of land restitution due to the fact that they were dispossessed earlier than 1913.
Mongameli, last year Minister Nkwinti announced that government ... [Interjections.] ... would consider the policy that will address the exclusion of these communities ... [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Hon member, the time for your question has expired. Thank you. Hon President, you may proceed.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, the issue of the Khoi and the San is not a simple matter. I think it is one of the oldest problems in the country with regard to colonisation and the question of land being taken away.
I think what we have done as a democratic country and government has been to address the issue of the Khoi and San straight. This was never, ever discussed before. We are in a process. Hence, I am reporting on the Bill.
So, while they had been excluded from previous Houses, we are now working on a Bill that will, in fact, bring them into the processes of the Houses. When I was answering the other hon member, I said that this Bill will actually bring them into all the Houses, at national and provincial level. So we are in the process of including them. That is what we are doing.
I think there is no Bill that moves very fast. The fact that it is taking a bit of time is because it has to follow all the processes, and this is what we are doing. I have just said the Bill will be submitted to Cabinet so that it moves forward. So we are doing something to address the question of the Khoi and the San. Thank you.
The SPEAKER: The hon Msibi, you have the floor.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Apologies, hon Speaker; it will be me, the hon Shaik Emam. Hon President, I must thank you for the consideration given to the Khoi people of South Africa. However, my understanding is that there are about 42 different tribes of the Khoi people in South Africa. A major portion of the Khoi people is saying that that they are being marginalised; that they are not being considered; that no consultation is taking place with them; that government is working only with a very small percentage of the Khoi people of this country. Could you perhaps please elaborate on that, hon President? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, I might not have knowledge of the total number of the different groupings, but we have been engaging the Khoi and the San through their own structures, which they recognise, and which we therefore believe represent the groups. But we have also engaged with some of them directly. I do not think what we did has deliberately excluded other people. We have tried to talk to all of them.
There are people who speak on their behalf and who have been put forward by the groupings that we talked to. These are the people whom we have been engaging. I am sure the process of sifting to determine who the real leaders are will be going on all the time.
In all the communities, there are different people there, whatever the description would be. They will be different, but there will be those who are senior. I have been to areas where I was introduced to the kings of the Khoisan people and we interacted with them.
I am not aware of people who are excluded. I am sure that if there are people who are excluded and who are legitimately supposed to be in the process, the process is there, it is known, and they would know the process. They could also interact with government structures so that they then come into the fold. I think that is what should happen. Thank you.
Mr M HLENGWA: Hon Speaker, hon President, I think the nub of the issue is in the response that the President has given now - that there does seem to be a piecemeal approach to the issues of the Khoi and San, whether it be on the issue of land, the issue of language or their recognition.
The issue then, Mr President, is whether you are in a position now, moving forward, to say: How can we have a structured and a co-ordinated approach to ensuring that we address all the issues related to the Khoi and the San in a holistic package, as opposed to the piecemeal approach?
We appreciate the recognition and it must be applauded that recognition will be afforded them, as the Bill stipulates – and we will still debate the Bill at a later stage – but the piecemeal approach that seems to be applied to their recognition at this point in time is a problem in itself.
So, moving forward, what is going to be done to create a well-balanced, co-ordinated and well-structured approach that will ensure that the areas that you touch on are addressed, so that we do not have a situation where the President says, “Well, in that area I don’t know, and in that area I don’t know.” Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Well, the process we are following is a structured process. I did not say we are following a process that is not structured. All I said was I am not aware of those who are outside of the process. If they are there, they should approach the authorities so that they can be dealt with.
As to the question of the legitimacy of the people who are talking to government and to the department – because there are such people – I said we have met some of them outside of the processes. We have met with them in their areas.
Insofar as dealing with that issue, it is a structured approach. Therefore, if they are outside, they should come in. I do not think the hon member is suggesting that I should go around all the mountains looking for them. I think we are all aware that there are municipalities and departments. They should be able to come in.
With regard to the land issue, of course the law sets a cut-off date, or year, from which the claims can be lodged. Now, the point we have been raising in general has been this: What do we do with those who lost their land before that date? This group includes the Khoi and San. It is a matter that we need to deal with. It needs to be engaged.
I do not think anyone could stand up and say unilaterally that now, because I have discovered there are claimants beyond this date, I should therefore decide what to do. It is again the case that we need representation so that the claim could be looked at by the country. I have made the point, particularly when addressing the House of Traditional Leaders, that matters that relate to the Khoi and the San cannot be left unattended by us. It needs all of us to find ways and means to address those issues.
I think the Minister of Rural Development has been interacting with those communities. I think he has a lot of information that could help shed some light on the matters we are discussing now. Thank you.
Mr M A MNCWANGO: Thank you, hon President, for your reply to my question. Hon President, as you correctly state in your reply, this process has been labouring on since 2007. That is eight years now. It is also conditional on, among other conditions, the offence being perpetrated prior to 16 June 1999. That presupposes that the majority of applicants have been languishing under correctional service supervision for at least 15 years now. This has placed immense suffering not only on the applicants but also on their families. My question, hon President, is when can these applicants for presidential pardon expect finality and closure on this process? Can you indicate a timeline or intended date for your expected decision? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: It is not going to be easy for me to indicate the cut-off date, or when this will happen because the matter is not an easy one. As you know, there are processes within government that are followed as you deal with the issues of pardon. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, for example, has to do a lot of work to look at the specific cases and to try to find the real truth and further necessary information. They can then make the necessary recommendations thereafter.
They must also identify the people as to the claims that they are making. You know that even the reference group itself took a bit of time to go through the individuals who were part of the number that was being looked at. The process is going on, partly in the department and now with the legal advisors in The Presidency who are looking at those issues. In that context, therefore, I cannot stand here and say that I think it will be done by this or that date. The process is going on to look at all of them as they have come before the level of the President to look at. Thank you
Ms M C C PILANE-MAJAKE: Your Excellency, from the information that you provided, 1 183 recommendations of the 2 109 applications for pardon have been accepted by the reference group. Has anything changed with regard to the mandate of the reference group and the recommendations already made to you, inclusive of those of the IFP applicants whose offences were committed with a political motive before June 1999? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: No, I did not say anything has changed. I said a process has been going on in regard to those applicants and those are the ones that are being looked at. The reference group, for example, made recommendations and those have to be looked at. I do not think it is a foregone conclusion that once recommendations are made, you just put a stamp on them. You also subject those recommendations to the processes that I have just referred to, so that in the end, when we take the final decision, we are satisfied that we have looked at all the aspects. When we say yes, we are giving a pardon here, we want to be satisfied that indeed, firstly, the recommendations themselves are based on very sound grounds. We want to be sure that the people within government who look at these and then refer the matter forward because they are saying, yes, we believe it should be done, the President himself must still look at the matter and then take a decision.
As I have said, the processes are not easy, because we are dealing with people who are in prison on the conditions that we have talked about. I do not think we can say that things have changed. The process is going on. When the day comes when we have completed looking at those recommendations, we will indicate that. Thank you.
Ms N V NQWENISO: Tat’uMongameli, kolu xolelwaniso ulwenzayo, ingaba yintoni ekufuneka yenziwe kwi-ofisi yakho okanye eMzantsi Afrika ukuze kukhululwe amabanjwa e-Apla kunye nawoMkhonto weSizwe awayesilwela inkululeko. Enkosi.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: For all people who ask for a pardon, there are processes that people undertake. The person makes the application and it is subjected to scrutiny by those who have the authority to do so, and then they make the necessary recommendations. The issue of Apla people, as you say, and other prisoners, is an issue that is talked about more politically out there, but I think the crux of the matter is that very specific applications should be made. They must say, here are people who believe, based on these conditions, that they must be given a pardon, so that we can address those. It is one thing to talk about it in generalities out there, when no specific application has been made. We can only apply our minds to applications that have been made.
I am not sure what happened with the reference group - whether they have dealt with that group or not, but if we are to consider specific cases, specific applications must be made so that we could look into those kinds of issues. Thank you.
Adv G BREYTENBACH: Mr President, you have the prerogative power to pardon offenders, but following the Hugo and Albot cases in the Constitutional Court, the exercise of these powers must be rational. There is a perception, which underlies this question, that the approval of applications for presidential pardon is determined by political considerations. The question I wish to ask you, Mr President, is what the rational grounds were for you, in 2010, pardoning Mr Booker Nhantsi, who was convicted of the theft of trust monies in 2005 and who happens to be the husband of Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba, the Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions. Thank you. [Interjections.]
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Well, as I say, hon Speaker, people make very specific applications and the applications are looked at. On the basis of what is before us, in terms of information, that is what makes us take the decision of whether to give a pardon or not. I am sure the facts must have made the decision that we took when we looked at the case itself. Thank you.
The SPEAKER: We now come to question 6.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: I rise on a point of order, Madam Speaker.
The SPEAKER: What is your point of order, hon Steenhuisen?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: The President has not answered the question that the hon Breytenbach put to him. She asked a very specific question and she has been given a vague and middling answer. We cannot hold the President accountable and this is precisely why we again had drama at the beginning of the House. It is because the President has been vague in his answers before. Can we please press the President to answer hon Breytenbach’s question? [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Well, hon Steenhuisen, an answer has been given. It might not be the answer the hon Breytenbach was looking for, but an answer has been given. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY MINSTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES RESPONSIBLE FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon Speaker, on a point of order. The hon Steenhuisen knows well that follow-up questions are meant to relate to the actual question asked. In this case, the question that hon Breytenbach asked had nothing to do with the question that hon Mncwango asked, which related to IFP pardons coming from the reference group. Actually, the question put by hon Breytenbach should not have been allowed. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, we now proceed to question 6, asked by the hon Prof Khubisa of the NFP.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, on appoint of order…
The SPEAKER: What is the problem?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: The point of order is that if you were going to rule the question out of order as a new question, either the presiding officer or the person to whom the question has been put should indicate very clearly that the question was a new one or was not related. [Interjections.] Instead, the President chose to answer the question - and I use “answer” in the loosest possible terms. Rather, he provided a response that did not answer the question. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: I thought that you and the hon member would appreciate the fact that the President makes an effort … [Interjections.] [Laughter.] … to answer a totally new question, because a supplementary question is always an unanticipated question.
Mr N Q NDLOZI: Hon Speaker, …
The SPEAKER: Hon members, I will now proceed to allow hon Khubisa to ask his supplementary question.
Mr N Q NDLOZI: Hon Speaker, may I please respectfully address you on a point of order?
The SPEAKER: What’s your point of order, hon Ndlozi?
Mr N Q NDLOZI: You are a ginger. [Interjections.] Hon Speaker, we raised this question of the adequacy of the answers that the President gives. We said the President must give very specific answers and that it is not meaningful to engage in vague answers. We were then reminded by the hon Steenhuisen that we must accept when the President has responded. Now he stands up here, displaying double standards. When his party’s questions are not answered, we must all stand here and debate whether the answer is vague or not! The President’s answer to the question of paying back the money was not vague, but the DA pulled out. I think you must rule him out on the basis of double standards. That is something that is very wrong. [Interjections.] I mean, it is extremely wrong. We wanted a direct answer about when the money would be paid back. They said no, that question was answered. That is a double standard!
The SPEAKER: Order! That is not a point of order.
The MINISTER OF MINERAL RESOURCES: Hon Speaker, that is abuse of process. It is abuse of process here!
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, I am very happy to get onto this topic, if you like, because there are big double standards at play when you come and say, “Pay back the money” when your own leader owes lots of money. Now that is a double standard! [Interjections.] [Applause.] [Laughter.] Nevertheless, the President chose to respond to the question from hon Breytenbach. I accept that you can’t come and stand here and answer for him, but really, one would expect far more from the head of the executive in this country to be more forthcoming with the body that holds him accountable.
The SPEAKER: Thank you, hon Steenhuisen.
Mr S LUZIPHO: On a point of order, Speaker.
The SPEAKER: No, ...
... ayikho enye i-point of order. Masikhe simamele uTat’ uKhubisa.
Mr S LUZIPHO: I just wanted clarity.
The SPEAKER: Yani iclarity?
Mr S LUZIPHO: There might be people we do not know in the House. Can I be told who Ginger is in the House? [Laughter.]
The SPEAKER: No, you are not going to be told that. Can I have hon Khubisa with his follow-up question?
QUESTION 6 - Prof N M KHUBISA
Prof N M KHUBISA: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Mr President, in terms of your response, it is crystal clear that you were pushing the African agenda at this summit. Eight months have lapsed since the summit was held. We are also aware that Africa is plagued by a number of challenges, chief among these being poverty, underdevelopment and slow economic growth.
Therefore, would you say that there has been any advantage or tangible dividends that have accrued since the summit was held for Africa in general and South Africa in particular?
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, summits are summits. You hold summits and take resolutions. Some resolutions are implemented quicker than others. For example, one of the issues discussed was the African Growth and Opportunity Act, Agoa, which was an agreement between the USA and Africa. That matter was discussed extensively. At the time, there was a feeling on the side of the USA that South Africa had passed the stage of being a developing country and therefore should no longer benefit. During that summit we succeeded in making the USA agree that we are still part of it. It was supposed to reach a particular point of expiry and it had to be renewed. So, there is an agreement and it is benefiting Africa and South Africa.
There were a number of other issues that were discussed and were important in terms of the understanding between the two sides. We discussed those issues in the interests of the African continent and how we believed we needed to deal with them. There are many other issues that we talked about. We believe the summit was very successful and that indeed it stands to benefit both sides. It benefits the USA but it also benefits Africa.
We have not as yet done an assessment of whether a particular agreement or understanding has necessarily been accomplished. Therefore, I cannot give any details of what has and what has not been done. However, we came to a very clear understanding on the issues we raised with the USA.
Mr M HLENGWA: Hon President, in light of President Mugabe’s state visit last week and the fact that he was not invited to the USA-Africa Summit, I just want to find out something. It does seem that we have a responsibility as South Africa to ensure that the political contingencies that are arrived at in Zimbabwe will ultimately translate into economic progress. Now, as we engage with Zimbabwe, how can we in good faith engage with the international community and leave the problems of Zimbabwe behind? Quite frankly, if Zimbabwe’s problems are solved, South Africa stands to address its other problems because of what is going on in Zimbabwe. So the first issue is with regard to the exclusion of President Mugabe and the Zimbabwean government from the summit.
Secondly, with regard to the visit last week, is there a move on the part of your government to facilitate arriving at a working relationship between Zimbabwe and the USA so that we can resolve the problems of Zimbabwe holistically. Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, firstly, when the issue of Zimbabwe emerged a number of years ago, South Africa was one of the African countries that dealt with the issue of Zimbabwe with regard to the USA, the European Union and many other countries, by saying that they should not impose sanctions on Zimbabwe. We proceeded to deal with and resolve the issues of Zimbabwe politically. We also came back and said that we had resolved the issues.
I think that Europe has relaxed very few conditions and that the USA has never done so. We have not taken on that matter again since, in our view, Zimbabwe has dealt with the issues that needed to be dealt with. Therefore, when we met with the President of the USA as African leaders, the issue of Zimbabwe did not arise.
Having said that, South Africa as a country should not take on the issues of every individual country in Africa with any other country, or whatever. It is not necessarily our task, while Zimbabwe is there, for us to stand up here or go to the USA and say, please sort out the issues between the two of you. That is not our task. We have not done so as South Africa and I do not think we are about to do so. I think Zimbabwe is big enough to stand on its own and raise the issues that are between them. It is one thing if any country asks us to do so. Then it will be a different matter. However, we cannot just stand up, because we are South Africa, and say, you, Zimbabwe and the USA, must sort out your issues. It is not our task to do so. Thank you.
Mr B A RADEBE: Hon President, during the USA-Africa Leadership Summit, something happened whereby the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative was changed to the Mandela Washington Fellowship Initiative. Firstly, was the South African government consulted? I ask that because the announcement was made during the summit.
Secondly, on the issue of the support from the USA with regard to peace and security that Africa wants to institute, what assurance do we have that the USA is not going to take the strategic initiative from the African Union, AU, because wherever the USA has been involved in peace and security, there has always been a bloodbath at the end of the day. Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Sorry, can you repeat the first part of your question so that I can understand it clearly?
Mr B A RADEBE: Hon President, during the USA-Africa Leadership Summit there was also a summit of the Young African Leaders Initiative, which was organised by President Obama. When your summit started, he announced that the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative was changed to the Mandela Washington Fellowship. What I want to know is whether your government was consulted about that.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, there was no consultation. The issue of young leadership was discussed as an issue, not the name change of the scholarship, because African countries felt that for the USA to come to Africa to pick and choose young people in order to train them in the USA was done without consultation. If the USA wanted to create leadership, as it reported, what type of leadership would they be creating from among young people of Africa without talking to African leaders? That was the issue and President Barack Obama conceded that they understood the problem.
We said that in future we wanted to be part of the process, if at all. They have the resources to help. We should be there to participate in shaping what type of leadership qualities they need. So, we discussed the matter and many African leaders expressed their unhappiness about it.
With regard to the issue of the initiative in Africa whereby the USA would assist, the President of the USA made it very clear that he does not want to take leadership; he wants to assist but not participate in leadership. He even said that even if they reached a point where they would have to send soldiers, it would be us saying so. They are not going to send soldiers. At the moment they want to assist in any way but not with troops, so that our initiatives are undertaken by us. Therefore, that matter was discussed and that was the understanding. Thank you.
Mr G G HILL-LEWIS: Hon President, for two years we have heard constant warnings about the imminent exclusion of South Africa from the African Growth and Opportunity Act, yet it seems that the government has allowed the issue to run right to the edge of the cliff before showing any real urgency in resolving it.
Hon President, now, at the very eleventh hour and after the unprecedented step of a phone call from vice president Biden to Deputy President Ramaphosa, we have dispatched Minister Davies to Washington to try and sort out the mess.
Hon President, firstly, why has this taken so long? Secondly, why has the government allowed a private industry body, the SA Poultry Association, to determine the trade policy for the government of South Africa? Thirdly, with just three weeks to go before the deadline on the African Growth and Opportunity Act, can you give this House and South Africa an assurance that you will do whatever it takes to ensure and guarantee that South Africa will not be excluded from the African Growth and Opportunity Act? Thank you.
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon Speaker, I said that when we were in the USA, that matter was concluded. South Africa will be part of Africa. There is nothing that is being negotiated now. I am sure that what is being negotiated now are the details of this agreement. That issue was concluded at the time. Thank you. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Thank you, hon President. That brings us to the end of supplementary questions to the President. [Applause.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Speaker, on a point of emergency. [Laughter.] We have it on good authority that there are students outside who are protesting and who are being brutalised by the police. The police are shooting students who came to protest here at Parliament and to bring to the attention of Members of Parliament the need to take decisive action with regard to xenophobia. Yet the police are harassing them outside. [Interjections.]
I think that as this House we should take the view that we accept what the students are protesting about and understand their concerns. However, the police must not brutalise ordinary students, particularly when they try to raise awareness of an issue that is happening, here in Parliament.
The SPEAKER: Order! We thank you for the information and we will make sure that the necessary attention is given to that situation. We now come to notices of motion.
NOTICES OF MOTION
NOTICES OF MOTION
Ms M L DUNJWA: Hon Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of this House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:
That the House debates the role played by the SA National Aids Council in the reduction of the high mortality rate resulting from the HIV/Aids pandemic in the country.
MR R A LEES
Ms M L DUNJWA
Mnu R A LEES: Hon Speaker, intliziyo yami ibuhlungu sowukhohlwe igama lami. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Hawu, nkosi yami!
Mr R A LEES: 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 disastrous and rapid environmental degradation of the Wilge River catchment area, one of the primary water catchments areas for the Vaal River, and the subsequent impact this has on millions of people in Gauteng who rely on this water for everyday survival and economic activity.
MR J A ESTERHUIZEN
Mr R A LEES
Mr J A ESTERHUIZEN: Madam House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:
That the House debates the urgent need for this Parliament, as a responsible and forward-thinking Parliament, to install and promote the use of renewable energy sources on the parliamentary premises in order to not only reduce our dependence on grid-based energy sources but also to set an example in the combating of global warming.
MRS W W MAGADLA
Mr J A ESTERHUIZEN
Mrs N W MAGADLA: Hon 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-
(1) debates the illegal occupation of government-owned and privately owned land.
Ms M S KHAWULA
Mrs N W MAGADLA
Nksz M S KHAWULA: Sekela Sihlalo, ngisukuma ngaphansi kwenhlangano ezoba uhulumeni ngokuzayo, i-EFF, ukuthi ngokulandelayo:
(1) ixoxe ngezindlela ezintsha ukuze kuqinisekiswe ukuthi abelaphi bendabuko bayafakwa ohlelweni lwezempilo
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Thank you very much. I noted that some members were not able to get the interpretation. Can we ask the interpretation services to improve their work, please?
MS L L VAN DER MERWE
Ms M S KHAWULA
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: House Chairperson, 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 that the latest World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2015: ICTs for Inclusive Growth, in which South Africa has dropped in the rankings of information and communications technology savvy states, highlights the need for government and the business sector to make Internet connectivity more affordable and accessible.
MR D W MACPHERSON
MS L L VAN DER MERWE
Mr D W MACPHERSON: House Chairperson, 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 impact of cable theft, improper electricity infrastructure and illegal electricity connections with particular reference to informal settlements, their role in shack fires and solutions for us to address these problems.
MR J J SKOSANA
MR D W MACPHERSON
Mr J J SKOSANA: House Chairperson, 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 the entrenchment of national unity and togetherness, where all citizens regard themselves as one another’s keepers, and where we come together to solve problems and build a united and prosperous South Africa.
MS N V NQWENISO
MR J J SKOSANA
Ms N V NQWENISO: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the EFF:
That the House debates improving the remuneration and working conditions of academics to encourage them to continue with teaching and research, and not take up administrative posts in both private and public institutions simultaneously.
MS M F NKADIMENG
MS N V NQWENISO
Ms M F NKADIMENG: House Chairperson, 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 the implementation of an optional national youth service for a duration of two years, a service involvement that includes sporting, recreational, military and vocational training, with the intention to build a socially inclusive society.
Mr M L W FILTANE
MS M F NKADIMENG
Mr M L W FILTANE: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the UDM:
That the House debates the relevance of colonial and apartheid statues in the democratic South Africa, as well as their impact on public history and perceptions about our painful past.
PROF N M KHUBISA
MR M L W FILTANE
Prof N M KHUBISA: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the NFP:
That the House discusses the challenges posed by load shedding in the lives of the broader society.
MR P G MOTEKA
PROF N M KHUBISA
Mr P G MOTEKA: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the EFF:
That the House debates the transformation of professional bodies for chartered accountants, engineers, architects and all professions to uphold the need for speedier transformation that will result in more previously disadvantaged individuals being accredited professionals.
MR A M MPONTSHANE
MR P G MOTEKA
Mr A M MPONTSHANE: House Chairperson, 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 introduction of the Mandarin language as a subject in our schools.
MS R MASHABELA
MR A M MPONTSHANE
Ms N R MASHABELA: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the EFF, which is the government in waiting:
That the House debates the introduction of legislative mechanisms to ban the enforcement of compulsory testing of HIV by insurance companies.
MS T D CHILOANE
MS R MASHABELA
MS T D CHILOANE: House Chairperson, 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 the acceleration of the development of strategies geared for retaining young people in schools until they complete secondary schooling.
MS C DUDLEY
MS T D CHILOANE
Mrs C DUDLEY: House Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ACDP:
That the House debates the annual report of Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Linguistic and Religious Communities.
MS L L VAN DER MERWE
MS C DUDLEY
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: House Chairperson, 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 exclusion of many children with disabilities from the schooling system as well as from the early childhood development centres, especially in rural areas.
MOTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
NOTICES OF MOTION
PRESIDENT OBAMA TO REMOVE CUBA FROM TERRORIST SPONSORS’ LIST
Ms D R TSOTETSI: On behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party moved without notice:
That the House -
- welcomes the recent announcement by the White House that President Barack Obama intends to remove Cuba from the American government’s list of nations that sponsor terrorism, eliminating a major obstacle to the restoration of diplomatic relations after decades of hostilities;
- further notes that the decision to remove Cuba from the list is a crucial step in Obama’s effort to turn the page on a Cold War-era dispute and it comes amid a normalisation of relations between the two countries;
- remembers that this follows a much-anticipated meeting between President Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas meeting in Panama recently, the first such formal session between the leaders of the two countries in more than a half a century;
- recalls that for more than 30 years, Cuba has been on the US State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism, a designation shared only by Iran, Sudan and Syria;
- further recalls that Cuba’s place on the list has long prevented its access to financial markets and, more recently, emerged as a sticking point in negotiations to reopen embassies that have officially been closed for five decades;
- acknowledges that Cuba will not come off the list until after a 45-day review period, during which a joint resolution to block its removal could be considered in the House and the Senate; and
- congratulates the two presidents on their move towards normal relations between the two countries.
Mr M Q NDLOZI
Ms D R TSOTETSI
EFF APPLAUDS FALL OF RHODES STATUE
Mr M Q NDLOZI: House Chair, the EFF rises to move without notice:
That the House -
- notes the University of Cape Town council’s decision to remove the statue of the colonialist and anti-black racist Cecil John Rhodes from campus, following the student protests that demanded its fall;
- also notes that we should mark this as an important step in the transformation of our public academic spaces, which open up a meaningful possibility to recreate them in favour of a progressive cultural symbolism that represents post-apartheid democratic values;
- celebrates the student protestors, beginning with Chumani Maxwele, who, through their decisive action, have inspired the whole of society to reimagine its public spaces;
- notes that UCT must inspire all other universities, as centres of learning and research, not to wait for protest but to undertake a non-negotiable removal of colonial and apartheid statues while ensuring public participation in that regard;
- further notes that institutions that must take inspiration from UCT is government and Parliament, who must also remove all colonial and apartheid monuments from our public spaces;
- acknowledges that the statue of Louis Botha and Queen Victoria outside and inside Parliament must move as an affirmation of the transformation of our public spaces. They must fall;
- commits to a consultative process to engage with all of society to replace them in accordance with post-apartheid constitutional values; and
- further commits that all colonial and apartheid statues must fall, together with their legacies of landlessness, racism and poverty.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T A Didiza): Order! Hon member Ndlozi, may I address you? [Interjections.] Hon Ndlozi, may I address you?
Sukuma. [Stand up.]
As the now Deputy Chief Whip of the EFF, you know the Rules. You know that in terms of motions without notice, they have to be circulated at a particular time. Is that not so? And you know that there are a number of those from your party that have not been circulated within the agreed time. So, we allowed you to read, but we are not going to put those motions for consideration. [Interjections.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Hon House Chair, as the Deputy Chief Whip of the EFF I am saying that we circulated the motions, and we circulated them on time. By the way, the request to include motions on the Order Paper today, as per the Table staff, and the fact that this session will recognise motions and notices of motion, came very late, after there had been the idea that these would not be included.
So, I think in all good spirits and fairness, let us not exclude motions based on those technical reasons because we might go very far. But our motions were circulated. May they be accepted or declined on the basis of their substance, not on this technicality, because we did submit and circulate them. I ask the House’s indulgence and yours too, hon Chairperson, because we did circulate these motions.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T A Didiza): Thank you, hon Ndlozi, I will ask hon Mahlangu to have a mini consultation with you so that we can clarify what was indeed the status with regard to motions today.
Mr M WATERS: Chair, just to clarify, the DA objects to that motion.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T A Didiza): Thank you, hon Waters, I have not put the motion yet because I wanted the consultation to happen.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Chair, we welcome the objection, as expected. What it does is that it sets the precedent that we can continue to read. I mean, of course the DA is expected to object to these kinds of progressive things.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T A Didiza): Order! Mr Hlengwa, please continue.
Mr M HLENGWA
Mr M Q NDLOZI
HONORARY DEGREES FOR ADVOCATE THULI MADONSELA
Mr M HLENGWA: Hon House Chair, on behalf of the IFP I hereby move without notice:
That the House-
- notes with appreciation that, on Thursday, 26 March 2015, the University of Stellenbosch awarded Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, an honorary Doctor of Law degree;
- further notes that on Friday, 10 April 2015, she was presented with her third honorary Doctor of Law Degree by Rhodes University in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape;
- congratulates the Public Protector for this award, which she has attributed to the Public Protector team;
- affirms the assertion of the University of Stellenbosch that the Public Protector’s “contribution as a developer and custodian of the South African constitutional democracy and the rule of law has ensured her a permanent place in South African legal history, and her commitment to the Constitution and her integrity and moral courage represented a beacon of hope”;
- implores the Public Protector to continue executing her duties and responsibilities with honesty, honour and integrity in the interests of the Constitution and the people of South Africa;
- applauds Rhodes University and the University of Stellenbosch for recognising and awarding the good work being done by the Public Protector and her team; and
- commits to supporting and safeguarding the independence of all Chapter 9 institutions to maintain a healthy system of checks and balances in the governance of this country.
Mr N SINGH
Mr M HLENGWA
SA MARS ADVENTURER NAMED ONE OF 15 PROMISING YOUNG FEMALE SCIENTISTS INTERNATIONALLY
Mr N SINGH: Hon House Chair, on behalf of the IFP, I hereby move without notice:
That the House-
- notes that prospective Mars adventurer Adriana Marais, a PhD student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, has been named one of 15 promising young female scientists from around the world;
- acknowledges that Marais received this accolade at the 17th annual L’Orèal-Unesco For Women in Science Awards held at the Sorbonne University in Paris in March 2015;
- further acknowledges that the event acknowledges the achievements in science of women who are at the cutting edge of research in their fields;
- congratulates Marais on her award and on her research work on “quantum effects in photosynthesis”;
- wishes her well as one of 100 candidates worldwide shortlisted for a one-way expedition to Mars, through the Mars One project;
- and alerts this House that a group of 24 people will leave in 2024 and not return.
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM
Mr N SINGH
SA URGED TO USE ELECTRICITY SPARINGLY
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM: Hon House Chair, I move without notice on behalf of the NFP:
That the House-
- notes that the country is experiencing load shedding as a result of Eskom’s inability to meet domestic demand;
- further notes that Eskom has made several requests for consumers to use electricity sparingly to reduce the demand;
- finally notes that lights are on 24 hours a day in many government buildings, and very often street lamps are burning during the day;
- calls on this House to voice its disapproval at the unnecessary wastage of electricity by government departments, municipalities and the private sector; and
- calls on government departments and local municipalities to put in place, and enforce, plans to cut the unnecessary waste of electricity, which could ultimately reduce load shedding.
Mr M A MNCWANGO
Mr A M SHAIK EMAM
INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (Draft Resolution)
Mr M A MNCWANGO: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House-
(1) recognises that ...
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Chairperson, my apologies to my colleague. You did not put the previous motion to the House.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): Thank you very much, sir. Can I go back to the previous motion? Are there any objections to the motion that was read before this? If none, then the motion is agreed to. My apologies, hon Mncwango, you may start.
INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (Draft Resolution)
Mr M A MNCWANGO: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House-
- recognises International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which is observed with a series of events and activities worldwide on 21 March each year.
- acknowledges that the day aims to remind people of all the negative consequences of racial discrimination and it also encourages people to remember their obligation and determination to combat racial discrimination;
- further acknowledges that this year’s theme, “Learning from historical tragedies to combat racial discrimination today”, aims to explore the root causes of racism and racial discrimination and will stress the essential need to learn the lessons history has provided in order to combat racism and racial discrimination today;
- calls on government and its various departments to promote the importance of this day and to make the people aware of the day so that its significance could be greatly appreciated by many; and
- applauds all previous and current efforts to combat the plight of racial profiling and discrimination.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): If there are no objections, I will put the motion.
Hon members, earlier on I wished to address you. I asked the Secretary to consult with hon Ndlozi on a matter that related to the motions and what might have happened. There has been a consultation and it seems that there was some confusion. We will therefore put the motions for decision. Can I go back to the motion that was read by hon Ndlozi on the matter of the Cecil John Rhodes statue?
Dr C P MULDER: Madam Deputy Chairperson, we object to that motion.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): There being an objection, both from Mr Waters of the DA and Dr Mulder from the FF Plus ...
Mr S J MALEMA: Hon Chairperson, can he give us a reason for objecting? [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): Order! Hon Mulder, would you please take your seat? Hon Malema, it is not the practice for parties to give their reasons for objecting to motions. What we require, as presiding officers, is to know whether the motion is agreed to or whether there is an objection. This motion has been objected to.
Ms H O MAXON
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza)
COURT RULING IN FAVOUR OF EFF
Ms H O MAXON: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House-
- notes that yesterday, 15 April 2015, the Western Cape High Court ruled in favour of freedom of speech and democracy, as well as in favour of the Marikana workers, in the matter of the EFF vs Parliament;
- acknowledges that it is well within the Rules of Parliament and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa to say that the ANC government massacred workers in Marikana;
- notes that this is a victory for the voice of the working class in Parliament and the uncomfortable truth lived and experienced at the hands of the ANC government and the super exploitative white monopoly capital;
- further notes that Judge J Bozalek ruled that the decision of Thandi Modise on 19 June 2014 is reviewed and set aside;
- also notes that this has to do with her decision that statements made by our commander-in-chief, Comrade Julius Malema, are unparliamentary and do not accord with the decorum of the House;
- further notes that he said that the following decisions are reviewed and set aside. We are teaching the ANC lessons and the law.
- notes that the decision by Thandi Modise to ask the commander-in-chief to leave the House, as well as her decision to request ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): Order! Hon member, can I just request that when you refer to hon members ...
Ms H O MAXON:
... notes that the decision by hon Thandi Modise to ask the commander-in-chief to leave the House as well as her decision to request and order the commander-in-chief, hon Julius Malema, to withdraw his statements that the ANC government had massacred mineworkers in Marikana in that the police who killed them represented the ANC government;
- further notes that Judge J Bozalek also ruled that the applicant’s cost, including the cost of two council, is to be paid by Parliament;
- acknowledges that the commander-in-chief, hon Julius Malema, refuses to withdraw his remarks, because doing so would be to allow censorship of the truth about what the workers at Marikana went through;
- further acknowledges that it would mean that the EFF accepted that their story should not be told with the precision it deserves within Parliament;
- notes that the ruling demonstrates that the EFF possesses a superior understanding of our constitutional provisions, as well as the provisions of the Rules of Parliament, in as far as freedom of speech is concerned;
- further notes that it provides a good indication of what is going to happen in the case around the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament Committee, which recommended that the EFF were in contempt of Parliament for asking the President to pay back the money unduly spent in Nkandla;
- also notes that it must be reiterated in this House that the ANC government killed workers in Marikana and to this day no one has been arrested or been before court to answer for so brutal a mass murder; and
- calls on President Jacob Zuma to not delay the justice to the workers any further, as they have been waiting for more than two years now, and to release the Marikana Commission report as soon as possible to allow closure to such a terrible crime against humanity.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): Order! If there are no objections, I will put the motion. [Interjections.] Objections have been noted.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Chair, is it allowed to object to court decisions? [Laughter.] I mean, really, this was the recital of a court decision.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): Hon Shivambu, as you know, these are motions without notice that we are dealing with. We are not dealing with court decisions.
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Chairperson, on a point of order: Can you guide the Whippery of the ANC to stand up when they address us? The hon member must stand up and speak into the microphone. He objected sitting down.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): No, ... [Interjections.]
Mr M Q NDLOZI: Perhaps the objection should therefore not be recorded, because in terms of the Rules, he is out of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): Order! Hon Ndlozi, please take your seat.
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Deputy Speaker, then I will object. If he has a problem with that, I will object to his little piece of propaganda. [Applause.]
Mr J L MAHLANGU
Ms H O MAXON
MASSACRE AT GARISSA UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, KENYA
Mr J L MAHLANGU: Hon Chair, I move without notice:
That the House—
- notes that on 2 April 2015, gunmen stormed the Garissa University College in Garissa, Kenya, killing at least 147 people, mainly students, and injuring 79 more;
- further notes that the gunmen, allegedly from the militant group and Al-Qaeda offshoot Al-Shabaab, took over 700 students hostage, freeing Muslims and killing those who were identified as Christian;
- remembers four of the attackers were also killed during the massacre and five men were later arrested in connection with the attack;
- recalls that the attack is the deadliest in Kenya since the 1998 United States embassy bombings and is the second deadliest overall, with more casualties than the 2002 Mombasa attacks;
- acknowledges that Al-Shabaab, a multi-ethnic militant group based in Somalia, with links to Al-Qaeda, had killed over 200 people in Kenya in the two years prior to this event; and
- conveys our heartfelt condolences to the government of Kenya and to the families of all the deceased.
Ms H S BOSHOFF
Mr J L MAHLANGU
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): Order! I was looking on the side of the DA. I thought there was a member who had raised her hand a long time ago. Hon member, do you wish to proceed?
ART PROVINCIAL ARCHIVES BUILDING, MBOMBELA
Ms H S BOSHOFF: Thank you, hon Chair. I move without notice on behalf of the DA:
That this House—
- notes with concern that the Art Provincial Archives Building erected outside Mbombela is fast becoming a white elephant;
- also notes that these buildings are empty but that most of the offices inside are fully furnished, with no staff members except for a handful of security personnel patrolling the grounds and reception area;
- further notes that, to date, the archiving of documents, which is vital in order to streamline the province’s recordkeeping, has not taken place;
- acknowledges that, in 2008, former MEC for Culture, Sport and Recreation, Ms Dina Pule, announced that R150 million had gone into its construction; and in 2013, MEC Sibongile Manana requested a further R5,6 million to furnish it in stages;
- further acknowledges that both former MECs have claimed that the department has provided training on effective archive and record management services, yet there has been no visible outcome of this training;
- also acknowledges that the department of Culture, Sport and Recreation is notorious for overspending on capital projects and then seemingly abandoning them; and
- calls on the Mpumalanga provincial government to prioritise education and service delivery instead of wasting public funds on erecting white elephants.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms A T Didiza): Order! Are there any objections? [Interjections.] In light of the objections, the motion will not be proceeded with.
Mr T E MULAUDZI:
Ms H S BOSHOFF
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): Yes, hon member from the ANC ... All right. Yes, hon member from the EFF?
Mr T E MULAUDZI: Hon Chair, my name is the hon /mu:rɑ:u:dzi:/.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): /mu:laʊdzi:/
Mr T E MULAUDZI: No, not /mu:laʊdzi:/. It is /mu:rɑ:u:dzi:/
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): /mu:rɑ:u:dzi:/
Mr T E MULAUDZI: /mu:rɑ:/ /u:dzi:/
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): /mu:rɑ:/ /u:dzi:/?
Mr T E MULAUDZI: Yes.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): Please proceed, hon /mu:rɑ:u:dzi:/.
DEATH AND LEGACY OF CHRIS HANI
Mr T E MULAUDZI: Thank you. [Interjections.] I move without notice on behalf of the EFF:
That the House—
(1) notes the 22nd anniversary of the assassination of Christopher Thembisile Hani, who was gunned down on 10 April 1993 ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): You can continue, hon member. You are protected.
Mr T E MULAUDZI: Yes, man. I think ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): You can continue.
Mr T E MULAUDZI: ... hon members must behave like they are in an august House.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): Hon member ...
Mr T E MULAUDZI: We are not in a stadium, where we can have howlers. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): Order! Hon Mulaudzi, you have been given a chance to proceed with your motion.
Mr T E MULAUDZI: But they are disturbing me by howling! [Interjections.]
... and celebrates the contribution made by Chris Hani to the liberation of the people of South Africa and, in particular, his uncompromising demand for a genuine transition that was based on the ideals of the Freedom Charter;
- further notes that Chris Hani’s uncompromising demand for land, free quality education and nationalisation at the peak of negotiations was a demonstration of his determination and commitment to the people, and not the political elite;
- also notes that his courage in these demands remains unmatched by those running the government today who, despite having power in their hands, fail to deliver on the ideals of the Freedom Charter that Hani represented;
- acknowledges that Hani is the political voice that haunts the ruling party and its faction, because, in fact, the entire senior leadership of the Communist Party took over the ANC, but it uninterruptedly implements neoliberalism;
- further acknowledges that Hani is a figure that haunts the current ruling faction because this very Communist Party-dominated Cabinet presided over the massacre of 34 black mine workers in Marikana;
- also acknowledges that although both the ANC and the SACP can legitimately claim Chris Hani to be theirs, neither can claim his ideas, nor do they have an ethical basis associated with those ideas;
- notes that they go to his grave every year on his anniversary to add more and more stones under the pretext of commemorating him, while those stones symbolically stand as an attempt to try and block his ideas from resurrecting; and
- also notes that although they can claim his grave, the spirit of Chris Hani is not in the graveyard anymore, but is living and kicking every day in the economic emancipation movement, on the picket lines of land occupation, minimum wage strikes, removal of statues and many other struggles of the poor and vulnerable in our society, including on the benches of the EFF in this House.
Mr J L MAHLANGU: The ANC objects to the motion, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): There is an objection to the motion, which will therefore not be proceeded with.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Chair, I think you must note that the ANC has objected to Chris Hani. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): Hon Shivambu, can you take your seat? That was not a point of order.
Ms S J NKOMO
Mr N F SHIVAMBU
WORLD HEALTH DAY 2015
Ms S J NKOMO: Chairperson, I move without notice on behalf of the IFP:
That the House—
- recognises World Health Day, marked on 7 April of this year, with the theme “Food Safety”;
- further recognises that the occasion also celebrated the World Health Organisation’s birthday;
- acknowledges that food safety is the responsibility of all stakeholders along the food production value chain;
- further acknowledges that World Health Day 2015 is an opportunity to alert people working in different government sectors, farmers, manufacturers, retailers and health practitioners, as well as consumers, about the importance of food safety and the part each of them can play in ensuring that everyone can feel confident that the food on their plate is safe to eat;
- calls on the government to implore the various stakeholders to effectively play their part in ensuring that these ideals are seen through; and
- applauds those who have kept their end of the deal and who have delivered food that is healthy and safe for human consumption.
Mnu S C MNCWABE
Ms S J NKOMO
SOUTH AFRICA SLIPS TO POSITION 75 IN WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM REPORT
Mnu S C MNCWABE: Ngiyabonga sihlalo, noko isandla sami sekudala siphezulu nezinkukhu bezingakehli emthini, isandla sami bese siphezulu.
USIHLALO WENDLU (Nks T Didiza): Uxole.
Mr S C MNCWABE: I move without notice:
That the House—
- notes that South Africa has been placed at position 75 out of 143 countries in the World Economic Forum report on Global IT today;
- further notes that the report measures how countries are performing in leveraging information and information communication technology, ICT, for social and economic impact;
- acknowledges that the report also shows that South Africa has a good regulatory and business climate, but is performing poorly in key areas such as low levels of affordability, bandwidth availability, low focus by government and poor Internet access in schools;
- further acknowledges that South Africa was ranked 70th on the previous list;
- expresses its disappointment at the regression of the state of ICT in South Africa; and
- implores all stakeholders in government and the private sector to urgently address the levels of ICT affordability, the availability of bandwidth and the provision of Internet access to schools.
Mr J VOS
Mr S C MNCWABE
INTRODUCTION OF NEW CITY WALK IN CAPE TOWN
Mr J VOS: I move without notice:
That the House—
- notes the Big Six of Cape Town has become the City of Cape Town Big Seven with the introduction of the new City Walk;
- also notes that this announcement was made at the World Travel Market Africa, currently taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre;
- further notes that the City Walk, which connects significant places in the urban heart of Cape Town through story telling, public art, walking tours and retail offerings, now joins the existing Cape Town Big Six, which includes key attractions such as Robben Island, Cape Point and many others;
- acknowledges, with due regard to the aforementioned, the important role tourism plays to connect citizens and communities as part of nation building and job creation; and
- congratulates the city of Cape Town for continuously promoting effective and innovative ways in terms of tourism promotion.
Mr J L MAHLANGU: Hon Chair, we have a problem with this motion because it excludes places like Gugulethu, Khayelitsha and others and therefore...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): Hon Mahlangu, are you objecting to the motion or are you amending it?
Mr J L MAHLANGU: We are objecting.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): Order! In light of the objection, the motion without notice becomes a notice of motion. Hon Mahlangu, please move your motion.
Mr J L MAHLANGU
Mr J VOS
TREVOR NOAH TO SUCCEED JON STEWART AS HOST OF THE DAILY SHOW
Mr J L MAHLANGU: Chair, on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party I move without notice:
That the House—
- notes with great enthusiasm the appointment of South African comedian Trevor Noah as the replacement of Jon Stewart, the host of The Daily Show, in the United States of America;
- believes that with this appointment Noah joins the list of prominent South Africans whose talent is being recognised and celebrated internationally;
- trusts that he will continue to entertain American viewers and those of the world in his funny, smart, considerate and thoughtful way; and
- calls on all South Africans to support him in his new position and thanks him for flying the South African flag high.
Mr M L W FILTANE
Mr J L MAHLANGU
WORLD’S OLDEST PERSON DIES
Mr M L W FILTANE: I move without notice:
That the House—
- notes that the world’s oldest woman, Misao Okawa, born on 5 March 1898, died at the age of 117 years on 31 March 2015;
- further notes that she died in the same month that she celebrated her birthday and that her age, as the oldest person in the world, was confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2013 - a book that publishes world records both on human achievements and the extremes of the natural world;
- commends the age she lived up to; and
- calls on South Africans to lead a healthy lifestyle in order to increase our life expectancy, which has decreased over the past decade.
Ms D R TSOTETSI
Mr M L W FILTANE
CONGRATULATIONS TO NIGERIA FOR FAIR ELECTION
Ms D R TSOTETSI: House Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House—
- congratulates the people and government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for holding free and fair general elections on 28 March 2015;
- further congratulates President Muhammadu Buhari for winning the elections and taking charge of Africa's most populous nation and biggest economy;
- believes that the outcome of these elections has exemplified and added value to the entrenchment of democracy in Africa;
- further believes that the holding of regular, free, fair and transparent elections, not only in Nigeria but throughout the continent, is a critical precondition for the attainment of our collective continental vision, Agenda 2063; and
- notes that holding successful elections in Africa will contribute to a prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms T Didiza): Order! Any there any further motions without notice? Are there any further motions without notice? Indeed. The reason I am asking for the second time is because I have noted on the list that the EFF had lots of motions without notice. I was wondering what had happened so that I would not be accused of denying them a chance. There being no other motions, this concludes the business of the day.
The House adjourned at 17:46.
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