Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 17 Oct 2006
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 17 OCTOBER 2006
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:00.
Acting Speaker, Mr G Q M Doidge, took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000.
TRAVEL VOUCHER COURT DOCUMENTS REQUESTED BY PRESIDING OFFICERS
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order! In the light of media reports regarding members entering into plea bargains relating to the abuse of travel vouchers I wish to inform members that I have consulted the Speaker and have urgently requested the relevant court documents, as soon as they are available, to enable the presiding officers to consider the terms of the court judgment.
The presiding officers will then, at the earliest opportunity, propose steps to be taken by the Assembly in response to these developments. I must appeal to members to afford the presiding officers an opportunity to follow this process before raising these matters in the House in any other context. Thank you.
NOTICES OF MOTION
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that I intend moving the following motion:
That the House debates the scandal involving the use of parliamentary travel vouchers.
Mr M J ELLIS: Mr Chairman, I hereby give notice that I intend moving the following motion:
That the House-
- notes with dismay allegations that Mr N Goniwe, MP, the ANC Chief Whip, has avoided the service of court documents relating to a maintenance claim against himself; and
(2) while expressing no opinion about the court action, since the hon Goniwe is entitled to his day in court when his liability or otherwise will be determined, nevertheless states that it is unacceptable for a member of this House to hide behind his or her immunity when he or she could easily either waive that immunity, or attend, at the office of the sheriff, to accept service of court documents.
The ACTING SPEAKER: (Mr G Q M Doidge): Hon Ellis, I would like to inform you that that motion is out of order. I will look at it once again, and we will correspond with you. You are aware that that is not the appropriate avenue to raise a motion, which should have been a substantive motion.
Mr M J ELLIS: Mr Chairman, I beg to differ. I think, under the circumstances of this particular case, you will find that everything is in order. But I await your further judgment on it, sir.
Dr S M VAN DYK: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that I intend moving the following motion:
That the House debates what the government can do to improve the export performance of South Africa in order to combat the deficit on the current account to ensure that-
(1) the rand is not put under undue pressure by the balance of paymentS situation;
- further upwards pressure is not being exerted on inflation; and
- South Africa’s economic growth is not slowed down by consequent interest rate increases.
Mrs C DUDLEY: Chair, on behalf of the ACDP, I give notice that I shall move:
That the House debates -
- the growing challenge that dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form, presents;
- the urgent need for an adequate response by government and society; and
- the desperate need for research in South Africa to better understand the extent of this disease and to remedy the great lack of understanding which currently leaves sufferers undiagnosed and vulnerable to financial, emotional and physical abuse.
CONGRATULATIONS TO SOUTH AFRICA ON BECOMING MEMBER OF UN SECURITY COUNCIL AND TO NEW UN SECRETARY-GENERAL ELECT
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House, noting that South Africa has become a member of the Security Council of the United Nations Organisation and that Mr Ban Ki-moon has been elected Secretary-General—
(1) congratulates the President of South Africa, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and all others involved in the successful election;
(2) congratulates Secretary-General elect Ban Ki-moon; and
(3) expresses the hope that during the periods of tenure peace, democracy and good governance will be promoted throughout the world.
Motion agreed to.
INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the House—
(1) notes that—
(a) 17 October has been declared by the United Nations Organisation as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty; and
(b) the United Nations Organisation designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries, particularly in developing countries;
(2) recalls that—
(a) the theme for this year’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is: ‘‘Working together out of poverty’’; and
(b) since the Second World War, the world has experienced three successful development programmes specifically and consciously aimed at the eradication of poverty and underdevelopment and that these were the Marshall Plan to reconstruct war-ravaged Europe, the East Asian growth and development programme, and the European Union integration programme;
(3) notes that the experience we have gained on development over the last six decades indicates the strong involvement of government in efforts to eradicate poverty; and
(4) commends the work done by the United Nations Organisation and other relevant agencies dealing with development.
Motion agreed to.
SUSPENSION OF RULE 253(1)
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chair, I move the draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
That Rule 253(1), which provides inter alia that the debate on the Second Reading of a Bill may not commence before at least three working days have elapsed since the committee’s report was tabled, be suspended for the purposes of conducting the Second Reading debate on the Postal Services Amendment Bill [B 22—2006] (National Assembly—sec 75) on Thursday, 19 October 2006.
Motion agreed to.
ELECTION OF MR A MLANGENI TO PRESIDE OVER SITTINGS
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chair, I move the draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:
That the House elects Mr A Mlangeni to preside during the sittings scheduled for 17, 18 and 19 October 2006, when requested by a Presiding Officer to do so.
Motion greed to.
CRIME AT SCHOOLS
Ms P R MASHANGOANE (ANC): Chairperson, the aim of our education system, among other things, is to promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all South Africans, to advance and deepen the culture of human rights, and to nurture potential talent for the enhancement of social cohesion.
The ANC is concerned about the recent spate of violence in our schools. Violence against learners has emerged in various forms, from bullying to daily assaults, and even murders and/or deaths of learners are occurring in or around school premises.
Crime and violence in schools threaten the wellbeing of young people in South Africa. This is a severe threat to our social stability in all forms. It corrupts the social fabric of communities and the nation as a whole, and endangers the health of both learners and teachers. It disrupts the provision of basic services and destroys respect for human rights. Crime and violence can also deepen gender and social inequality and reduce the overall quality of life.
The ANC-led government is continuously developing implementable policies through intersectoral programmes to radically deal with this scourge. We appeal for a concerted effort from both parents and teachers to support the initiatives for an effective realisation of these goals. [Time expired.] Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]
SITUATION IN DARFUR AND SOMALIA
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION (DA): Mr Chairman, the DA draws the attention of Parliament and South Africa to the continuing silence of the government, and particularly the Department of Foreign Affairs, on the unfolding tragic events in Darfur in Sudan, and wonders precisely why it is that the ANC, which has set itself up as a movement based on morality and respect for human rights, has been almost entirely, if not utterly, silent about a situation which is rapidly reaching genocidal proportions.
The DA also draws attention to unfolding events in the east of Africa, on the horn, where the state of Somalia is rapidly unravelling. There is an intensification of the struggle there against a legitimate government which is supported by our government and much of the African Union, by an insurrectionist, Islamic-based liberation movement which is gaining control of much of the country.
We therefore believe it behoves Parliament, the government and the Department of Foreign Affairs to give urgent attention to and act on these unrelated but equally dangerous and unravelling situations.
SOUTH AFRICA TO OCCUPY NONPERMANENT SEAT ON SECURITY COUNCIL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Mr M B SKOSANA (IFP): Mr Chairman, the IFP echoes the sentiments of President Thabo Mbeki, and I think of late of Mr Gibson, and welcomes South Africa’s appointment to the nonpermanent seat of the Security Council of the United Nations. We believe the appointment will create a platform which will not only project a positive profile and international image of South Africa, but will also give South Africa leverage to discuss and promote, within the powerful nations of the United Nations, the aspirations of the poor nations of Africa, and other developing countries.
The IFP also believes that South Africa’s appointment will create another platform to put the African agenda firmly before the United Nations and enable South Africa to be closely involved with the serious question of international peace and security.
Further, South Africa’s seat on the Security Council will enable it to continue from a position of average influence to lobby for the continuing struggle to transform the United Nations. I thank you.
NEED FOR LAND AND AGRICULTURAL REFORM
Mr D M DLALI (ANC): Chairperson, decades of neglect have left South Africa’s rural areas far behind its highly industrialised cities, with many small towns and villages still without basic amenities like electricity and sanitation. Massive urbanisation threatens to hamper a drive to draw more black people to the land in order to reverse the inequitable pattern of land distribution engendered by apartheid policies.
Most of the country’s prime agricultural land belongs to whites, a remnant of the large-scale evictions carried out against the black majority during white minority rule. Land reform and land redistribution therefore play a significant role in addressing the social and economic inequalities in our society.
The transformation of the agricultural sector is thus one of the most important pillars to revive the rural economy and to stem the flow of migrants to cities. This asks that small and emerging farmers be given dedicated and strategic support in developing their agricultural practices.
The ANC calls on government to accelerate land redistribution through agricultural reform to create jobs and grow economies. We call on all of government to ensure that the many programmes and incentives that are in place to assist small and emerging farmers are utilised optimally and efficiently. I thank you.
NUCLEAR ARMS TEST BY NORTH KOREA
Mr J BICI (UDM): Chair, the UDM shares the deep concern of peace-loving people throughout the world who have recently witnessed a frightening new geopolitical reality, the possibility of a new nuclear arms race being triggered by North Korea.
North Korea is a state with almost no allies and refuses to be influenced, even by China, which is its only benefactor. It refuses to abide by even the vaguest concepts of multilateral dialogue and continues to maintain one of the largest land-based armies in the world. Every nation in that region will undoubtedly start thinking about defence. Billions would be invested in an unending arms race, instead of the economic and social prosperity of the people of the region. I thank you.
CRIME STATISTICS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Dr C P MULDER (VF Plus): Mnr die Waarnemende Speaker, volgens die jongste statistieke van die SA Polisiediens was meer as 2,5 miljoen mense in Suid-Afrika die afgelope drie jaar slagoffers van geweldsmisdade.
Vanaf 1 April 2003 tot 31 Maart 2006 was 2 546 294 mense in Suid-Afrika slagoffers van geweldsmisdade. Hierdie geweldsmisdade sluit in moord, poging tot moord, verkragting, gewone verswarende roof, onsedelike en gewone aanranding, aanranding met die opset om ernstig te beseer, motorkaping en roof by private wonings.
Dit beteken dat gemiddeld 848 765 mense per jaar in Suid-Afrika slagoffers is net van geweldsmisdade. Die Minister van Veiligheid en Sekuriteit, mnr Charles Nqakula, sê egter dat die toekoms rooskleurig lyk wat betref misdaad in Suid-Afrika. Maar die afgelope drie jaar is 57 162 mense in Suid-Afrika vermoor. Vir hulle het die bepaling in die Grondwet, “everyone has the right to life”, niks beteken nie. ’n Totaal van 380 173 mense was slagoffers van roof met verswarende omstandighede.
Bogenoemde statistieke bewys dat Suid-Afrika ’n gevaarlike land is om in te bly. Die publiek voel met reg onveilig, want hulle word beroof in hulle huise en word gekaap wanneer hulle moet ry. Misdadigers wat deur die polisie gevang word, kom te gereeld skotvry daarvan af as gevolg van gebrekkighede in ons strafregstelsel.
Die VF Plus doen ’n beroep op die regering om daadwerklik in te gryp en spoedig ’n nuwe nasionale strategie, wat die strafregstelsel totaal insluit, op te stel en prakties te implementeer. Die toekoms wat misdaad in Suid-Afrika betref, is alles behalwe rooskleurig en vereis uiters dringende optrede van die regering. Ons kan nie langer daarmee wag nie. (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.)
[Dr C P MULDER (FF PLUS): Hon Acting Speaker, according to the latest statistics of the SA Police Service, more than 2,5 million people in South Africa were victims of violent crime over the past three years.
Between 01 April 2003 and 31 March 2006 2 546 294 people were victims of violent crime in South Africa. These violent crimes include murder, attempted murder, rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances, indecent and common assault, assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, car hijackings and burglaries at private homes.
That means that on average 848 765 people in South Africa are victims of violent crime every year. However, the Minister of Safety and Security, Mr Charles Nqakula, says that the future regarding crime in South Africa looks bright. But in the last three years, 57 162 people have been murdered in South Africa. To them the clause in the Constitution, “everyone has the right to life”, means absolutely nothing. A total of 380 173 people were victims of robbery with aggravating circumstances.
The above-mentioned statistics prove that South Africa is a dangerous place to live in. The public is entitled to feel unsafe because they are being robbed in their homes and hijacked when they have to drive. Too often criminals that are arrested by the police get off scot-free due to flaws in our criminal justice system.
The FF Plus appeals to the government to actively intervene and speedily set up a new national strategy, which includes the criminal justice system in its totality, and implement it in practice. As far as crime in South Africa is concerned the future is anything but bright and requires the government to take extremely urgent action. We cannot wait any longer.]
AWARENESS OF AND REASONS FOR FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME
Ms R J MASHIGO (ANC): Chairperson, research findings of the Foundation for Alcohol-Related Research in South Africa indicate that fetal alcohol syndrome is the main cause of mental illness in the world and is preventable.
This is a condition a child suffers after being exposed to alcohol while developing in the mother’s womb. Fetal alcohol syndrome occurs when the brain of the fetus does not develop properly due to the mother’s consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. It is a condition characterised by abnormal facial features, growth retardation and central nervous system problems.
According to Pierre Uys, the Western Cape MEC for health, the province has the highest rate of babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome in the world. As part of the national Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Day, the Northern Cape government has asked churches and the public to observe a moment of silence for affected children.
The ANC calls on the Department of Health to investigate the reasons for the unusually high prevalence of the syndrome in the Western Cape, and whether there is any link with the dop system on farms or lack of recreational facilities for young women. All stakeholders can contribute to increasing the awareness of our communities and to highlight the dangers of alcohol abuse in general, and specifically during pregnancy. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]
PROBLEMS FACING THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN SOUTH AFRICA
Mr I S MFUNDISI (UCDP): Acting Speaker, there is a growing concern about access to education, despite the fact that government is doing everything in its power to ensure that education is accessible.
Efforts for the democratic ideal of schools for everybody tend to degenerate into schools without education. Pupils find it difficult at times to settle down because of crime in schools. While business tries to lend a hand by offering computers to schools, such learning aids are stolen from schools, thus leaving them without recourse to learning about information technology.
It becomes even more pathetic when, more than a decade into democracy, there are still areas that tend to discriminate against pupils on grounds of language. Some schools go to the length of using all ways and means to raise funds so that they can erect additional classrooms in which they will accommodate children of a darker hue who will be taught in English, while the well-resourced existing learning sites are left for those who use Afrikaans as their language.
The Lichtenburg High School incident is not an isolated one. Bergsig in Rustenburg has gone out of its way to do the same. This practice should not be allowed to continue unchecked and has to come to an end. After all, education promotes integration and socialisation. The children born post-1994 are not called “born frees” for nothing. They should be allowed to grow, learn and play together.
The other unfortunate situation pertains to tertiary institutions. Much as government tries to make education accessible through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, or Nasfas, universities turn education into an inaccessible mirage by raising student tuition fees. This incessant moving of the goalposts makes it difficult for anyone ... [Time expired.]
BREAST CANCER AWARENESS
Ms S RAJBALLY (MF): Chairperson, new figures show that breast cancer rates have doubled in 20 years, although this serious disease dates as far back as ancient Egypt.
The worrying factor is that breast cancer is wrongly labelled as a women’s disease. Much ignorance exists about the fact that men, too, get breast cancer. Even though the disease is 100% more common in women, a greater proportion of men than women die from breast cancer.
I hereby appeal to the Department of Health to embark on a programme to create greater awareness of breast cancer and to educate the community about the fact that breast cancer is common among both men and women. Men should be encouraged to be wary of this cancer and educated on how to test for it. We call on the public to take regular mammograms, especially men between the ages of 60 and 70 and women between 50 and 65 years of age.
To those fighting cancer: Our prayers are with you. I thank you.
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order! Can we have some order in the House, please? Please be seated, hon members.
OVERCROWDING IN AND DISREPAIR OF PRISONS
Moulana M R SAYEDALI-SHAH (DA): Chairperson, the entire justice system is being fundamentally undermined, because South Africa’s prisons are being allowed to remain in their current state of rampant overcrowding and disrepair.
The government needs to increase its efforts to repair and upgrade existing prisons and to build new prisons to house our more than 150 000 prisoners. The Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services recently found that the so-called Sun City facility is almost 300% overcrowded, some prisoners even sleeping inside the toilet area.
The countrywide overcrowding rate of our prisons is currently 76,3%. This unacceptable situation is making a mockery of the department’s own aim of providing a safe and humane environment in which rehabilitation should take place. An overcrowded prison environment serves only to sap staff morale and promote illegal activities, attempted escapes, corruption and gangsterism inside prison. As long as this situation is maintained, our prisons will continue to be universities of crime. Much more needs to be done to upgrade and renovate existing prisons and to build new facilities.
We are aware that there are currently efforts to address these problems, such as the prison building programme, etc. However, they should be speeded up and rolled out countrywide as soon as possible. Thank you, Chairperson.
BUILDING OF HOUSES IN SOWETO
Mr S A MSHUDULU (ANC): Chairperson, the ANC-led government in Gauteng has spent R12 million to build transit camps for informal inhabitants living in squalor at Protea South in Soweto. The camps will be used to temporarily house dwellers before they are relocated to proper houses with free basic services.
More than 800 families will be the first to benefit from this initiative. They have been staying in the area for eight years. The settlement has no basic facilities, such as toilets and water. For residents of this informal settlement, all this is set to change.
They will be moved to a transit settlement before being moved to new houses in two years’ time.
Government has set a timeframe that by 2014 all the informal settlements in Gauteng should be eradicated. Furthermore, within the next one and a half to two years Protea South should no longer be an informal settlement but should be a normal settlement. The process to build new houses will start in April 2007, once plans have been approved. They will be built in Protea South, Protea Glen and Doornkop.
The ANC welcomes the initiative taken by the Gauteng Department of Housing in implementing the ANC plan to make local government better through the building of sustainable human settlements and viable communities. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr V B NDLOVU (IFP): Chairperson, the IFP has long felt that the government should do more to address serious crime in our country. The recently released crime statistics and figures reinforce our feeling that the war against crime is not yet won, and that the government should stop trying to pretend it is so. The criminal justice system throughout South Africa is failing its citizens and crime has become a clear and present danger, and a growing threat to our fledgling democracy.
Government’s collective inability to effectively identify, combat, isolate, and successfully prosecute and incarcerate huge numbers of criminals is a national disgrace. It is clear that proper political and professional leadership is lacking. It has, once again, been made evident in the latest appalling crime statistics revealed by the government that the highly centralised system of policing, much favoured by the government, is an abject failure and should be decentralised as a matter of urgency, with new and competent leadership being vested where necessary and international assistance and training being sought to alleviate obvious skills shortages.
The IFP therefore calls on government to release regular and accurate police crime statistics, which will withstand independent analysis and which will quickly identify crime trends in various areas, to allow communities to be more vigilant and increase accountability for the police service leadership, who must now be deployed in a position of high authority on the basis of performance only. Thank you.
LAUREUS WORLD SPORTS ACADEMY FORUM
Mr L R R REID (ANC): Chairperson, some of the world’s most influential sportsmen and sportswomen are to attend next month's Laureus World Sports Academy Forum in Gauteng. It will be the first time the forum is held in Africa.
The Laureus World Sports Academy is a unique association of 42 of the greatest living sporting legends who share a belief in the power of sport to break down barriers, bring people together and improve the lives of young people around the world.
The academy members act as global ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, volunteering their time to visit projects in order to draw attention to the problems afflicting society today.
Among the members who are to attend the Laureus World Sports Academy Forum are Boris Becker, Hugo Porta, Bobby Charlton, Edwin Moses, Monica Seles, Mark Spitz, Ilie Nastase, Daley Thompson, and Martina Navratilova.
Particular focus will be given to Laureus work in Africa, where the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation tackles a range of social issues, from child soldiers to Aids, homelessness and poverty, racial issues and abuse - in each case using sport as the tool for social change. Laureus also provides support for projects in Chad, Kenya and Uganda.
The ANC is delighted that the Laureus World Sports Academy Forum will be coming to South Africa. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
COVER-UPS REGARDING SAPS MEMBERS ALLEGED TO HAVE RAPED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD (DA): Chairperson, in the past year, 22 police officers, the most in six years, have been reported to the Independent Complaints Directorate for allegedly raping members of the public, including – I shudder to add - children. It would be shocking if even one of our police officers, who are supposed to protect us, were accused of such an act. But reports of this nature only serve to further undermine the public’s already shaky confidence in the SAPS.
However, what is just as shocking is that apparently these officers’ colleagues in the police are covering up for them, with the result that not one of the 22 have been charged or convicted for their crimes.
Police officers are reportedly hiding evidence against their colleagues so that charges are withdrawn. In other cases, police officers have been arrested, only to be released on petty-cash bail amounts.
According to the ICD, this is only the tip of the iceberg. If this assessment is true, a major investigation must take place immediately, and the question must be asked: Why is this only coming to our attention now, and why isn’t such an investigation well under way?
The situation is utterly outrageous. The matter must be dealt with urgently by the Minister of Safety and Security, in an attempt, perhaps, to restore our faith in the integrity of our police officers and the efficacy of the SAPS as an entity worthy of respect.
DISASTER MANAGEMENT IMPLEMENTATION
Ms K R MAGAU (ANC): Chairperson, the ANC expresses its deep concern over recent floods and fire disasters in human settlements, some of which have led to fatalities, injuries and loss of belongings by the poor, exacerbating their already unacceptably poor living conditions.
We call on all spheres of government to prioritise and take more seriously the implementation of the Disaster Management Act. Any negligence or delays in putting into place these plans and implementing them vigorously will lead to unacceptable results.
The Reconstruction and Development Programme urges government to implement its mandate in a people-driven and integrated manner. Disaster management offers an excellent opportunity for doing that.
The ANC is intent on creating a caring society and expresses its condolences to those who lost their loved ones, and urges all members of this House and citizens out there to continue giving support and increase the seriousness with which we treat disaster management. Thank you.
CRIME STATISTICS IN SOUTH AFRICA
COVER-UPS REGARDING SAPS MEMBERS ALLEGED TO HAVE RAPED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Chairperson, I don’t know how we are going to handle my responses, I need your guidance. There are several hon members that have made observations and I need to respond to all of those. I don’t know how you are going to handle it but you will stop me when you feel that I am ... [Interjections.]
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr G Q M Doidge): Let’s proceed, hon Minister, and I will give you guidance.
The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Thank you very much. There are many people, apart from the Minister of Safety and Security, who believe that the law-enforcement agencies in this country are going to be able to deal with the crime that is happening in South Africa.
Of course, we do accept that many South Africans are worried about the levels of crime in South Africa. I believe that these law-enforcement agencies, working in the way that they are at this time, are not alone, but are working together with the masses of our people. Such people who know what the situation was in the past, have come forward to say that they want to be part and parcel of crime-fighting in South Africa. That gives me hope that things are going to change in the future.
There are many people who have come forward and given information about criminals who have committed very serious crimes in South Africa. Between 15 July and 15 September, that is two months, the police, as a consequence of that information, arrested 384 people connected to 687 cases. All of those cases relate to serious and violent crimes - the crimes that the hon Mulder has referred to, such as car hijackings, murder, robbing of banks and cash-in-transit heists. But I hope that we are going to understand what we are dealing with when I give you the next figures.
Of those 384 people that we arrested, 85 have been linked to 400 cases. What that means theoretically is that by arresting those people we have dealt a blow against repeat offending, particularly as it relates to serious and violent crimes. However, the story does not end there. From 15 July to 3 October, when you add all of those numbers, we arrested 529 of these criminals connected to more than 800 cases.
I am not talking about the charges that each one of these people is going to face. I am just talking about the cases and in some of those cases you find a number of people who are involved in just one case. As I have just indicated, those 85 people are linked to 400 cases.
We accept that there are concerns about crime, but it is not correct to say that the crime levels in South Africa are rising because they are going down. What has not happened is that, whereas we had said all contact crime needed to come down by 7% to 10%, there are at least three types of crime that, although decreasing, have not decreased to that level, that is murder, rape and indecent assault. That is also going down but not like the others, which have actually gone down by 16% and so on.
The other thing that makes me believe that the future is going to be better is the fact that, apart from all these people who are coming forward, including businesspeople who are prepared to walk this road with us, the police themselves are getting better training and those human resources are being better deployed.
We have also adopted high technology to deal with some of the problems that we have. For instance, if you take the matter of DNA and look at some of these people who have been arrested, they were connected to those cases via DNA samples and some of the clues we have picked up from the crime scenes. Even at that level of technology, South Africa is advancing.
I also believe that the future will be better because the entire criminal justice system is itself undergoing changes, as part of the review of the system. I believe that at times we say things because we have experienced crime directly as individuals and because our families have been direct victims of crime. Therefore, there are many people who would say, despite the evidence, that crime is not going down. But crime is indeed going down in South Africa.
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr G Q M Doidge): You have 30 seconds left, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Well, let me pick up on your comments, hon Kohler-Barnard. I agree with you entirely. I have said repeatedly in this House that any police officer who acts like a criminal is indeed one and we will deal with such people. [Applause.]
I agree with you that those who act in the manner you described have no part in the SA Police Service. In fact, the Independent Complaints Directorate is investigating these matters and we will deal with these officers when their guilt has been proven. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
OVERCROWDING IN AND DISREPAIR OF PRISONS
The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Chairperson, first of all, let me support my colleague from the justice, crime prevention and security cluster. We are doing everything we can and we meet nearly every day to deal with some of these issues. Therefore, I will support you when you arrest those who commit crime. I will make space for them in my overcrowded prisons and make sure that they remain there. So, tell the police that they are doing a good job. They might be putting pressure on me; it doesn’t matter, because they are doing a good job.
Overcrowded prisons are a reality in our country and they are not only the responsibility of the Department of Correctional Services. We have said many times that we can’t build ourselves out of overcrowding. Even if we were to build 20 prisons, we would never be able to do that.
We are in the process of building new prisons. The more you get used to that portfolio committee, Mr Sayedali-Shah, the better your language will be. We don’t have prisons any more, we have correctional centres. So, I will keep on reminding you so that you get used to that. We correct there. [Interjections.] No, you are new to the portfolio committee, that is why I am welcoming you so nicely.
There is a plan and a budget to do maintenance and upgrading of 11 new centres. We opened one in Wolmaransstad recently. I am also going to open other centres where we have done maintenance and the offenders themselves did it. We do not get anybody out there to do it, we make them work.
The criminal justice system is seized with the task of reducing overcrowding by identifying remand centres for awaiting-trial detainees. We are trying to keep awaiting-trial detainees separate from the sentenced ones, and we are using section 62(f) of the Criminal Procedure Act and also tackling case backlogs in the system.
As a department, we are doing an audit of all sentenced offenders and we are checking on the possibility of the parole boards doing more work towards paroling those who deserve to be paroled. We are also making sure that cases do not last long so that people who could be diverted from the system can go to community service. That is what we are doing. Mr Shah, the more you get used to that portfolio committee, the better you will understand how it works. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
SITUATION IN DARFUR AND SOMALIA
SOUTH AFRICA TO OCCUPY NONPERMANENT SEAT ON SECURITY COUNCIL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Ms S C van der Merwe): Chairperson, I would like to respond to two statements please, one by the hon Leon and the other by the hon Skosana - with your permission. In the first instance, I really do think it is disingenuous of the hon Leader of the Opposition to talk about South Africa’s role in Darfur in that way.
We, as South Africa, are very active members of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union. Our President is currently in Addis Ababa to attend meetings of this council, an important organ of the AU. This matter of Darfur is one of the many things that the council discusses and it is always attempting, in that forum, to resolve these issues.
South Africa has been an active supporter and advocate of the United Nations and African Union resolutions in favour of assistance from the United Nations to the African Union force that is currently in Darfur to defuse the situation. The same could be said about Somalia, where we continue to play a role in the resolution of the problems.
Now, unlike the DA, the ANC-led government approaches problems on the continent in such a way as to resolve them through dialogue and the multilateral instruments at our disposal, and not to add fuel to the fire.
Regarding the second point, I would like to thank the hon Skosana for his congratulations to South Africa on being elected as a nonpermanent member of the Security Council. South Africa is, indeed, very proud to be a member of the Security Council for the next two years. We will use this opportunity to promote the issues that confront us on the African continent, as suggested by the hon Skosana.
I would like to say that 186 countries out of a possible 192 voted to endorse South Africa’s position in the Security Council. This is a factor which we believe endorses the work that we do at the United Nations and we are very proud to be a member of the security council for the next two years. Thank you. [Applause.]
NEED FOR LAND AND AGRICULTURAL REFORM
AWARENESS OF AND REASONS FOR FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME
The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Chairperson, I want to respond to two statements. Regarding the first one, dealing with the recovery of the agricultural sector in deep rural areas, hon member Dlali said that the revival of the agricultural sector is one of the most important pillars to revive the rural economy. It is actually the most important pillar - there is no doubt.
Last weekend, I was with the Deputy President in the district of Chris Hani that stretches from Cradock, through the Karoo to Queenstown over Elliot to some of the northern parts of the old Transkei. What struck one was that, again, especially in the communal areas, agriculture is not alive and well. It needs massive support and I think what is perhaps the most important aspect in that statement by the ANC is that existing programmes and initiatives must be utilised optimally and efficiently. If we can be successful in this, through co-operation with the provinces where we are doing most of the implementation, I think we will make a difference.
The second issue was a statement on fetal alcohol syndrome, by the ANC as well. Of course, it addressed the Department of Health but there are also aspects related to agriculture in that statement. Firstly, there is the dop system but no one will acknowledge it – you won’t find that acknowledgement. But there are other techniques that are used which still lead to overusage of alcohol.
I know that the wine and beer industries are doing their bit to combat the misuse of alcohol. Perhaps I could just announce that, after a considerable opportunity for all the different sides to meet to see if they can reach an agreement with each other, we have decided that we will recommend that the regulations of the Liquor Products Act are amended to not allow the sale of so-called “papsakke” anymore. This happens where you buy wine at a garage or something and you do not know how much water it contains. [Time expired.]
CARRIAGE BY AIR AMENDMENT BILL
(Second Reading debate)
Mr J P CRONIN: Chairperson, over many decades South Africa has been an active participant in international agreements and conventions covering the liabilities of air carriers in regard to passengers, baggage and cargo – whether it is in regard to damage, loss, injury or fatalities. As one can imagine, with airlines crisscrossing the globe, with passengers or cargo being boarded or loaded in one place and flying to distant destinations and with airlines possibly having their headquarters in third countries, liability issues and the legal framework covering these issues can get to be quite complicated.
To deal with these challenges, international conventions and the alignment of domestic legislation with these conventions are the only practical way to proceed. The principal Act, which we are amending today, the Carriage by Air Act, dates back to 1946 and was informed by the so-called Warsaw Convention. Clearly, the challenges and complexities have multiplied with the immense increase in air travel and air cargo operations.
In 1999, in response to these challenges, the most recent international convention convened in Montreal. South Africa is a signatory to the convention that emerged from Montreal and this amending Bill updates our domestic legislation to align it with the Montreal Convention.
The main new features of the Montreal Convention and therefore the consequential amendments which we are making today, are: firstly, the replacing of the old capped liability system with unlimited liability for carriers with regard to the death and injury of passengers; and secondly, a two-tier compensation system.
The first tier includes strict liability of up to 100 000 special drawing rights, which is approximately US$135 000, irrespective of whether the carrier is at fault. The carrier is held liable for compensation up to that sum regardless of fault. Then there is the second tier, which is based on the presumption of fault of a carrier and that has no limit whatsoever.
In terms of the Montreal Convention air carriers are required to maintain adequate insurance cover for their liabilities under the convention. Government, therefore, will not be liable for any damages that might occur as a result of any delay, loss of baggage or cargo or aircraft accidents.
The committee was briefed on the Montreal Convention and our accession to this convention. We also held public hearings on the amending Bill and we are sure that all major air carriers within our country have been consulted. No problems were raised in regard to the proposed amendments and the committee unanimously agreed to recommend to the House that we pass the Carriage by Air Amendment Bill. Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]
There was no debate.
Bill read a second time.
CORPORATE LAWS AMENDMENT BILL
(Consideration of Bill)
There was no debate.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, we move:
That the Bill, as amended, be passed.
Mr M J ELLIS: Mr Chairperson we do rather wish that the hon Deputy Chief Whip of the ANC would get his act together this afternoon. It would help a great deal.
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr G Q M Doige): I think the problem is with the sound system.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: My act is very together, Mr Ellis.
Motion agreed to.
Bill accordingly passed.
SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTE FOR DRUG-FREE SPORT AMENDMENT BILL
(Second Reading debate)
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION: Chairperson, hon Members of Parliament, the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport Amendment Bill comes at a very important time, a time when there is a global fight against doping in sport, a fight aimed at promoting the values of fair play and honesty in sport.
About four months ago, this House passed a resolution for our country to ratify the International Convention Against Doping in Sport. This Unesco-driven initiative is based on the World Anti-Doping Code which was drafted by the World Anti-Doping Agency, whose acronym is Wada.
One of the principal functions of the Bill before the House is to align the existing Act with the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code and its international standards. Let me point out that noncompliance would result in South Africa being refused participation in international sport, including the Olympics and the Paralympic Games. I, as I stand here, know of no South African who would like this to happen, yet we read and hear on a regular basis how some of the top sportspeople in the world, some of the world record holders test positive for using performance-enhancing substances.
Only yesterday, we heard of two top cricketers in Pakistan, Mr Akhtar and Mr Asif, who tested positive. Let me say that this is sad news, because doping undermines the spirit of fair play and it undermines discipline in sport. Our own country hasn’t escaped the scourge of doping. We read of our own heroes like Hezekiel Sepeng who has fallen foul of doping offences.
A few weeks ago the leading article on the front page of the Rapport read “Skolesportskande”, referring to doping amongst schoolboy rugby players. The article described how parents bought banned substances for their children so that they could be selected for the provincial schools teams, with the hope eventually of getting a contract with one of the senior provincial unions.
Carte Blanche did an exposé on their programme on 24 September 2006, where young people, many of them still at school, admitted to using steroids and revealed that the practice was widespread in some of our schools. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to determine the reason why top sportspeople resort to doping, because doping is nothing else but cheating to achieve success and the driving force here is money.
What is shocking is that this greed for money leads people to totally disregard the long-term consequences of such behaviour. We all have a responsibility to ensure that the true values and virtues of sport are protected and preserved. I am sure that I do not have to stand here today to expound on the good of sport. Unfortunately there is also the ugly side of sport. This Bill aims to reinforce our commitment to clean up sport and ensure fair play.
Clause 5 of the Bill, which seeks to amend section 10 of the principal Act, compels the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport to establish a doping control programme in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code to ensure that national federations adopt and implement the antidoping policies and rules, which conform with the Code’s, the policies and rules; ensure the ongoing presence and maintenance of a Wada-accredited laboratory in South Africa - and in our case, it is in the only “free state” in this country, in Bloemfontein; ensure that while the institute might co-operate with Sport and Recreation SA and Sascoc as needed, it shall operate independently as required by the World Anti-Doping Code.
The SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport, Saids, a public entity associated with Sport and Recreation SA, will have to be sufficiently funded to redouble its efforts aimed at counteracting this unwelcome tendency of doping. The testing programme of Saids, their antidoping advocacy and education campaign will have to be intensified to achieve the required successes.
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order! Hon Deputy Minister, just give me a minute. Order! Hon members, the noise levels are far too high.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION: It is our opinion that doping in sport is not dissimilar to recreational substance abuse. Our campaigns in sport to fight the scourge of doping can also serve to address drug abuse in our society. In these campaigns we should use our sports heroes as role models. They must not only be vocal on the topic of antidoping and drug abuse, they should be the heroes and the heroines and the champions who set the example. I know that, as we speak, we can rely on them to assist us in this drive against doping.
If and when we identify the real culprits of doping in sport, we must act decisively against them. It is here that we call on the federations to comply with the Act because failure to comply by the federations will result in punitive measures by Sport and Recreation SA.
Clause 17(a) of the Bill makes provision for investigating and dealing with national sports federations that do not comply with the Act. The section is in fact very clear: action by the Department of Sport and Recreation may include withdrawal of government funding, banning such federations from administrating sport or a recommendation to Sascoc to withhold the awarding of national colours to the members of such federations.
While the Act provides for this, I am absolutely convinced that it will never be necessary to use it because our federations have always supported measures aimed at promoting the values of fair play. We thank the federations in advance for their unqualified support and co-operation in this regard.
South Africa continues to play a central role in the fight against doping in sport internationally and on the African continent. We represent Africa on both the executive and foundation boards of the World Anti-Doping Agency and our Minister of Sport and Recreation, uMfundisi [Rev] Makhenkesi Stofile is a member of that body. We also host the African regional office of the World Anti-Doping Agency here in Cape Town and that is something that we as South Africans are extremely proud of.
While it is important to be vigilant about doping practices in sport, it is equally important that we, on the other hand, increase our support to athletes to enable them to perform to the best of their ability without using drugs. Many of our athletes are currently in the national academy programme. This programme is funded by government and co-ordinated by Sascoc.
Our athletes are attending camps in preparation for the All Africa Games in 2007 and the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. At these camps, the athletes and coaches receive the necessary scientific and medical support that will help them to achieve their optimal potential.
Our ultimate goal and objective is to place our athletes and teams in the residential long-term athletes’ development programme in cycles of four years. To this end, we hope and trust that it will be within our means as government to shortly announce an athletes’ assistance programme where our top athletes as well as those with the best potential will be financially supported on a monthly basis.
The intention of government in introducing this Bill is clear. We want our athletes to excel in a dope-free environment. We therefore ask the support of this hon House and all political parties in achieving this objective for all our athletes. I thank you.
Mr B M KOMPHELA: Chairperson, Deputy Minister, Ministers and other Deputy Ministers that are around, hon members, the ANC stands up and supports your request for the amendment of the Bill. The Bill before us today is an amendment that seeks to address the issue of drugs in sport.
I would also like to inform Members of Parliament that, regarding the institute that we are talking about today, there are only 30 of these types of institutes in the world, and in Africa there are only two. South Africa and Tunisia are the only two countries in Africa that have these institutes.
This is very special and it is a tribute to South Africans to be among the nations of the world who are in possession of this very important institute that deals with the critical matter of doping in sport, so that we encourage fair play.
This institute has been in existence for more than three decades. What the Bill is seeking to address concerning this institute, is that this institute must begin to say, “for more than three decades, the institute has been a lily-white type of institute”. Today, this Bill says that issues of redress, as required by the Bill of Rights, should be what this institute engages in.
All South Africans who have the necessary competency, knowledge and expertise must be part of this institute and must be able to help us to form part of this army that is fighting drugs in sport. Deputy Minister, we therefore request that this amendment and the manner in which we are going to transform this institute should make it one that belongs to all South Africans and not to a certain group of people that are privileged.
Deputy Minister, last year the portfolio committee was invited to KwaZulu-Natal to witness the MTN under-17 soccer tournament – the final tournament. Regarding the participants in that competition, who were called the under-17 children, I am sad to tell you, Deputy Minister, today that 80% of them were adults. There was an outcry that cheating is rife in the under-17 teams at school level. Therefore that defeats what we are talking about when we say we must encourage fair play and not encourage competition regarding young children who are still at school level.
This institute must begin to look into issues of age, that is cheating, and also look at not being able to encourage fair play for those young children who are under 17 to be able to participate fairly and equitably in that area.
This Bill seeks to amend the principal Act, that is the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Act. Furthermore, the amending Bill focuses on considering, deleting and inserting certain definitions and omissions in the principal Act, and on amplifying crucial sections in order to avoid any possibility of ambiguity and uncertainty.
The amending Bill is being considered at the time in South Africa when drug-free sport is absolutely necessary, in line with acceptable international standards and best practice in respect of fair play.
The Bill makes legislative provision for the appointment of the staff in the institute, in line with the Public Finance Management Act. Formerly, there was no recognition of this Public Finance Management Act but there was what is known as the Exchequer Act. The exchequer is no longer in existence. We therefore agree wholeheartedly that we must change this to the Public Finance Management Act, make it relevant and realign it with all policies of government.
The Bill particularly focuses on putting in place correct methods and procedures of adopting international best practice, in line with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Wada. The international best standards considered in the Bill and in the amendment were adopted by the foundation board of Wada on 5 March 2003 at Copenhagen in Denmark. Procedures for testing athletes for doping and for enforcing compliance by sports federations are introduced in this Bill.
The amending Bill directly entrusts the Minister with the authority to appoint members of the institute, including the chief executive officer. But, what we have inserted in this original Bill is that the chief executive officer must not have voting powers like any other member of the board. Therefore we have removed the voting powers of the CEO. Only those that are nominated should have voting powers. The chief executive officer must remain an operational officer and be a non-participant in this respect.
Clause 3 of the amending Bill specifies that chairpersons and at least nine members are going to be appointed to the institute by the Minister. They should possess special knowledge and expertise relevant to doping. Therefore only those who have that expertise on doping are going to be the people eligible for being members.
The Minister will invite interested parties through the media, by placing a notice in the Gazette. The Minister will receive recommendations 30 days after the publication of the notice. Sascoc will also make an input into these recommendations, but the final decision will rest with the Minister.
The amendment of section 8 removes the Exchequer Act because it is not in use any more, and we are realigning that with the Public Finance Management Act. The second amendment – section 10 - is a consequential amendment. It brings things into line with the World Anti-Doping Agency code and enhances the principal Act.
The amending Bill will create measures to ensure that national sports federations and other sports bodies implement the anti-doping policies and rules, in line with the stipulated Wada code. The institute will operate independently from Sascoc and the sport and recreation department will, from time to time, be required to co-operate, if need be.
We also dealt with section 11 of the Act. This amending Bill also deals with a number of issues. It introduces the concept of establishing and maintaining a register for athletes who test positive and top athletes who shall be subjected to testing during competition and outside competition. Because, at times, these people go and do testing when the player is in the field of play or when he is at home, the Bill thus provides for testing outside and inside the field of play, and they use very sophisticated methods nowadays.
A few days before a game or competition, they use those substances. After two days the substance is no longer in the body but has dissolved in a way that gives more power to that athlete. Therefore, if the anti-doping people have a shadow of doubt, they would visit that person and test him or her. The Bill provides for that.
Minister of Safety and Security, I would like you to take into consideration that the safety and security aspect will have to be looked into, because there are provisions that we have to take care of when this kind of thing happens.
Hon Deputy Minister, we have also inserted sections 11A to 11C. These sections concern the register that has to be kept regarding the athletes who violate the rules; and these sections also outline the procedures for informing the sports bodies on how this whole new dispensation is going to be handled. But that will also be in compliance with the provisions of the Promotion of Access to Information Act. Therefore, if any other relevant body, even the police, need this kind of information in terms of that Act, they will be eligible to get it. The Minister must make provision for that.
Finally, section 17 of the Act has been amended. An independent anti-doping board has to be established and shall consist of 9 members who possess what we call “the knowledge and skills which are relevant to doping”. But, also, the Minister will have to appoint at least three members who will, on the recommendation of the Minister, constitute the appeal tribunal. The committee deliberated on this extensively.
The requirement in the original Act that any person who is a lawyer, practising lawyer or an advocate who is supposed to be nominated in accordance with this Bill must have seven years of experience, is tantamount to making access too difficult. This requirement should read “when a person is accredited as a practising lawyer or advocate and has at least three years of experience”, because the committee felt very strongly that seven years perpetuated the status quo.
Seven years makes it difficult for those who must have access in relation to capacity and knowledge to build up this institution and the knowledge that this institution requires. It tends to marginalise those people. Therefore, the committee changed that and said it should be three years.
Finally, Deputy Minister, we have agreed with the institute that an intensive national education programme on anti-doping should commence at schools and amateur-level clubs. It should start with immediate effect, because if we can’t start now doping will escalate. We have seen how it has critically ravaged highly placed athletes in this country because they have used these drugs, at times not knowing that they are banned substances. Therefore the ANC supports the Bill.
Mr S J MASANGO: Ministers and hon members, the core purpose of this Bill is both simple and important as it seeks to ensure that athletes compete fairly, without using substances that boost their performance. Having said that, the Bill has changed fairly dramatically from its original form. Although there were a number of amendments made to the Bill, I intend to mention only two of them.
Firstly, the Bill was amended to comply with the international standards as well as policies and requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code. South Africa is not an island, that’s why we hosted the Rugby World Cup and that’s why we will be hosting the Soccer World Cup in 2010. It is thus only natural that we have a duty to reflect the standards that apply to the rest of the world.
Ukwenza kuhle umsebenzi wethu njengamaSewula Afrika, kufanele siphalisane neenarha zoke ephasini mazombe. [To perform our tasks effectively as South Africans, we must compete against all countries of the world.]
The Bill was amended to allow the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport to search for and seize illegal substances - along with the SA Police Service. As the situation stands, only the SAPS can formally search a person or property and seize illegal substances. Obviously, the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport should have a similar authority if it is to effectively fulfil its mandate.
The SAPS is overstretched as it is, and fighting drug abuse in sport is certainly low on their list of priorities. That doesn’t mean that this is an insignificant problem and that the institute must fill the gap that the SAPS is currently unable to deal with.
Further, the current pressure on the SAPS does not only relate to manpower but also to its resources. Our forensic laboratories are hamstrung by massive backlogs. Allowing the institute to assist will also create a greater capacity to test any substances seized, and determine their nature.
Besides this Bill, there are a number of other challenges facing the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport. The first one is that its role should not only be limited to enforcing and testing, but should also aim to educate athletes about prohibited substances and their effects. It should not only educate professional athletes, but also people who are aspiring to become professional athletes in the future. As the chairperson said, it must start at the lower level.
Lokhu kuzokufundisa abagijimi abasakhasako bonyana bazwisise ukuqakatheka kwe-SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport, nokobana ihlangano le ayisilo inaba labo, kodwana kuyihlangano evikela bona nemidlalo yenarha mazombe. (Translation of isiNdebele paragraph follows.)
[This will teach the up-and-coming athletes to understand the importance of the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport, and that this organisation is not their enemy, but is an organisation that protects them and sport in the whole country.]
Secondly, the penalty for using prohibited substances by an athlete should be the same in all spheres of sport. The institute has very specific consequences for a person found to have used any prohibited substances. Those consequences should be replicated across all South African sports federations. It should not matter which sport you play: cricket, rugby or athletics. The consequence for breaking the law should be uniform. If the substance used is the same, the penalty must be the same.
The earlier a person learns about prohibited substances, the better. Athletes should have no excuse. They should know what constitutes a prohibited substance and which substances are listed as prohibited and forbidden, and they should be able to respond accordingly.
I want to register the DA’s concerns. The first of the DA’s two concerns with regard to this Bill is the inclusion of the clause through which the Minister of Sport is allowed to intervene, in the case of a national federation’s refusal to co-operate. We know for a fact that international federations do not approve of or indeed legislate for the involvement of government in sport. This seems to be yet another example of the ANC administration’s attempts to centralise power in the Minister’s office.
The second matter of concern is that not all federations are members of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee or Sascoc. It seems that there is nothing that compels them to be members of Sascoc. All disputes are referred to Sascoc, but if some federations do not belong to them, how is Sascoc going to resolve that dispute?
The committee on sport is presently deliberating on the Sport and Recreation Amendment Bill. The two concerns are already captured or registered in this Bill. I hope that with this present amendment to the Bill, the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport will now be free to perform its function. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr B W DHLAMINI: Hon Chairperson and hon members, sportsmen and sportswomen are always trying hard to improve their performances by training harder or using new technology. There are unfortunately some athletes who have stooped to the lower levels of using illegal performance-enhancing substances to get an unfair advantage over their fellow competitors.
Drug use in sport is a worldwide problem that affects all sporting codes. The number of high profile cases involving drug use in sport serves to highlight the severity of this problem. Internationally, Justin Ducklin, the Olympic gold medallist in the men’s 100m sprint, recently tested positive for the use of an illegal substance and so did Marion Jones, the much-decorated American athlete.
These problems are by no means restricted to international athletes. Here in South Africa, apart from our own medallist Hezekiel Sepeng, Isaiah Mkuna – as the Deputy Minister has said – was also banned for the use of an illegal substance. What is even more worrying is the use of performance-enhancing drugs by schoolchildren who are under enormous pressure to perform in school sports.
These are just a few of the many cases that involve drug use in sport. This is clearly a problem that is threatening to undermine the spirit under which sport is supposed to be played.
We, in South Africa, are part of the international sporting community and are also affected by this growing problem. It is, therefore, imperative that we do everything in our power to assist the relevant authorities to stamp out this illegal practice.
The aim of the principal Act, the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Act of 1997, is to promote participation in sport, free from the use of prohibited substances or methods that intend to artificially enhance performance, and thereby render impermissible doping practices which are contrary to the practices of fair play and medical ethics.
This amending Bill before us today introduces provisions that will strengthen the principal Act. A United Nations’ code designed to diminish doping cases, has been ratified by this Parliament and this Bill intends to bring South Africa in line with the international anti-doping code.
Sports and sporting personalities play an important role in our society and have a great influence on the lives of many people. The euphoria experienced when we won the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and the Football African Cup of Nations in 1996 was evident for all to see. These remarkable achievements made the whole nation proud of the many players from the respective teams, and they became role models and heroes to many of us.
When sportsmen and sportswomen use illegal substances to enhance their performance, they are not only cheating their fellow competitors they are also disappointing their many adoring fans. It is, therefore, necessary that we provide the relevant framework and legislation that is needed by the authorities to eradicate the use of illegal substances in sport. The IFP supports the
Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mrs C DUDLEY: Chairperson, in South Africa there has been a string of athletes falling foul of the authorities regarding performance-boosting drugs. The competitive nature of sport, coupled with the large sums of money often involved, makes professional athletes particularly vulnerable. This, however, is unacceptable, especially in view of the influence that they exert as role models.
It is also extremely perturbing to note that many schoolchildren who are under pressure to perform athletically, are reported to be turning to drugs. In this regard, the ACDP supports moves by the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport to implement an anti-doping education programme aimed at schools throughout the country before conducting testing at sports events. Measures that do not include consequences will however be ineffective.
Sport has a tremendous potential and has already played a hugely positive role in nation-building in South Africa, in raising levels of health and fitness and even in building self-esteem.
The ACDP welcomes this Bill that strengthens measures to enforce the national anti-doping strategy. We also support calls for sports federations to be more active in collaborating with the institute to create awareness amongst athletes regarding anti-doping rules.
The ACDP, however, notes the legitimate concerns regarding the need to accommodate drugs such as anti-inflammatory preparations and even asthma inhalers that are widely used in South Africa for good reason. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms M M NTULI: Hon Chairperson and members of the House, this amending Bill is going to address issues of cheating in sport to prevent individuals and/or organisations from gaining more power and will allow fair competition for any athlete in all sporting codes. This amending Bill inserts new clauses to ensure drug-free sport and to ensure that everyone will comply with the international standards.
Again, the amendment ensures the election of the appeal board members and its functioning, and also determines the voting powers. Furthermore, it looks at the co-ordination of the staff and provides a gender perspective as well as instructions regarding remuneration, allowances or any other employment benefit.
South Africa has only one relevant laboratory for such functions and it is situated in Bloemfontein. It is very important for us to note that in the entire Africa, there are just two laboratories: one is in South Africa and the other is in Tunisia. They constitute part of the 30 laboratories which exist globally.
South Africa has endorsed the International Convention Against Doping in Sport, which is spearheaded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Unesco. That emphasises the point that this does not apply to our sportspeople only, but includes anyone who is entitled to participate in sport within or outside the country. No one can engage in any doping without facing disciplinary measures. Again, this gives any victim room to defend himself or herself in case that particular person has been framed.
This Bill also complies with the Public Finance Management Act. It is very important to devise a strategy to inform all stakeholders about all these changes in order to avoid any disturbance in the process of this amending Bill, and also for our people to exercise democracy. Anyone is free to seek clarity or express himself or herself on any aspect.
Once everything has been finalised, the legislation should also be given to the World Anti-Doping Agency, Wada, so as to align it with the World Anti-Doping Code. We believe that all people who are proudly South African will be even prouder about the introduction of such constructive legislation. The ANC supports the Bill. [Applause.]
Mr W D SPIES: Hon Chair, last week I attended two meetings of the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation. The issue at hand was not this Bill, but another more contentious Bill on intervention in sport. The SABC’s report on the hearings included the part where I criticised the committee for creating the impression that certain views were disregarded. For some reason, the report was confusing to many people. One example of this is a note that I received earlier today from an ANC member of this House. She wrote:
Hon Spies, I was so pleased to hear you on TV hitting so hard at Mr Kriel’s comments on sport: that he was talking for a bunch of whites who were not interested in progress. For the first time, I saw you as a person, not a Boer.
The truth is that I was actually supporting Mr Kriel and not hitting out at him. But, be that as it may, I am glad that I am also seen by hon members of this House as a person, albeit for the wrong reasons. I am also glad to announce that this person, the party I represent and the people who support us are in favour of stricter measures to curb drugs in sport. The FF Plus supports the Bill. I thank you.
Mr M T LIKOTSI: Acting Speaker, the PAC of Azania welcomes the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport Amendment Bill as tabled in this House. The Minister will be empowered to appoint the members of the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport and to align the functions of the institute with the Public Finance Management Act of 1999.
Regarding the establishment of the anti-doping control programme and the preparation and approval of strategic plans, as well as the budget of the institute, by other sports bodies, the PAC of Azania is fully supportive of the establishment of the institute that consists of the chairperson and nine other members, including the CEO.
However, we are sceptical of the process leading to the final appointment of the incumbent, as it is open for misuse. The Minister, as the final appointer, may, at times, be accused of nepotism, especially when his or her friends, family or comrades are deemed suitable for the position. The PAC of Azania, in protection of valid criticism or random allegations of nepotism, wishes to propose a review of this issue over a period of time, where a panel of experts and knowledgeable persons may be involved in the final process.
The PAC feels further unease at the involvement of the Minister of Sport and Recreation, and the Minister of Finance in the appointment of the chief executive officer by the institute.
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order, hon member, your time has expired.
Mr M T LIKOTSI: The PAC supports the Bill.
Mr R B BHOOLA: Chairperson, the use of steroids and other drugs to boost performance in athletics can be associated with the hunger and pressure to run faster, jump higher and be stronger.
Challenges regarding testing do exist, where some flu and headache medication contains substances prohibited by the International Olympic Committee. Even asthma pumps and certain anti-inflammatory cortisone preparations are prohibited.
It is a great concern that approximately 80% of South African sportspersons are ignorant of the substances banned by the IOC at the Commonwealth Games in 1998. However, the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport, the SA Sports Confederation, the Olympics Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency are all working hard to inculcate drug-free sport and awareness.
It is extremely worrying that the abuse of steroids has extended into our schools. Children are often pressured to use these to win. A survey in 1999 showed that 22,7% per 1 000 Grade 12 pupils in Johannesburg and 5,9% per 1 000 Grade 12 pupils in Cape Town, totalling 2 547 collectively in these areas, were very likely to use anabolic and androgenic steroids. That definitely suggests that a greater awareness of anti-doping laws needs to be instituted in all sports federations, and taken to schools.
It’s promising that this Bill serves to earnestly address doping in sport in South Africa. The MF supports the amending Bill. [Time expired.]
Mme M W MAKGATE: Modulasetulo, Ditona tse di tlotlegang, Maloko a Palamente, bagaetsho ka kakaretso, Aforika Borwa jaaka nngwe ya dinaga tse di saenneng Kokoano ya Boditšhabatšhaba e e Kgatlhanong le Tiriso ya Diritibatsi mo Metshamekong, e itsise Molaotlhomo-tlhabololo wa go se dirise diritibatsi, go netefatsa taolo le go se gobelele magareng ga baatlelete le botlhe ba ba amegang. (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)
[Ms M W MAKGATE: Chairperson, hon Ministers, Members of Parliament and comrades, South Africa, as one of the countries which signed the International Convention Against Doping in Sport, has introduced an amendment in the Bill which prevents athletes from using drugs to ensure that there is control and fair participation among all athletes.]
Clause 2 provides for the amendment of section 3 of the principal Act, which will give the Minister powers to appoint the chairperson of the institute. The Minister, as per recommendation of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee and the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport, will appoint the other nine members, taking into consideration the requirements of the Public Service and Administration Act, which promotes gender equity, and representivity and redresses the imbalances in sport.
In appointing the chief executive officer, it must be noted that the institute will do so in consultation with the Minister, and subject to the Minister obtaining the concurrence of the Minister of Finance, in this regard. Staff members will be regulated by the institute through the establishment of personnel regulations, in consultation with the Minister for the Public Service and Administration directing human resource matters to comply with all relevant legislation applicable to the appointment of staff.
Clause 11 makes provision for punitive measures that may be implemented against national sports federations by Sport and Recreation South Africa after consultation with the institute.
Tona e tla tsereganya mo mokgapheng o, fa e le gore tatlhegelo e tla be e le ditlamorago tsa kgotlhang, tatofatso ya botsamaisi jo bo sokameng, kgotsa morero mongwe le mongwe o o tla tlontlololang le go diga serodumo sa metshameko le boitapoloso.
Kwa bofelong, go tshwanetswe go elwa tlhoko gore ka Molaotlhomo-tlhabolo o, re ka se salele morago mo go fediseng tiriso ya diritibatsi mo baatleleteng ba rona ba Aforika Borwa. Ke a leboga. ANC e tshegetsa Molatlhomo-tlhabololo o. [Legofi.] (Translation of Setswana paragraphs follows.)
[The Minister will have to intervene in this case if ever the loss will result in conflict, allegations of a corrupt management or any disgraceful intentions of tainting the image of sport and recreation.
Finally it should be noted that through this Bill, we will not be left behind in bringing to an end the use of drugs among South African athletes. Thank you. The ANC supports this Bill. [Applause.]]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION: Chairperson, I would like to thank all political parties for their support. I didn’t hear the hon Masango and I don’t know what the DA is going to do, ie whether they support the Bill or not. Some of the members are nodding their heads in support and others are not.
However, I think we had very good input from every member, except for two members whom I think got a bit confused. When the hon Masango and the hon Spies made their contributions here today they referred to another Bill which is undergoing the process of public hearings in front of the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation.
That’s a Bill that, no doubt, we will debate in this House in time to come. But let me just point out to the hon Masango that the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport operates totally independently as a public entity, as required by the Wada code. So you don’t have to worry about the powers of the Minister.
On the other hand, however, we must be clear that the federations that will not give us their co-operation, and come in line with the provisions of the Bill and be active in anti-doping activities will be dealt with as reported in the introductory speech.
I end off by thanking everybody and all the political parties for their support. Thanks to the portfolio committee for a job well done in preparing this Bill. I thank you.
Bill read a second time.
THE VALUES OF UBUNTU AS IT DICTATES OUR APPROACHES TO AND CONDUCT TOWARDS OTHERS WHO MAY FIND THEMSELVES IN DIFFICULT TIMES
(Subject for Discussion)
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson and hon members, the debate, short-timed as it may be, provides us with a very rare opportunity to re-examine ourselves and our attitudes and stereotypes.
The notion of ubuntu has a very long history. It is a history that resisted attempts at its annihilation and thereby proved its extraordinary durability. We have seen many years of colonial rule, which sit at the centre of attempts to introduce contrary values to the values of ubuntu. But that notwithstanding, the values of ubuntu continue to be the cornerstone of the existence of our nation and indeed the humanistic programmes of our government.
Many writers, reflecting on this notion of ubuntu, do recognise that this philosophy is a philosophy that makes South African people uniquely different in their way of responding to issues. If you look at and ponder practices elsewhere, particularly conflicts in places like the Middle East, Yugoslavia, for instance, and look at our own experience, it becomes vividly clear that if we were not driven by this notion and principle of ubuntu, reconciliation in South Africa would never have been possible. This calls upon all of us as a nation to genuinely re-examine what the lessons of ubuntu are.
Particularly, in reference to this issue that gave rise to us debating this matter, I want to state categorically that when we visited Comrade Yengeni, without violating and undermining the rule of law, we were affirming that the walls of prison will not keep us from practising ubuntu. It was about showing our concern for his wellbeing. This is an unconditional extension of ubuntu by one person to another human being.
Visiting Comrade Yengeni in jail was therefore a form of vomiting out the colonial notion of a prison that is a hell of bonfires in which people must be perpetually tortured in all human dimensions to maximum effect. This notion of a prison has led to the rejection of prison inmates by the community. By visiting Comrade Yengeni we generously extended love, compassion, respect, kindness, concern, forgiveness, warmth and support to all fellow countrymen and women languishing in our jails.
Ubuntu has also been used throughout our history in gaining credibility for collective action in the form of stokvels, amalima [co-operative action], vukuzenzele [rise up and act], etc. It has enabled African nations to identify themselves with their roots by forming the Organisation of African Unity. Ubuntu has been used to bind families together through marriages and the payment of “lobola” as an act of ubuntu to extend thanks to the other family which consented to give away their daughter.
Ubuntu has been used extensively during times of sorrow and happiness as well as during times of danger and suffering, and has become a symbol of peace and gratification among the people of Africa. During the wars of liberation, the African frontline states amassed their armies under the command of MK, Zipra, Zanu, Fapla and Frelimo. These African armies fought for the love of their countries and tried to wrestle control of their land from western imperialism. Had there been no ubuntu among our armies, we could never have gained our independence.
Ubuntu is a tool used by indigenous African nations to build solid relations with other nations and is a foundation for family development. Ubuntu shown by the mother of a little child lingers forever in his memory and is regarded as an indelible attribute that cannot be faulted.
Sincere people all over the world demonstrate their ubuntu in various forms by giving the little they have and are rewarded by the cosmic forces in return. The laws of nature state that those who give voluntarily will be rewarded double the amount they contributed towards benefaction.
In the 21st century, the ubuntu ideology, which has been transmitted from one generation to the other throughout Africa, has now emerged as a binding force to help develop Third World countries, which are undergoing development and whose economies have been plundered by the Western occupying forces.
When most African states got their independence from colonial rule, the economies of these countries were in ruins since all profits had been repatriated during their occupation. When they left, they took away all the valuable and movable assets. In order to survive this ordeal, the nations of Africa started the rebirth or renewal of the sociopolitical and economic development aspects of the continent with one constant companion, ubuntu, as an ally, motivator and redeemer.
Ubuntu is a God-given attribute. He imbued the mothers of this African continent with power to transmit ubuntu through caring for and nurturing the young. The father extends ubuntu by looking after the goodwill of the family fortune, keeping peace and protecting the family from harm. God gives the government the power to make just laws and in the end the whole nation becomes blessed and protected from oppression by other nations. This is how we got our own independence. We did not invade other countries, occupy them, steal their land and possessions nor did we expatriate their assets.
Ubuntu is a foundation for moral regeneration and it encompasses and promotes the achievement of the following moral values: responsibility, honesty, respect, compassion, trustworthiness, justice, self-reliance, loyalty, truthfulness; and it arouses spiritual consciousness. Ubuntu is therefore a powerful tool that can be used effectively through the process of continuous meditation to achieve peace throughout the world.
Ubuntu forms the backbone of our new democratic society. It is a unifying value system in a society divided and ravaged by apartheid, having played a major role in the forging of national consciousness and in the process of nation-building. It underpins the cultural and spiritual orientation of our new nation. It has been embraced in different cultures and languages, as reflected in the phrase “Simunye - we are one” eulogised in word and song on television and in, other news media. It has turned the country from a nation cast out of the global village into one contributing to global peace. It is because of this contribution that we are sitting on the Security Council of the United Nations today.
In closing, hon members, it is my considered opinion that it is a collective responsibility for all South Africans to defend the values of ubuntu. It is the responsibility of all South Africans to nurture the profound virtue of ubuntu and also invite those who are outside the common fold of ubuntu to come forward and have their souls cleansed so that they can enjoy the spirit of liberation which is continuously exuded through ubuntu in our democratic South Africa.
Umntu ngumntu ngabanye abantu. Inxeba lendoda alihlekwa. [A person is a person through other people. Don’t laugh at another person’s misfortune.] Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]
Ms J A SEMPLE: Chairperson, ubuntu is a uniquely African concept. It implies a belief in the universal kind of sharing that connects all humanity. No black African needs to be told exactly what ubuntu means. It is the same word in isiZulu and isiXhosa but, for the benefit of those who might have heard the word and need a rough translation, it goes something like this, in English: humanity towards others, or I am because we are.
Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu. Ngiyimi ngenxa yenu. [A person is a person through other people. I am what I am because of you.]
Or a person becomes human through other persons. Another translation could be the belief in a universal kind of sharing that connects all humanity. Such a concept will be familiar to those of religious faith. Christians believe in loving your brother as yourself. The Islamic concept Sadaqatul or perpetual charity in helping others to the advantage of the collective over the interests of themselves is demonstrated by South African Muslims who have collected, many times, donations for victims of disasters around the world, and most other religions have similar beliefs.
It would appear that the simple meaning of ubuntu is merely humanity, but ubuntu actually has a much richer meaning than the English word. According to Wikipedia it means humanity, but that is all of humankind; humanity in the sense of human nature; humanity in the sense of being human and humane; humanity in the sense of education; humanity in the sense of civility and socialisation; and humanity in the sense of humanness, decency and human dignity.
Ingane yami ingane yakho, ingane yakho ingane yami ... [My child is your child, your child is my child ...]
... so the saying goes. My child is your child and your child is my child.
A few weeks ago this House debated the issue of maintenance and the problem raised regarding the nonpayment of maintenance orders. It is hard to believe that the Chief Whip of the ANC in this House has the cheek to put forward the subject of ubuntu for discussion and that this is followed by the words, and I quote: “... as it dictates our approaches and conduct towards others who may find themselves in difficult times”. Hon Goniwe, how ironic that we should be debating ubuntu today, given the report in the Mail and Guardian this past Friday!
Hon Goniwe needs to remember that it is all very well to talk about ubuntu but you need to live it too. I am sure you will sleep very peacefully tonight after you have lectured us all on the values of ubuntu. Do you ever think about children who are sleeping with empty tummies because they are not getting the maintenance to which they are entitled by law?
When people do not live up to their responsibilities, they make a complete mockery of their legal system and this institution, and the work it tries to do. What is the point of the Joint Monitoring Committee on the Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Women going on oversight visits and berating magistrates, prosecutors and the SAPS for not doing their job as far as implementing the Maintenance Act, when there are people setting such an example?
Why should some men pay maintenance for their children when others don’t? Ubuntu is a wonderful value system. The ANC Chief Whip should think long and hard about the difficult times his own children find themselves in because of his arrogant and uncaring attitude. [Applause.]
Mr A M MPONTSHANE: Hon Chair, the first question we have to ask ourselves today is: What is the current situation in our country? This is very important in understanding the values of ubuntu and its importance to our people. Our streets are dominated by thieves and other criminals; our schools are war zones and there is a complete breakdown in authority at most levels; our families are dysfunctional with fathers raping their children, individuals abdicating their responsibilities and children defying parental authority.
I can go on for a very long time but suffice it to say that there is currently a very high degree of societal and political decay to be found in our country. With such high levels of moral degeneration, we must concede that our country is becoming a weak state. Part of the problem is the increasing level of moral relativism where nothing is explicitly wrong or inherently bad. In Afrikaans we say, “laat maar loop”.[“anything goes”.]
The subject of today’s discussion suggests that in a situation such as the one we find ourselves in, we should turn to ubuntu for the answers and remedies. There is some truth to be found in that. But ubuntu is not a switch for lights that can be flicked on and off depending on the demands of a particular situation or problem, neither is it a coat to be taken on and off depending on the weather.
In our everyday lives some very important ubuntu principles have either been ignored or jettisoned altogether. Let me mention some of these ubuntu principles. Ubuntu says that a person is a person through other people.
Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu. [A person is a person through other people.]
This ubuntu principle is the opposite of the Western principle of individuality. But, most importantly, this principle also means that an individual alone is not responsible for his or her failures or successes. His or her fellow beings are his or her immediate support system. His or her society must be so structured that it promotes human success.
So when we judge individuals, ubuntu does not allow for the adoption of a holier-than-thou attitude. Our society today lacks the necessary support systems for individual fulfilment. The rich are not willing to share. In the ubuntu tradition, there were safety measures against individual frailties, such as “ukusisa” [allocating something to someone so they can survive] for instance - and there would be no person in society, according to ubuntu, that would go hungry in the midst of plenty.
We have to ask ourselves here, as Members of Parliament: Do we form the necessary support systems for our colleagues or do we wait and gloat over some of our colleagues’ difficulties? To such people, we would say in a Zulu aphorism: Abanabuntu. [They lack humanity.]
Another very important attribute of the ubuntu philosophy ... [Time expired.] Abanabuntu. [They lack humanity.].
Muf T E LISHIVHA: Ndo livhuwa, Mudzulatshidulo na miraḓo yoṱhe ya Buthano ḽa Lushaka. Hei ṱhoho ya namusi i na ndeme khulwane kha muthu muṅwe na muṅwe wa Afurika Tshipembe. Ro aluwa ri tshi zwi ḓivha zwauri vhuthu ndi tshone tshithu tshihulwane. Arali wa hau a tshi lila, u lila nae ngauri ndi muthu, u fana na muthu muṅwe na muṅwe. Na kha bugu ya maṅwalo ho ṅwaliwa u pfi lilani na vha lalaho. I tshi ya phanḓa iri, u ya muṱani wa zwililo, zwi fhira u ya muṱani wa dakalo. Hezwo ndi tsumbo ya uri rine vhathu, vhuthu ri a vhu ḓivha. Ndi ngazwo musi muṅwe wa hashu a tshi lila, ri tshi lila nae, ngauri heyo ndi yone tsumbo ya vhuthu.
Kha ri ḓivhe u fhandekanya vhuthu na zwiṅwe na zwithu. Ri songo ṱanganyisa zwithu. A ri koni u dzula ra peta zwanḓa, ngeno muṅwe wa hashu e maṱunguni. Ri fanela u sendela khae, ra vha nae, ra mu khuthadza, na ene u ḓo pfa o vhofholowa naho e maṱunguni mahulwane. Muthu ha laṱi ṅwana nga phaḓi. Ane a vha wau ndi wau, u isa nga hu sa fheli. Vhaṅwe vha ita zwiḽa zwa uri fhondo ḽi si ḽau, u ṱhuvha ḽi tshi lila. Rine sa ANC, a ri zwi iti hezwo.
U dalela muthu musi hu na maṱungu, ndi zwithu zwa kale na kale. Ro zwi wana, nahone ri ḓo dovha ra zwi sia, ngauri ndi mvelele yashu. A ri nga shanduki, naho ri tshi zwi ḓivha zwauri mvelele dzashu dzo fhambana. Musi ri tshi ḓa kha vhuthihi, ri tou vha tshithu tshithihi, nahone ri bva phanḓa. Hezwo ndi zwone zwine ṅwana wa MuAfurika a ḓiṱongisa ngazwo. Ndi zwashu nahone a ri pfi ri tshi zwi shonela.
Kha ri sedze vhuthu kha vhadzulatsini. Miṱa yo dzulelanaho tsini, i vha tshithu tshithihi. Zwine muṅwe muṱa wa bika, u avhela yoṱhe ya tsini; u fana na zwidzimba, thophi na zwiṅwe zwinzhi. Vhana vhashu vha tamba vhoṱhe, nahone vha a ḓivhana, na u ḽa, vha ita vha tshi ḽa vhoṱhe. Hezwi zwoṱhe zwi vha zwi tshi khou sumbedza uri muthu ndi muthu nga muṅwe. Arali mubebi wa ṅwana a si ho, u a kona u sala nga tsini, ngauri vha mu dzhia sa ṅwana wavho.
Kha ndi sumbedze ndeme ya u tshilisana. Kale musi muḓini wa nga tsini hu na mufumakadzi o ḓihwalaho, vhakegulu vha miḓi ya tsini, vho vha vha sa tsha fara nyendo ndapfu u itela uri vha kone u thusa nga ḓuvha ḽa musi a tshi tsa mirini. Izwo zwo vha zwi tshi itiswa ngauri tshifhingani tsha kale ho vha hu si na dzikiḽiniki na zwibadela, mahayani. Hezwo ndi vhuthu, nahone ri bva naho kule.
U sumbedza u tshilisana ha MaAfurika, ro vha ri na zwithu zwine zwa nga madavha, zwine musi muthu e na mushumo, o vha a tshi ramba davha; ḽi nga vha ḽa vhanna, vhasadzi, kana vhaswa. Hafha hu vha hu tshi tou vha tshumisano. Hu vha hu si na mbuelo kana muholo. Ndi hezwiḽa zwine ra ri munwe muthihi a u ṱusi mathuthu. Vhuthu hovhu a vhu ngo thoma ṋaṅwaha. Ndi zwithu zwashu. Vhathu vha sa zwi ḓivhi vha songo tshuwa; ri bva nazwo kule.
Vhuthu ri vhu sumbedza nga nḓila nnzhi dzo fhambanaho. Kha ri dzhie tsumbo nga misanda yashu, ngauri ri a i ṱhonifha ra dovha ra i hulisa, musi tsho limuwa, vhathu vhoṱhe ri a bva ra ya dzundeni u lima. Musi hu tshi kaniwa, ri dovha ra bva ra ya u kana. Hezwo zwoṱhe, zwo vha zwi tshi sumbedza uri hu na vhuthu, ngauri a huna muthu ane a tou kombetshedza muṅwe uri kha ri ye.
Ngauri ri a zwi ḓivha zwauri mavhele a musanda ndi a vhathu vhoṱhe, ro vha ri tshi shuma mbilu dzashu dzo vhofholowa. Muthu muṅwe na muṅwe musi o fhelelwa nga zwiḽiwa u ya musanda, a tshi swika a ṱuselwa zwiḽiwa nga dakalo. A hu na muthu ane a eḓela na nḓala. Arali muthu a eḓela na nḓala, u tou vha o tou litsha u tevhela zwiḽiwa musanda.
Musi vhathu vho malelana, ho vha hu tshi vha na vhushaka ha vhuḓi nga maanḓa. Vho-Makhulu na vhakwasha vha a dalelana. Musi wa musidzana a tshi ḓihwala nga ṅwana wa u thoma, u ya hayani ha vhabebi vhawe, hapfi o ya tshihulu. Musi a tshi vhofholowa, nahone a tshi vhuisiwa hayani, hu itwa mahalwa, ha sindiwa makhopfu, mikusule, na nḓuhu dzo sinḓiwaho u itela u koḓela mukusule houḽa une wa khou bva kha Vho-Makhulu. Nga murahu ha izwo, musi Vho-Makhulu vha tshi ya u vhona ṅwana, vha isa tsetshelo hangei vhakwashani. Hafho hu vha na tshimima tshihulu ngauri hu rambiwa mashaka, dzikhonani na vhahura. Murumba wa ṱwa u tshi ṱambela tshanḓa, ḽi ḽa maladze.
Vhuthu ri bva naho kule ngamaanda. Vhaswa musi vha tshi aluwa, vho vha vha tshi ya zwikoloni zwo fhambanaho u ya u guda milayo ine ya ḓo vha thusa u fhaṱa vhumatshelo. Izwo zwo vha zwi tshi itelwa uri vha kone u vha vhanna na vhafumakadzi vha vhukuma, vhane vha vha na vhuḓifhinduleli na u ḓivha uri muthu ndi mini. Ndi ngazwo ṅwana wa MuAfurika a tshi aluwa a zwi ḓivha zwauri ṅwana u ṱhonifha muhulwane khae, zwi sa ambi uri ndi nnyi nahone ane a bva ngafhi.
Vho vha vha tshi ya zwikoloni zwine zwa nga sa murunduni, tshiṱamboni na dombani - hezwi zwo vha zwi tshi itwa nga vhatukana. Vhasidzana vhone vha ya musevhethoni, khombani – vhushani, na dombani. Domba ḽi tshiniwa nga vhoṱhe, vhaṱhannga na dzikhomba ngauri havha vha vha vho no ḓiimisela u ya u fhaṱa miṱa. Vha tshina fhethu huthihi nahone nga madekwana. Vhathu vha nga pfa vha tshi mangala, fhedzi ho vha hu si na zwo khakheaho zwine zwa bvelela. Vho vha vho gudiswa milayo ya vhuthu uri muthu u ita mini u itela uri a vhe muthu kwae.
Ndi ngazwo ṅwana wa MuAfurika a tshi vhona muthu muṅwe na muṅwe a mu ṱhonifha, nahone a mu lumelisa. Ṅwana ndi wa mubebi muṅwe na muṅwe. Heyo ndi yone mvelelo ya MaAfurika. MaAfurika vha na zwinzhi zwine vha nga ḓiṱongisa ngazwo, nahone vha dovha hafhu vha gudisa lushaka. Mabepha ndi iṅwe nḓila ya u sumbedza vhuthu ha MaAfurika. Muvhundu muṅwe u a kona u ya u dalela muṅwe, ha ṱwa hu tshi khou tshiniwa zwithu zwi ngaho sa tshipai, nanga na tshikona. Hu vha hu tshi khou nwiwa, ho ṱhavhiwa na kholomo nahone ho bikiwa na zwiḽiwa.
Musi vha tshi ṱuwa, vha fhiwa tshizwa tsha kholomo vha ṱuwa natsho, tsha iswa musanda na halwa vhune vha vha vho vhuya naho. Hezwi zwoṱhe zwi ṋewa vhathu vhane vha ḓa musanda u ṱoḓa zwiḽiwa. Mabepha haya ndi iṅwe nḓila ya u dalelana ha mahosi. Havha vhathu vha vhumba vhukonani. Arali ha pfi musanda ufhio vho dzhenelwa, na miṅwe misanda i a takutshedza na mmbi dzayo. Ndi iṅwe nḓila ya uri arali wa hau o wa nga khofheni, u fanela u sendela khae. U nga si ime kule wa sea, vhudzuloni ha uri u mu thuse. Rine a ri zwi ḓivhi hezwo sa MaAfurika. Zwine ra zwi ḓivha ndi zwauri ri tea u thusana.
Musi hu na zwi si zwavhuḓi, tshashu ndi u sendela tsinisa na avho vho welwaho, ngauri vhuthu ndi tshithu tshihulwane; ndi ngazwo hu na mbekanyamushumo ya Batho Pele kha mihasho ya muvhuso. Kha mafhungo a u fuwa, muthu o vha a sa koni u zwi vhona zwauri hu na vhathu vha si na zwifuwo ngauri vhana musi vha tshi ya malisoni, vho vha vha tshi bva vhoṱhe, vhane vha vha na zwifuwo na vha sina.
Musi kholomo kana mbudzi dzi tshi hamiwa, vho vha vha tshi shelelana mafhi, muṅwe na muṅwe a ṱuwa o fara. Hezwi muthu u tshi dalela hei miṱa u ya nga u fhambana hayo, u ḓo wana hu tshi khou sukiwa mafhi miṱani yoṱhe. Havhaḽa vha si na zwifuwo, vha dovha hafhu vha swaelwa ṋamana kana mbudzana, zwa dzula henefho dangani u swikela hoyo muthu hu tshi pfi zwino o aluwa, u khou ya u shambila. Ndi hone zwi tshi bvisa hafho dangani, zwa itelwa danga ḽazwo hayani ha hawe.
Zwiṅwe zwine ra fanela u zwi ḓivha ndi zwauri heyo kholomo kana mbudzi, na musi ya nga zwala ṋamana nngana, i ṱuwa nadzo dzoṱhe ngauri ndi dza onoyo o swaelwaho. MaAfurika vha na zwinzhi zwine vha nga ḓiṱongisa ngazwo na u funza ḽifhasi a nga u angaredza ngauri hoṱhe hune vha ya hone, vha tshimbila vho hwala vhuthu. Hezwo ndi mvelele yavho nahone vha ḓo zwi ita u isa nga u sa fheli. Ndi a livhuwa. [U vhanda zwanḓa.] (Translation of Tshivenda speech follows.)
[Ms T E LISHIVHA: Thank you, Chairperson, and all members of the National Assembly. Today’s topic is crucial to every person in South Africa. We grew up knowing that humanity is the main thing. If your fellow man is in trouble, you sympathise with him or her, because he or she is a human being like any other. Even in the Bible it is written that we should join those in mourning. It goes on to say that it is better to be with those who are mourning than those who are celebrating. That exemplifies that we know what humanity is. That is why when one among us is mourning, we mourn with the person, because that is an example of humanity.
We should know how to differentiate humanity from other things. We should not confuse things. We cannot just sit back whilst one of us is in trouble. We need to be with the person and console him or her so that he or she can feel better even when the troubles are worse. A person cannot reject his or her child because of scabies. Whoever is your relative is your relative forever. Others prefer to be rough with something that does not belong to them. We in the ANC do not do that.
Visiting a person when there are troubles is something from long ago. We found it, and it will continue after we perish because it is our culture. We will not change even though we know that our cultures are different. When it comes to unity we are united, in fact we are the best. That is the pride of an African. They belong to us and we are not ashamed.
Let us look at humanity in neighbours. Families that are neighbours are unified. Whatever one family cooks, it will dish up for the neighbours, like traditional foods such as zwidzimba, thophi and others. Our children play together and they know each other; sometimes they eat together. All this shows that a person is a person because of other people. If a child’s parent is not there, the child can stay with the neighbour since they regard the child as theirs.
Let me highlight the importance of social interaction. Long ago when a woman was pregnant, old women from the families nearby would not go to places far away, so that they could lend a hand when she went into labour. That was because in the past there were no clinics and hospitals in the rural areas. That is humanity and it originated long in the past.
To highlight the social interaction of Africans, we had traditional social clubs comprised of men, women or youths, who would come to help whenever one had a task to perform. It is co-operation in this regard. There is no profit or payment. That is why we say one finger cannot lift a pebble. This humanity did not start this year. It is our own culture. Those who do not know should not be frightened. We have come a long way with it.
Humanity can be shown in many different ways. Let us take our chiefs as an example, because we respect and honour them. When it is summer, all the people go to plough the chief’s maize field. When it is time to harvest, all of us go there to harvest. All that shows that there is humanity since there is no one who forces others to go there.
Because we knew that the chief’s maize was for all the people, we worked with enthusiasm. When one’s food was finished, one would go to the chief’s kraal and upon arrival would be given food. No one went to bed hungry. If a person went to bed hungry, he or she had decided not to go and fetch food at the chief’s kraal.
When people are related by marriage, there is a very sound relationship. The wife’s people and the husband’s people visit each other. When the wife becomes pregnant with her first child, she goes to her parents to give birth. When she gives birth and eventually comes back home, traditional beer is brewed, crushed maize is stamped in a mortar. Vegetables are cooked and dried and peanuts are ground to be cooked with the vegetables from the wife’s people. After that, when the wife’s parents come to see the child, they bring traditional beer, maize crushed in a mortar and a chicken to the husband’s people. There is a great gathering of people invited to a celebration; because relatives, friends and neighbours are invited. There is singing and dancing and people are happy.
We come a long way with humanity. When the youth grow up, they go to different circumcision schools to learn the precepts which will help mould their future. That is done to help them be real men and women, who have the responsibility and know what a human being is. That is why a child of an African grows up knowing that a child respects someone older than him or her, regardless of who the person is and where he or she comes from.
They go to circumcision schools like the circumcision school for boys and group rites school as a preliminary to marriage. Girls go to the initiation rites schools and group rites school as a preliminary to marriage. The group rites school, as a preliminary to marriage, is compulsory for all boys and girls of marriageable age, because they are ready to start a family. They go to the same group rites school in the evening as a preliminary to marriage. People may be surprised by this, but nothing unseemly could happen there. They are taught the precepts of humanity, that is what one does to be a good person.
That is why a child of an African respects and greets any person. A child belongs to any parent. That is the culture of Africans. Africans have plenty that they can be proud of and even impart to the nation. Parties of flute players are another way of showing the humanity of Africans. Villagers from one village can go and visit the villagers in another village and boys and girls perform a dance with a reed-flute ensemble, a flute of bamboo reed, horn or bone and the performance of a reed-flute ensemble accompanied by drums. They drink, cattle are slaughtered and food is cooked.
When they leave they are given a haunch of beef to take to the chief’s kraal, together with traditional beer. All these are given to people who come to the chief’s kraal to ask for food. Parties of flute players are another way in which kings visit each other. These people form friendships. If one of the kingdoms is attacked, the other kingdoms help with their armies. This is another way of saying that if one of yours is in trouble, you have to help him or her. You cannot stand at a distance and laugh, instead of helping. We as Africans do not know that. What we know is that we need to help each other.
When something bad happens, that’s when we move closer to those affected, because humanity is great; that is why there is the Batho Pele programme in government departments. When it comes to livestock farming, one would not see people without livestock, because when children go to the pasturage to herd the livestock, all go - those who have livestock and those who don’t.
When cows or goats are milked, they share the milk. When you visit these families, you find them eating pap mixed with milk. The one without livestock is given a calf or a kid, that is kept for him in the original cattle kraal until the person has grown up and is able to start work. Then it will be taken out of the cattle kraal and another kraal is made for it at the person’s home.
Other things to note are that such a cow or goat, even if it has several calves or kids, is taken along since they belong to the person who was given the mother cow or goat. Africans have plenty of things they can be proud of and which they can teach the world in general because everywhere you go, you carry humanity with you. That is your culture and you will do it forever. I thank you. [Applause.]]
Rev K R J MESHOE: Modulasetilo, mokgatlo wa ACDP o dumela gore motho ke motho ka batho, gape re dumela gore ... [Chairperson, the ACDP believes that a human being is a human being because of other human beings, we also believe that ... ]
... ubuntu is a very important traditional value, and that it should not be used as an excuse for not taking action to correct a wrong. When someone is experiencing difficult times, we should by all means help him or her by providing practical assistance: love, care, comfort and understanding. But if a person is going through a rough time as a result of wrongdoing on his or her part, then those giving moral support should give that support without creating the impression that they are condoning the wrongdoing.
As adult men and women, we have to face the consequences of our actions and decisions. When we are wrong we must be big enough to admit that wrong and apologise. To refer to ubuntu as a mitigating factor is tantamount to a cover-up, and is an act of opportunism and irresponsibility.
This House must not set a bad precedent by failing to correct wrongs and address irregular behaviour of some of our members while using ubuntu as an excuse for the inaction. Rather, this House should set a clear example to the nation by setting high standards of discipline and accountability, and by speedily taking corrective action whenever necessary.
We must not bring into disrepute this traditional value, which was passed on from previous generations in good faith and with good intentions. Doing so would signify a refusal to acknowledge the dividing line between right and wrong, and a refusal to honour the practice of assuming responsibility for one’s actions.
Promotion of ubuntu must not devalue the importance of responsibility in society. [Time expired.]
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Chairperson, the hon Chief Whip of the ANC, Mr Goniwe, started off by saying that the values of ubuntu continue to be the cornerstones of our society and our dispensation. And exactly because of that, because it plays such a pivotal role, it is important that we find some time to delve deeper into this whole concept and try to understand one another when we talk about these issues and what they are.
In die Christelike geloof wat vir my van belang is, leer ons dat die kernwaarde en hoofgebod sê: Jy moet die Here jou God liefhê met jou hele hart, met jou hele verstand en al jou kragte. En die tweede gebod wat hieraan gelyk staan sê: Jy moet jou naaste liefhê soos jouself.
My probleem met ubuntu is, as dit in hierdie verband vergelyk word, dan lyk dit vir my of die klem hoofsaaklik val op die tweede aspek wat sê dat jy jou naaste moet liefhê soos jouself. Maar ek hoor baie min van die eerste konsep rondom die Here jou God en wat daaroor gesê word. Een minuut is feitlik verby.
’n Dokter vra vir my: waar is ubuntu in ’n staatshospitaal as verpleegsters met teetyd gaan, wanneer ’n pasiënt besig is om te sterf? Waar is ubuntu as ons mense “necklace” in die struggle. Een minuut is te min. Ek wil regtig met u hieroor praat. Ons moet dit beter verstaan. [Tyd verstreke.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[In the Christian religion that is of importance to me, we learn that the core value and primary commandment says: You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, your entire mind and all your strength. The second commandment that is equal to this says: Love your neighbour as you love yourself.
My problem with ubuntu, if it is compared in this regard, is that it seems to me as if the focus is mainly on the second aspect that says you must love your neighbour as you love yourself. But I hear very little of the first concept about the Lord your God and what is said about that. One minute has almost elapsed.
A doctor asked me: Where is ubuntu in a state hospital when nurses go on a tea break when a patient is dying? Where is ubuntu when we necklace people in the struggle? One minute is not enough. I really want to talk to you about this. We must understand it better. [Time expired.]]
Mr P H K DITSHETELO: Chair, it is beyond any reasonable doubt that our country is facing a moral crisis, a crisis that touches on our identity as to who we are and what makes a human being, in terms of how we relate in our behaviour towards one another.
It would seem that the glue that binds us together has lost its potency and things are beginning to fall apart. Our daily lives are guided by the pursuit of material things. We have also embraced with pride the spirit of individualism that seeks to promote a deep sense of “I come first in whatever I do”. Those who are guiding lights in our communities keep on asking us ... [Time expired.]
Mr M E MBILI: Chairperson, hon Members of Parliament, colleagues and comrades, this debate is about ubuntu and moral values – moral values like tradition, laws, behaviour patterns and beliefs. These are the defining features of a culture. Ubuntu is part and parcel of these moral values, which form the cornerstone of African society. Ubuntu can be defined as belief in the universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.
Chairperson, this is my maiden speech. [Applause.] I was reminded by the senior comrades that I must not be controversial. However, we are living in a controversial situation. The question is: How do we come out of it? I will try not to be controversial, though the environment in which we operate is controversial. I will try and paint a picture of ubuntu within the politics of the country under which we operate.
Driven by the desire to bring closure to the past and bring political tolerance and stability I would like to say that there were many atrocities that were committed by apartheid operatives such as - again, I will have to mention names here - Magnus Malan, Adriaan Vlok and even former President P W Botha. The nation was prepared to forgive them. Instead of my people calling for the blood of those who committed those crimes, my people understood that democracy and freedom are the cornerstones of what we intend to achieve in order to bring about a just society, irrespective of the harm those apartheid operatives caused most of us.
My fellow Africans and South Africans were and still are prepared to forgive those who tried to kill them, who maimed them, and who jailed them and killed their family members, children and comrades. In this regard, I want to bring the attention of the House to the fact – I am afraid Mr Leon is not here – that Mr Leon is the son of an apartheid operative who ordered the execution of comrade Andrew Zondo for fighting. Comrade Zondo’s crime was to fight the unjust laws of the apartheid ...
Mr C M LOWE: Mr Chairman, if I may address you on a point of order: Is it parliamentary for the hon member to refer to a former judge of the High Court of South Africa as an apartheid operative who ordered the execution of somebody? I would ask you to request the hon member to withdraw that.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): I am not sure what the position should be. I am informed it is not unparliamentary. Please continue. [Applause.]
Dr C P MULDER: Chairperson, may I address you on a further point of order? The hon speaker is very well aware of the fact that there is a tradition that members should not be controversial during their maiden speeches. By not being controversial, he can expect to be heard in silence. If the member continues to be very controversial ...
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): I think you are out of order. Please sit down.
Dr C P MULDER: No, Chairperson, I am not. Chairperson, I am addressing you on a point of order and I suggest that you listen to my point of order before you make a ruling. If the hon member continues to be very controversial, he must expect to have a lot of interjections from the other side of the House.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): Is he being controversial? I don’t think he is. Please continue with your speech and don’t be controversial.
Mr M E MBILI: Thank you, Chairperson. The point I am trying to drive home here is that hon Leon should be happy and grateful, because today he can easily go and campaign in KwaMashu. He can campaign in Gugulethu and in Umlazi without having stones thrown at him. Africans and South Africans in particular want this reconciliation to work and, for me, that is ubuntu.
In my African culture, you don’t kick an enemy while he is down, no matter how much you despise that enemy – I suppose that would be the case with the DA and the hon members on the left. The mass movement that I come from, namely the ANC, strongly believes that it is vitally important to unlock the chains of the past for the nation to move forward and deal with the many challenges that we are facing.
Mr C M LOWE: Chairperson, could I ask you if the member would be brave enough to take a question.
Mr M E MBILI: No. [Interjections.] I will take it after this. Hence we advocated the establishment of bodies such as the TRC. As we all know, this was chaired by the renowned leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who himself suffered a great deal of pain under apartheid laws. [Interjections.] Desmond Tutu and his colleagues did an amazing job in trying to uncover the truth about the crimes ... [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): Please members, give him a chance to finish his speech.
Mr M E MBILI: He did an amazing job in trying to uncover the truth about the crimes of the past and finally recommended that a number of those perpetrators be given clemency by the nation. This was informed by the desire to build our beloved country for the good of the nation. For me and my fellow South Africans, that is what is called ubuntu, reconciliation and forgetting about the past.
Having said this, the question remains: What is the contribution of the likes of the DA to advance this cause, the cause of ubuntu and reconciliation and nation-building? For instance, in African practice, we respect our elders and we respect our leaders. Our teaching is that these people should be respected and that is the African way of our upbringing. When you insult a leader ...
Mr T M MASUTHA: Chair, on a point of order: running commentary is prohibited by the Rules. I can understand that the DA is taking the heat but it does not mean that they should indulge in running commentary.
Mr M E MBILI: Chairperson, the point is that when you insult a leader, you are by definition insulting his or her people. [Interjections.] And that is not African. His or her people cannot forgive. By implication, when you insult the people’s leader, you undermine the intellectual capacity of the people who elected that leader. It is not done in the African way. You respect the elders. You respect the leaders. [Interjections.]
Hon Gibson, as we all know, has insulted the leader of the people and the President. This House gave him ample opportunity to apologise to the nation and to the President and he refused to do so. I am saying to you that that is not the African way of doing things and you cannot call that ubuntu. We are working hard to reconcile this country and to build this nation into one nation. If you have a person who comes and stands at this podium and insults the President, insults the leader of the people, then we cannot call that ubuntu. It cannot be condoned. [Interjections.]
May I then remind this House that his party, too, at one stage, asked an hon Minister in this House how much it costs the state to provide security for the hon former Deputy President of the Republic, Comrade J Z. I am still waiting for the day that Gibson or Leon poses the same question as to how much it costs the state to provide security for P W Botha, for instance. I said, he was an apartheid operative and he was a chief agitator.
They are not concerned about that. They have never asked that question. Last week Botha was taken to a private clinic because he was ill and that was at the expense of the state. You never asked that question. Why are you not concerned about the failure of the likes of the DA to pose such questions in this House? I am not convinced that they are unchained from the ideology of the past, which we are fighting very hard to bring to an end in this country.
Despite the pains of yesterday, I am standing here to advocate the concept of ubuntu. [Interjections.] Hence I can still call Mr Gibson, “an hon Member of Parliament”, despite his conduct that suggests otherwise. The kind of ubuntu we want to see is the kind that talks to our conscience and says: Yes ... [Time expired.] Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
Mong M T LIKOTSI: Modulasetulo ya hlomphehang, Mokga wa PAC o motlotlo ho bua ka sehlooho sena se hodimo. Botho ke bo-Modimo, botho ke ho phedisana mmoho le batho ba bang, botho ke ho hlompha motho ka mong jwalo ka sebopuwa sa mmopi wa rona Tlatlamatjholo. (Translation of Sesotho paragraph follows.)
[Mr M T LIKOTSI: Hon Chairperson, the PAC is proud to discuss this topic. Humanity is next to godliness, humanity is about harmonious existence with your fellow human beings, humanity is about showing respect to everyone as a creation of our God the Creator.]
Ubuntu abukuvumeli ukuba ube yindlavini ngenxa yezinto ezimbi ezenziwa kuwe ngabanye abantu abaziindlavini. [Ubuntu does not allow you to be a thug as a result of bad things done to you by other people who are hooligans.]
Botho ke ho rata wa heno jwalo ka ha o ithata. Botho ke ho hloka makoko le boitshepo, botho ke ho utlwela motho e mong ha a o foseditse. Botho ke ho tshaba Mmopi wa lehodimo le lefatshe. Botho ke ho ba sehlabelo sa bahloki, sa dikgutsana le baphaphathehi. Botho ke ho phallelana maqakabetsing a bophelong. Ke a leboha motsamisi wa mosebetsi. (Translation of Sesotho paragraph follows.)
[Humanity is about loving your fellow man just as much as you love yourself. Humanity is about being free of pride and conceit. Humanity is about forgiving the one who has done you wrong. Humanity is about making sacrifices for the needy, the orphaned and the displaced. Humanity is about being sympathetic to one another in times of trouble. Thank you.]
Ms S RAJBALLY: Chairperson, I stand here wondering how many South Africans know what ubuntu is or have heard of it. I will quote a definition I found that best expresses the essence of ubuntu as a philosophy of representing one’s personal existence, harmony and morality, where solidarity is the central element of survival within the community.
Hon President Thabo Mbeki has correctly allied ubuntu to the African Renaissance, which seeks unity in delivery. South Africa is a diverse nation with a diversity of needs, wants and composition. We need to attain unity and common ground where all South Africans may identify the benefit of a common vision for the future of our country and its people.
Government initiatives such as the Batho Pele campaign, meaning “people first”, the Letsema programme, meaning “work together”, and Vukuzenzele, meaning “arise and act”, are instruments to attain the principles of ubuntu and nation-building. For these to be truly successful, the values of ubuntu need to be delivered and inculcated in our constituency so that they can reap their benefits.
The Zulu proverb states, “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabanye abantu” which means a person is a person through other people. This proverb expresses how our individual actions in concert benefit the community and promote unity, and shall give South Africa the strength to grow and develop to be successful united in diversity.
In an article, reference was made to an old Chinese proverb:
When a man is at peace with himself, he will be at peace with his family. When the families are at peace there will be peace in the village. When the village is at peace there will be peace in the country, and when the country is at peace there will be peace in the world. Then the man can be at peace.
I thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr S SIMMONS: Chair, humanity towards others is certainly one of the most important values that we need in South Africa in order to bridge the divides of the past. All South Africans have a general consensus on this issue. But the question that needs to be asked is: How much is ubuntu a reality in South Africa?
Every person, especially here, would claim that they embrace the morality that flows from the values of ubuntu. Again, I have to contest whether certain members of this government really embrace the value of humanity towards others. I have found that, especially with Ministers, when they are questioned in this House and have to think on their feet, their lack of ubuntu becomes abundantly clear.
For instance, when a coloured member of this House – and that is me - asks for understanding regarding the situation in respect of the Employment Equity Act and the undesirable effect it has on the coloured community, the hon Minister of Labour reacts with a total lack of ubuntu by saying, and I quote:
Unfortunately, this thing about coloureds and other things, it’s your problem, not ours.
This is the most blatant disregard for the morality that flows from the values of ubuntu.
Net so het die agb Minister van Veiligheid en Sekuriteit onlangs dieselfde gebrek aan medemenslikheid, oftewel ubuntu, geopenbaar toe hy mense kwansuis die land uit wou jaag bloot omdat hulle hul ontevredenheid met die misdaadsituasie in die land te kenne gegee het. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)
[Similarly the hon Minister of Safety and Security recently displayed the same lack of humanity, that is to say ubuntu, when he ostensibly wanted to drive people out of the country for merely expressing their dissatisfaction with the crime situation in the country.]
Chair, I want to say to the hon Chief Whip of the Majority Party that he has a long way to go to make his comrades in the Cabinet understand the true spirit of ubuntu.
In conclusion, as a Christian, I know the ubuntu value system referred to here as the love referred to in Corinthians 13, verses four to five. [Time expired.] I thank you.
Mnu J P PHUNGULA: Ngiyabonga Sihlalo, ngiyabonga Mlangeni, nqokonqoko endala yakulo mbutho. Ngiyanibingelela nonke eNdlini, ngithi: Sanibonani ngaphansi kobuntu! (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[Mr J P PHUNGULA: Thank you, Chairperson, thank you, Mlangeni, veteran of this organisation. I greet all in the House. I say: Good afternoon in the name of ubuntu!]
HON MEMBERS: Yebo! [Good afternoon!]
Mnu J P PHUNGULA: Ngithi sanibonani ngaphansi kobuntu, hhayi ngaphansi kobulwanyazane. Zimbili lezi zinto: ubuntu nobulwanyazane. Zikhona-ke izilwanyazane lapha. Ngizobuye nginikhombise zona ngoba zikhona.
Bantu bakithi, ubuntu obalapha kithi. Ake nizwe nje lapho ngiqala nginikhombisa ukusebenza kobuntu. Kuthi uma indoda ifika laphaya endaweni yakithi ingenambuzi, ingenankomo futhi ingenankukhu, ahlangane amadoda akhona bese ethi, “Hhayi, nansi indoda ifika lapha izokhonza enkosini. Kodwa manje le ndoda ayinalutho, ayiklezi lapha kwayo.” Siye sithi-ke, ngoba ayiklezi, kuhle ikleziswe lapha kwayo. Sekuzohlangana-ke lawo madoda bese enye ithi, “Ngimusisela lezi ezimbili.” bese ithi nenye “Ngimusisela ngalezi ezintathu.” Lowo muntu usezokwazi ukusenga nokulima lapho kwakhe. Iyona-ke leyo nto esithi ubuntu, hhayi ubulwanyazane.
Uma sikhuluma ngobuntu sisuke sikhuluma ngalezo zinto. Sisuke singakhulumi ngalabo abathi uma befika ezweni bafike banibuke banibuke bese bethi, “Hhawu, nigwaza senilapha kanti, thina sishaya ngesibhamu sile kude.” Emuva kwalokho bese bethatha lonke ilizwe kungasali nembijana, balithathe bathi elabo.
Kuthi-ke noma sekuhlalwe phansi kwakhulunywa - emuva kokuba sesi-ke sathi ukuphathaphathana ngezandla baze bathi, cha, akukhulunywe - kodwa baye bangakufuna ukuyikhuluma le ndaba yelizwe. Yilaba babhemu abahleli ngalapha. [Ubuwelewele.] Yibo laba. [Ihlombe.] Ilizwe abaze bakhulume ngalo elaseZimbabwe. Baye bathi, “UThabo Mbeki onguMongameli walapha akamtsheli uMongameli waseZimbabwe ukuthi akangalithathi izwe labelungu.”
Banengqondo nje laba bantu? Njengoba behleli nathi nje lapha sibanesa kodwa bengafuni kuneswa, banenqgondo nekusasa nje laba bantu? Maqondana nalezi zingane esizizele osekwaletha izidakamizwa zilethwa yibona lapha, osuthola ukuthi zibhema insangu zidla nezidakamizwa, banekusasa laba bantu? (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Mr J P PHUNGULA: I say good afternoon in the name of ubuntu, not in the name of wildness. These are two different things: ubuntu and wildness. There are animals here. I will show you later, because they are here.
Compatriot, ubuntu is our thing. Let me tell you how ubuntu works. In our culture, when a man settles in our place and he doesn’t have a goat, cow and chicken, men in that area come together and say, here is a new man, who is going to be under our chief. However, he doesn’t have anything and he doesn’t milk. Let us help him to milk. One will then say, “I am loaning him two cows for milking.” The other one will say, “I am loaning him three cows for milking.” That person will then be able to milk and farm in the area. That is what we call ubuntu, not wildness.
When we are talking about ubuntu, we are talking about those things. We are not talking about those who come into our country, look at you and say, “Wow, you only stab when you are close, we shoot while we are still far away.” After that they take all the land, not even leaving a piece. They take it and say it belongs to them.
When we negotiated, after a short fight with them, they said we must talk but they refused to talk about the issue of land. They are the ones who are sitting on this side. [Interjections.] Here they are. [Applause.] They only talk about Zimbabwe. They say, “President Thabo Mbeki doesn’t tell the Zimbabwean president not to grab whites’ land.”
Are these people mentally fit? They are sitting with us and we are taking care of them but they don’t want to be taken care of. Are they mentally fit and do they have a future? With regard to children who are using drugs brought by these people, you will find that they are smoking dagga and using drugs - do they have a future?]
Mr W J SEREMANE: You are out of order.
Mnu J P PHUNGULA: Sikhuluma ngobuntu; sikhuluma ngobuntu. Awuthule baba, sikhuluma ngobuntu. Wena unale ngqondo yakho yokungabi umuntu wena.
USIHLALO WESIKHASHANA (Mnu A Mlangeni): Awume-ke, Phungula. Phungula, awume kancane.
Mnu M B SKOSANA: Sihlalo, cha, ngisukumela ukubeka isikhalo sami lapha kumhlonishwa uPhungula ngoba ngiyazi ubengaqondile ukusho lokho ngenkathi ethi, “Yilaba abahlezi ngapha.” wabe esebuka thina. [Uhleko.] Angazi-ke ngoba sikhulume kahle kangaka ngobuntu - ubaba uMpontshane ukhulumile lapha.
Ubaba uPhungula kuhle phela abeke igama. Uma ethi “abahlezi ngapha” ngiyakhala ngalokho ngoba ubuntu phela yinto yethu, njengoba eyazi naye.
Mnu J P PHUNGULA: Awuhlale phansi baba. Ngiyakubona ukuthi ukhathazekile nawe.
USIHLALO WESIKHASHANA (Mnu A Mlangeni): Ufuna ukuyilungisa, Phungula? Yilungise, mfowethu.
Mnu J P PHUNGULA: Angiyilungise, ngoba uyabona nje le ndoda ethe ngibheke ngakuyona, uma ngithi ...
USIHLALO WESIKHASHANA (Mnu A Mlangeni): Phungula, awume kancane. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Mr J P PHUNGULA: We are talking about ubuntu. We are talking about ubuntu. Keep quiet, please, we are talking about ubuntu. You don’t have the personality of being a human being.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): Wait, Phungula. Phungula, wait a little bit.
Mr M B SKOSANA: I am rising to register a concern to Mr Phungula, because I know that he didn’t mean what he said. He said “It’s those who are sitting there” and he looked at us. [Laughter.] I don’t know, because we spoke well about ubuntu - Mr Mpontshane spoke about ubuntu.
Mr Phungula must make comments. But when he says, “Those who are sitting on this side” I am concerned about that, as he knows that ubuntu is our thing.
Mr J P PHUNGULA: Sit down, sir, please. I understand that you are also concerned.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): Do you want to correct that, Mr Phungula? Correct that, my brother.
Mr J P PHUNGULA: Let me correct that, because you see the man that said I am looking at him, when I say ...
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): Mr Phungula, wait a bit.]
Dr C P MULDER: Chairperson, I rise on a further point of order: We have had some rulings by the Speaker in the past that we should refrain from making racially inciting speeches. The hon member referred to whites as people who bring drugs into the country, etc ... [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): No, I don’t think he referred to any population group. I haven’t heard him say “blacks” or “whites” ... [Interjections.] Order! Order, please!
Dr P W A MULDER: Chairperson, may I address you? I suggest that you should then ask the speaker whether he referred to whites. [Interjections.]
Mr J P PHUNGULA: Ake ngi ... [Let me ...]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): Awume, Phungula. Awume kancane ke ngithole izeluleko. [Wait a bit, Mr Phungula. Let me get advice.]
I am advised that the member is not racially fighting anybody. He is making a general speech. He is saying that some people on this side of the House are people who have come into the country, used weapons, grabbed the land and so on and so forth. I am told that he hasn’t made a racial speech.
Dr P W A MULDER: Chairperson, may I address you on what you have just said. May I suggest that you check Hansard to see if the hon member referred to whites as people who bring drugs into the country? [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): Qhubeka, Phungula. [Continue, Mr Phungula.]
Mr J P PHUNGULA: Sihlalo, ake ngiphuthume leya ndoda eshisayo laphaya ... [Chairperson, let me address that furious man there ...] [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): Order! Order! We will check the Hansard and come back to you, Dr Mulder. Qhubeka, mfowethu.
Mnu J P PHUNGULA: Ake ngiphuthume leya ... Kahle wena mama. Uyashisa wena mama. Uyashisa wena.
USIHLALO WESIKHASHANA (Mnu A Mlangeni): Phungula, khuluma indaba yakho mfowethu. Ake uyeke indaba yokukhomba abantu ngomunwe. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Continue, my brother.
Mr J P PHUNGULA: Let me address that ... Wait you, you are furious, you.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): Mr Phungula, stick to your speech, my brother. Stop pointing your finger at people.]
Mr W J SEREMANE: Chairperson, on a point of order ...
Mr J P PHUNGULA: We mnumzane okusengathi uzwa kabi lapha, cha, ungangizwi kabi ... [Sir, it seems like you are misunderstanding me, no, don’t get me wrong ...]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): What’s your point of order, hon member?
Mr W J SEREMANE: Chairperson, you have just answered part of my point of order. I think the hon member is really being reckless. He may try to play games, but he is being reckless.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): I have just asked him to stop that, hon member.
Mfowethu, ungakhombi abantu ngomunwe. Beka indaba yakho ngoba isikhathi sakho siyaphela. Qhubeka, Phungula.
Mnu J P PHUNGULA: Asizukuphela isikhathi sami siqedwa yilaba bantu. Uyadlala wena, Sihlalo. [Uhleko.] We baba! Angizange ngithi mina “abantu abamhlophe”. Uyabona, phakathi kwenu nina bantu abamhlophe, ngesikhathi esikude ngo-1952 ngenkathi senza i-defiance campaign lapha, sasinabantu abamhlophe ababehamba nathi ngoba base benobuntu. Uma ungenabo wena ubuntu, zazi wena ukuthi awunabo ubuntu. [Ihlombe.]
Kunabantu abamhlophe ababulewe lapha yilo hulumeni odlulile abakade sebengenwe ubuntu. Uma bungakakungeni wena ubuntu, ngiyeke ngikhulume mina. [Ubuwelewele.] Umuntu omhlophe mina ngilala kwakhe, ngivuke ngiphila, angiphe ukudla ngidle. Ngisho umuntu omhlophe, mhlawumbe omhlophe kunawe ngoba yena umhlophe ngempela-ke nje, akaze aye ngisho epulazini. [Ubuwelewele.]
Ngithi-ke kuwena, mina anginayo le nto yebala yokuthi: ngimnyama wena umhlophe. Ungumfowethu wena, uma uvuma. Uma ungavumi, ungenabo ubuntu, awuyena umfowethu. Sengiqedile. [Ubuwelewele.] [Ihlombe.]
We ndoda ekhulume lapha, ngithi kuwe, cha, baba, ungahlupheki ngoba bengingakhulumi nawe. Bengingakhulumi ngeqembu lakho. Futhi angikakhulumi ngaqembu, kodwa iqembu nje enginalo qho elale ndoda ndoda evungama lapha. Angiyazi nokuthi ivungama nje le ndoda inani – kukhona indoda evungama lapha.
Mnu W J SEREMANE: [Akuzwakali.]
Mnu J P PHUNGULA: Khuza Sihlalo. Kukhona indoda evungama lapha. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[My brother, do not point your finger at people. Stick to your speech because your time is expiring. Continue, Mr Phungula.
Mr J P PHUNGULA: My time won’t expire because of these people. You are kidding, Chairperson. [Laughter.] Sir, I didn’t say, “... it’s white people”. You know amongst you white people, in 1952 during the defiance campaign, we were marching with white people because they had ubuntu. If you don’t have ubuntu, you must just know yourself that you don’t have ubuntu. [Applause.]
There were white people that had ubuntu, who were killed by the apartheid government. If you don’t have ubuntu ... let me speak. [Interjections.] I slept in a white person’s home, woke up alive. He even gave me food to eat. I am talking about a white person. Maybe he is even whiter than you, because he has never been to the farm. [Interjections.]
I am saying to you, I don’t entertain this issue of saying: I am black, you are white. You are my brother, if you agree. If you don’t agree, and are inhuman, you are not my brother. I am done. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Gentleman, who spoke over there, I am saying to you, don’t worry, I was not speaking to you. I was speaking about your party. I am not just talking about the party but the party that I am dealing with is the one for that man, who is mumbling over there. I don’t know what his problem is as he is mumbling.
Mr W J SEREMANE: [Inaudible.]]
Mr J P PHUNGULA: Chairperson, call the House to order. There is a man who is mumbling over there.]
Mr W J SEREMANE: Ngiyisilwane nje kuwe ... [I am just an animal to you ...] nothing else. I have never been a human being to you.
Mr J P PHUNGULA: Akukabi yisikhathi sokukhuluma. Awunikiwe isikhathi sokukhuluma. [It’s not yet time to talk. You were not given time to talk.]
Mr W J SEREMANE: Anybody who is not like you must be an “isilwane” [animal].
Mr J P PHUNGULA: Awungivikele, Sihlalo. [Please protect me, Chairperson.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): Qhubeka. [Continue.]
Mr W J SEREMANE: You are a tribalist through and through. [Interjections.]
Mnu J P PHUNGULA: Wena umthetho wakho uyinto engazazi nokuthi iyini-ke, wena. [Ubuwelewele.]
ILUNGU ELIHLONIPHEKILE: Ubuhlanga! Ubuhlanga!
Mnu J P PHUNGULA: Wena uhlezi lapha ngoba uphakelwa. Uphakelwa ukuze uphazamise inkululeko yakuleli zwe. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Mr J P PHUNGULA: You don’t even understand who you are, you. [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Tribalism! Tribalism!
Mr J P PHUNGULA: You are sitting here because you are fed. You are fed to perturb the democracy of this country.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr A Mlangeni): Order! Order members! Order please! Order! [Interjections.] Please, let us not exchange words and point fingers and accuse others. Let’s just go ahead with the speech. Finish your speech, hon member.
Mnu J P PHUNGULA: Niyezwa-ke, sikhuluma ngobuntu lapha. Kuneqembu lapha elingezwani nobuntu. Kuneqembu lapha eliphazamisa yonke into esiyenzayo lapha kuleli Phalamende kodwa ngibona nithulile nje nibe ninamandla okwenza kukhulunywe naleli qembu. Niyayizwa manje incelebana yakhona, iyona ebhoke ngempela. [Uhleko.] Iyona ebhoke ngempela manje le ncelebana. Besingakunakile baba ngoba siyazi ukuthi wena uyele ukudla laphaya. Manje-ke ngoba nakhu sekubonakala ukuthi asikunakile, sewufuna ukuba ubhongoza manje. Akukho bhongoza lapha, yisePhalamande lapha.
Uma najwayela ngokunquma uVerwoerd lapha ePhalamande, akulona lelo Phalamendel leli. Siyayazi imikhuba yenu. Niyanqumana lapha. Ngeke-ke nisinqume thina, siyizinkalakatha. [Uhleko.] [Ihlombe.] U-ANC inggqungqulu.
Mnu W J SEREMANE: Sengathi i-CNA.
Mnu J P PHUNGULA: Yingqungqulu le. Yigama lakho-ke lelo ozibiza ngalo. Siyabonga, CIA. Siyabonga uma uyi-CIA. Ubuntu-ke mabungene lapha, mabungene nakule ndoda evungama lapha. Ake niyincenge impela. Ake nincenge le ndoda evungama lapha. Ayinabuntu, ihlushwa ukungabi nabuntu njengoba niyizwa ivungama nje.
Lapha sithi kunina yibani abantu. Umuntu ungumuntu ngabantu. Ngiyabonga, Sihlalo. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[Mr J P PHUNGULA: Do you understand, we are talking about ubuntu here? There is a party there that doesn’t like ubuntu. There is a party that is perturbing everything that we do here at Parliament, but you are quiet even though you have the power to talk with this party. Do you hear, it’s confident? [Interjections.] We were not concerned about you, sir, because we know that you are there for food. Now that we don’t care about you, you want to be a boss. There is no boss here. This is Parliament.
You beheaded Verwoerd here at Parliament; it is not the then Parliament now. We know your habits. You behead people here. You will never behead us; we are the boss. [Applause.] [Interjections.] The ANC is ruling.
Mr W J SEREMANE: Like CNA.
Mr J P PHUNGULA: This is the boss. That is your name that you are calling yourself. Thank you, CIA. Thank you if you are CIA. Have humanity; the man, who is mumbling there, must have ubuntu. Let us beg him. He doesn’t have ubuntu.
We are saying to you, be humans, a person is a person through other people. Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]]
Mr W J SEREMANE: Chairperson, ours is a very diverse society, thus there’ll be different approaches to one and the same issue. The subject for debate this afternoon reads as follows: “The values of ubuntu botho, as it dictates our approaches to and conduct towards others who may find themselves in difficult times.” It’s quite a mouthful, I must say.
You will notice that I have appended “botho” to “ubuntu” in an attempt to convey a sense of a wider spectrum to adherents or practitioners of the philosophy and ethics of human behaviour: botho/ubuntu. Depending on specific circumstances, I think it is wise to append the description to such concepts in order to break the false notion of a sectional or mono-ethnical interpretation of an all-embracing concept and practice. It is no section’s monopoly.
Furthermore, whilst it is good to be amenable to the dictates of ubuntu/botho in our approaches to and conduct towards others who may find themselves in difficult times, we should actually be thinking of the other side, other people who are victims of malpractice because ubuntu/botho is an all-embracing concept; it is not sectional.
The individual is as good as the collective; which collective is only as good as a chain that’s dependent on the strength of each link. Botho/ubuntu is an inculcated system of belief and conduct regularising human conduct and interaction. It doesn’t fall from heaven. Botho/ubuntu should also regulate and temper human behaviour thereby placing humans at a higher level than other creatures.
Given what the world is today, and we’ve seen part of it today, one wonders if some humans really behave better than other creatures normally regarded as subhuman. One wonders whether our modern rat race and dog-eat-dog life needs a heavy dose of what we call botho or ubuntu in all walks of life. Our conduct in general towards all people, irrespective of their cultural, linguistic or social standing should be guided by the simple dictums of the very concept of botho.
To name a few of these dictums, I’d like to remind members that “Motho ke motho ka batho - umntu ngumntu ngabantu” [A person is a person because of other persons]. Motho ga a latlhwe. [You cannot jettison a person like you cast away debris.] Matlo go ša mabapi ... [We should be each other’s keepers] ... whether we like it or not.
The foregoing, amongst many others, touch on the intrinsic worth and dignity of each and every individual. The philosophy seeks to instil a sense of compassion and caring, reaching out to the less fortunate, those less endowed with power and even influence for that matter, that human beings are, as they say, “the jewel of creation.” Nowhere does ubuntu or botho stipulate differentiation of compassion. [Interjections.] [Time expired.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I want to thank the members who participated in the debate. I think that we still need to continue to engage on these matters.
However, I must very briefly respond to the matters Madam Semple raised here. I will do this by raising only two things: Firstly, we have been here for 12 years now. If you read about something in the paper, please spend some time just to find out whether what you have read in the newspaper is true - as a member and because we are each other’s keeper. You can then pass judgment after you’ve made an effort to understand what is being said. Secondly, Parliament can never be reduced to a haven for debt collectors. People who must serve others with a summons without any attempt ... [Interjections.] Can you please give me a chance! Proof must be provided that someone has been looking for this member and couldn’t find him; and that it’s known that this member works here in Parliament but couldn’t be found.
For the purpose of the record, I live in Cradock at number 97A Hospital Street. That is the place for my private, personal things and this is the National Assembly. [Interjections.] I just wanted to say, again, that I would insist that we do not discuss personal family matters in public. We won’t do that.
Now, I want to restate what we have said in this debate. We have said that contemporary South Africa is ruled by a Constitution underscored by ubuntu. This has been the case since the emergence of the Interim Constitution. When we supported Comrade Yengeni, we were starting to redefine prison as a community space in which the worth and dignity of an individual are to be respected.
Our redefinition of prison is part of remaking South Africa into a liveable world, within the context of ubuntu. Your own brother and sister can be charged with whatever heinous crime there is under the sun, but he remains your brother, she remains your sister and your child remains your child. We need to respect that and extend it consistently in the way we interact with one another.
Even regarding these artificial barriers that divide people according to political party affiliation etc, at some stage, for the sake of ubuntu, we need to rise above those barriers. If we then do that, we will be a nation in the making that will have a bright future. I thank you very much, Chairperson. [Applause.]
The House adjourned at 16:50.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
FRIDAY, 13 OCTOBER 2006
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Translation of Bills submitted
(1) The Minister of Trade and Industry
- Wysigingswetsontwerp op Korporatiewe Wette [W 6 – 2006] (National Assembly – sec 75)
This is the official translation into Afrikaans of the Corporate Laws Amendment Bill [B 6 – 2006] (National Assembly – sec 75).
CREDA PLEASE INSERT REPORT - Insert – T061013E-insert – PAGES 2166-2168
TUESDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2006
1. Designation of Acting Speaker
DESIGNATION OF ACTING SPEAKER
As I will be absent from Parliament during the period 16 to 27 October 2006, in accordance with the resolution adopted by the House on 24 June 2004, I designate House Chairperson Mr G Q M Doidge to act as Speaker for this period.
Baleka Mbete, MP
16 October 2006
TUESDAY, 17 OCTOBER 2006
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
The Speaker and the Chairperson
1. Introduction of Bills
(1) The Minister for the Public Service and Administration
- Public Service Amendment Bill [B 31 – 2006] (National Assembly – proposed sec 76) [Explanatory summary of Bill and prior notice of its introduction published in Government Gazette No 29259 of 29 September 2006.]
Introduction and referral to the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration of the National Assembly, as well as referral to the Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM) for classification in terms of Joint Rule 160.
In terms of Joint Rule 154 written views on the classification of the Bill may be submitted to the JTM within three parliamentary working days.
2. Bills passed by Houses – to be submitted to President for assent
(1) Bill passed by National Assembly on 17 October 2006:
- Corporate Laws Amendment Bill [B 6D – 2006] (National Assembly– sec 75).
1. Message from National Council of Provinces to National Assembly in respect of Bills passed by Council and transmitted to Assembly
(1) Bill passed by National Council of Provinces and transmitted for concurrence on 17 October 2006:
(a) Further Education and Training Colleges Bill [B 23B – 2006] (National Council of Provinces – sec 76).
The Bill has been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Education of the National Assembly.
National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
1. The Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development
- Report and Financial Statements of Vote 23 – Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for 2005-2006, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 23 for 2005-2006 [RP 205-2006].
2. The Minister of Arts and Culture
- Report and Financial Statements of Vote 14 – Department of Arts and Culture for 2005-2006, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 14 for 2005-2006.
3. The Minister of Trade and Industry
- Report and Financial Statements of the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO) for 2005-2006, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2005-2006 [RP 220-2006].
1. The Speaker
(a) Letter from the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development, dated 16 October 2006, to the Speaker of the National Assembly, in terms of section 65(2)(a) of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No 1 of 1999), explaining the delay in the tabling of the Annual Report of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for 2005-2006:
LATE SUBMISSION OF THE ANNUAL REPORT
In terms of section 65(2) of the PFMA, the executive authority of the Department must submit an explanation in writing detailing the reasons for not tabling the annual report and annual financial statements in the relevant legislature within six months after the end of the financial year to which those financial statements relate (30 September).
I wish to indicate that the Annual Report of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development was not submitted timeously as we only received our audited financial statements from the Auditor-General on the 21st August 2006, which led to delays in processing the report.
I trust that you will find the above in order.
MRS B S MABANDLA
MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND
1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on the Postal Services Amendment Bill [B 22– 2006] (National Assembly – sec 75), dated 17 October 2006:
The Portfolio Committee on Communications, having considered the subject of the Postal Services Amendment Bill [B 22-2006] (National Assembly – sec 75), referred to it, and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 75 Bill, reports the Bill with amendments [B 22A-2006].
2. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on the Annual Conference of the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration: Warsaw, Poland: 5 to 8 July 2006:
Having attended the above-mentioned conference as represented by Mr M R Baloyi, the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration hereby submit a report for consideration by the National Assembly as an accountability mechanism
The International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration, abbreviated and generally referred to as IASIA, and referred to in this report as the Association, is a non-profit formation voluntarily established to provide a forum for organisations and individuals whose activities and interests focus on public administration and management. It aims to promote and support cooperation among participating organisations and individuals, to enhance their capacity to strengthen the administrative and management capabilities of governments, organisations, agencies and enterprises they serve.
Having been conceptualised in a document circulated in Viena in 1962, the Association was formally incorporated in 1971, at the Congress of the International Institutes of Administrative Sciences (IIAS), which was held in Rome. It was later formally established as an independent Association operating broadly to adopt a non-scientific-and-broader-stakeholder approach, contrary to its mother-organisation, the IIAS, which is purely scientific.
IASIA now has worldwide membership of over one hundred and seventy institutions in seventy countries. Most of the member-organisations of IASIA are academic institutions at tertiary level, public service institutions as well as individuals who are practitioners in the public service and administration arena.
As a non-profit entity, the Association survives out of money generated from membership contributions, income from services rendered by its members and contributions from funding organisations such as the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Ford Foundation, the German Foundation for International Development, the United Nations and the United Sates Agency for International Development.
The Association seeks to provide an opportunity for personnel of member organisations and individuals to:
- Exchange information, ideas, experience and materials on issues and developments of common interests;
- Study public sector management issues and developments of current and future concerns; and
- Advance their professional knowledge, expertise and development.
In order to achieve the above aims, the Association organises Annual conferences, mobilise and organise Research groups and facilitate and sponsor publications.
Although neither Parliament nor the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration is an affiliated member of the Association, the Committee has been attending the Annual conferences thereof since around 2002.
- THE REPORT IN DETAILS
Institutions and individuals from fifty two countries attended and participated in the conference, including South Africa, which was represented by the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, the Public Service Commission and the following Universities:
- University of the Free State;
- Tshwane University of Technology;
- Bloemfontein Central University of Technology;
- University of the Western Cape;
- University of KwaZulu Natal
- University of Pretoria, and
- University of South Africa.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Poland, the Chairperson of the Poland Parliamentary Committee on Public Services and the Mayor of Warsaw attended the official opening of the Conference. The Uganda Minister of Public Administration attended the conference throughout and she even delivered a paper sharing the experience of her country in dealing with issues of public administration, particularly in the area of how they manage the recruitment process.
Also in attendance were the European Commission, the United Nations and the African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development.
CONFERENCE THEME, WORKING GROUPS AND DELIBERATIONS
The theme of the Conference was “In search of the best: Attracting, Developing and Retaining in Public Service”, and it focused the conference in dealing with issues related to the recruitment of the most suitable public servants, motivating them to stay in the public service and training them so that they remain focused on the key priorities of respective public service organisations for consistency and accelerated service delivery.
In deciding on this theme, Conference organisers recognised that it is a world-wide reality that the success of any public service organisation is heavily dependent on the quality of the public service that such institutions have, and the fact that dealing with such questions as the theme suggests is not an easy exercise, hence a need to bring together those academic experts and expert practitioners to share their views on how best to deal with the questions.
Conference noted that there are some reasons as to why Governments of the World are confronted with serious recruitment challenges, such as the following:
- Application of passive recruitment strategies
This is a situation where Governments rely on the use of newspapers, radios, televisions and verbal announcements for advertising posts. The argument in this regard was that this is an outdated approach that tend to attract quantities and not necessarily qualities, because, in doing so, the message may reach a number of people who may be available for interviews, become impressive in the process of interviews and convince the panel that they are the best recruits. The panel may have to accept the bonafides of those who will demonstrate such qualities at the interviews as being able to answer the questions that are asked, and that may not necessarily translate into guaranteeing that those individuals may be the best suitable of the public servants.
During deliberations, and as the various stakeholders were sharing their experience on this matter, Conference considered that an alternative strategy for recruiting the best candidates for public service posting should the one referred to as the active strategy, which include web recruiting, on-site recruiting, such as considering individuals on the basis of their contributions say at conferences, meetings and other instances, the use of referees of a sound standing, the use of internships or co-opting, the use of credible employment agencies and head-hunting. What was considered as a diving line between this strategy and the one referred to as passive, is that this one provide an opportunity during the recruitment process, to consider the practical side of the assumed quality and capacity of the candidate, and this minimises the risk of appointing candidates only on considering their articulate representation and eloquence during interviews.
- Time consuming through red tape or proceduralism
Conference noted that, related to the passive recruitment strategy referred to above, is the lengthy recruitment processes where the governments will follow procedural steps to a point where individual applicants find themselves attracted elsewhere whilst waiting for Government confirmation of appointment. They loose confidence in the recruitment process and seek for alternative opportunities.
- Lack of attraction
Experience shared at Conference suggested that the most suitable and thus the best candidates are not always readily available and that they are very considerate as to what they involve themselves in, such that they scrutinise the nature of work and the image of the organisation they join through recruitment. In the majority of cases, it is seen as an international phenomenon, that of the bashing of the bureaucracy by media, academics and politicians. So much negative tend to be said about the public service in the name of being transparent, but that which goes so far to a point of discouraging the best from joining the public service, such as public announcements of the salaries of public servants, more so if the reporting is negative, such as branding the public servants “fat cats” or branding them other negative tags. This was identified as the most demotivating factor for professionals preferring to take up employment with the Civil Service. They believe that once they accept job offers from the public service, they will be joining the club of those people who will always be at the receiving end without due consideration of the sacrifices they will make from time to time. What was identified as a common trend in the international arena accountable for these perceptions in the public service is the allegation that there is more negative reporting on the work of public servants than what they objectively deserve.
However, there is no option that does not give rise to some sort of challenges that need to be addressed from time to time, thus, debates in the alternative strategy to the passive recruitment one are often characterised by perceptions of favouritism, nepotism and job reservations.
- Lack of financial incentives
A global reality noted was that Governments generally are not competitive with the outside employer bodies as to salaries and salary packages, hence the difficulty to attract the best and to retain those best who are already within public service. A driving factor for this challenge is that Governments are confronted with a need of having to balance expenditure patterns, such that the salary bill is not seen to be higher than the operation account.
Conference deliberated as to whether this is not a foreign impositioning of concepts that do not apply to the public service environment, hence it remains an issue for further research, because Conference agreed that without resolving the salary question in Government employment, Governments of the World may have to forget about being able to attract the best and to retain them within the public service.
Due to this factor, it was argued that in some countries, university graduates with such scarce skills as medical professions leave their countries as soon as they graduate, in search of better employment opportunities, and that those who remain take decisions that they will compensate themselves by indulging in such practices as moonlighting.
It is a converse reality that in order to recruit and retain the best public servants, Governments need to pay their staff competitive salary packages so that they do not see themselves available to quit at the slightest excitement.
Notwithstanding the challenges some of which referred to in this report, there are some common indicators that may assist the process of recruitment, retaining and development of the best employees in the public service arena expedient in anticipating future challenges and winning ongoing battles in the desire to ensure service delivery, determined by the immediate challenges prevalent in any given situation, such as the following:
Choosing the best is relative and contextual
This is a factor that should guide the recruitment process to be viewed as related to addressing the real challenges of each country and Government, in formed by the priority needs of the people concerned. What is said to be the best for a particular environment may not necessarily be the best for all instances; hence the absence of a one-size-fit-all recruitment process and yardstick for what is seen as quality public service.
Of course this factor does not rule out the possibility of the existence of generic processes in recruitment, but the point of emphasis in this matter is that even in those instances, the determining factor is that there has to be common assumptions leading to those instances.
Choosing the best means the existence of systems, processes and practices
Whereas the best in terms of public servants relates to attributes of knowledge, skills, competencies and character, greater achievements is attainable in the event of a further combination of same with reliable and efficient systems, clear processes and a culture for accountable practices.
Search for the best should be across the organisational structures of an organisation.
Although common trends suggests that more focus tend to be given to recruit the best only at senior management level and less attention is given to middle and lower management up to the general rank-and-file in any institution, the journey to best performing public institutions will only be made a successful project with a specific biasness to seek for the best across the rank divide.
The best means ability to weather current storms and pre-empt future threats.
Because service delivery does not take place in a vacuum, there is always a need that when recruitment is done, it should be directed at selecting the people who will live up to the unique challenges of each unique country.
Experience may not necessarily be cognate or relevant.
A common practice, which Conference established that it is problematic and misleading, is the one that suggests that the chances are high that institutions may recruit the best by making reference to experience of individuals accumulated over years of service in a particular field of deployment. The problematic part of considering service and experience as a determinant for choosing the best is that the Public Service environment is dynamic, such that what becomes a relevant exposure and experience at a particular time may not necessarily be holding across time-periods, either because political situations change and influence policy-making or that policies themselves are subject to review from time to time.
Academic training may not always prepare a person to be suitable for a particular work.
The one with an impressive resume is not necessarily the best. Public service work is not entirely academic. It is all about understanding policies and internalising the obligations to implement those policies.
On this score, Conference acknowledged that a system of recruitment that only places academic achievement as a tool for the best may not always get the good performers out of such, and that cadreship development should be encouraged as the best guide, which is that individuals are prepared through thorough engagement on tailor-made development programmes to be able to be the best public servants relevant to particular environments.
Business management-type of skills may not always yield good public service results.
The idea of running public service institutions like business formations is gaining momentum the World-over, in terms of which there is a drive for so-called return on investment. This is one of the characteristic features of the New Public Management theories. In this regard, preference for the recruitment of personnel for public service goes to those people who command such skills and knowledge. Conference stressed that this may not always yield good results. Public management practices should be service delivery focused and not profit driven, although there should be an effort to be efficient.
In conclusion, it suffices to mention that this Conference set a stage for countries and participants to pay special attention to issues related to recruitment of the best public servants, retaining in the public service and also further developing them.