Public Protector response to MP request for her removal from office (postponed); Legal Practice Act Regulations: adoption

This premium content has been made freely available

Justice and Correctional Services

22 August 2018
Chairperson: Dr MS Motshekga (ANC)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

Documents: Responses by Public Protector to request by Mr J Steenhuisen, MP to expedite procedure to remove Public Protector from office (only circulated to MPs)

The Portfolio Committee met to discuss the responses by the Public Protector, after the request by Mr J Steenhuisen (DA) to expedite procedures to remove the Public Protector from office.

Ms G Breytenbach (DA) said the response from the Public Protector was only received after 11h00 the previous evening and she said it would be impossible to properly interrogate the document.

All Members, except Mr T Mulaudzi, representing the EFF, agreed that the matter should be postponed to the following week to give Members time to apply their minds. According to Mr Mulaudzi the EFF has come to the decision that the Public Protector should be removed.

The Committee proceeded to adopt its report on the Legal Practice Regulations.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed everyone.

Ms G Breytenbach (DA) said the response from the Public Protector was only received after 11h00 the previous evening and she said it would be impossible to properly interrogate the document.

The Chairperson said the meeting will continue unless there was a proposal for postponement.

Ms Breytenbach proposed a postponement.

Mr W Horn (DA) seconded the proposal. He said the Public Protector was afforded the opportunity to answer the allegations and it was simply not fair to the Committee to expect Members to engage with the document if it was only received after 11h00 last night.

Mr S Mncwabe (NFP) said the meeting should be adjourned so that MPs have time to apply their minds, because it was a critical matter in the public interest.

Mr M Maila (ANC) and Mr L Mpumlwana (ANC) also supported the postponement.

Mr T Mulaudzi (EFF) said he was ready to proceed with the meeting and the EFF has taken the position that the Public Protector should be removed.

Ms R Mothapo (ANC) supported the postponed and she requested that if there was any additional documentation that can assist Members in processing this matter, should be forwarded to Members before the meeting next week.

The Chairperson replied that the response did not warrant supporting documentation, because it was not an inquiry and the matter was postponed to the following week.

Draft Committee Report: Adoption of Legal Practice Act Regulations

The Chairperson said that as per the decision the previous day, the Committee will adopt the Legal Practice Regulations.

Ms Mothapo proposed a grammatical amendment in the last paragraph.

The DA reserved their position.

The report was adopted with amendments.

Ms Breytenbach said she has been receiving telephone calls about the Committee’s oversight visit to Polokwane and she was not aware of such a visit.

The Chairperson responded that if Ms Breytenbach left a meeting before its conclusion, it did not deprive the majority of the Members who remained to discuss matters and take decisions. This matter was raised, discussed and decision was made the day before.

Ms Breytenbach said she has been getting telephone calls about the oversight visit to Polokwane long before yesterday.

The Chairperson said Ms Breytenbach might not understand processes, because Members got notices to discuss the matter.

Ms Breytenbach said the call had nothing to do with notices, but were about travel arrangements.

The Chairperson said these were officials seeking preparatory information in case the Committee took the decision to do the visit, which was a normal part of the process.

Ms Mothapo said, respectfully, the Committee discussed and took a decision yesterday and Ms Breytenbach and Mr Horn left during the course of the meeting. It was not good to show disrespect to the Committee and to the public. Because of all the pressing issues in Limpopo, the Committee resolved to take an oversight visit. She suggested that some Members should undergo an anger management course.

The Chairperson agreed that this forum represented the people of South Africa who elected Members. If there was a need for anger management a recommendation should be made to that effect, because it was important that Members ‘kept their cool’.

The meeting was adjourned.

Download as PDF

You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.

See detailed instructions for your browser here.

Share this page: