‘DA mobilising SA on website against Draft Bill undemocratic’
14 December 2019, 3:49 PM
The Chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee of Parliament Amending Section 25 of the Constitution Mathole Motshekga has slammed the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) bid to stop the amendment of Section 25.
The DA has created a website in which the party urges South Africans to raise their objections.
The move followed the bill’s publication in the government gazette yesterday.
Motshekga has described it as irresponsible and undemocratic.
“The Democratic Alliance is irresponsible. It’s undemocratic because they voted for the version of the Bill that has been gazetted – and also they must understand that our democracy is both participatory and representative. But the public representatives have had their opportunity to develop a bill that has not been gazetted. Now it is for the people of South Africa without undue influence to express themselves,” he says.
The proposed law has been tagged as a Section 74 Bill, which makes provision for Bills Amending the Constitution.
The House of Traditional Leaders, which is empowered in terms of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, has been given until the January 29, 2020 to make input on the Bill.
Members of the public and stakeholders also have until the end of January 2020 to make written submissions.
The DA has always been opposed to the Bill, saying it doesn’t believe the Constitution needs to be amended.
“Secondly, the amendment that was now proposed in the Bill means that legislation can determine the circumstances under which expropriation can be nil. The DA believes that this would cause great problems,- it is arbitrary, that any such circumstances should it be included somewhere – it should be in the Constitution. We therefore oppose it and we ask the citizens of South Africa to also oppose it,” says DA Member of Parliament and member of the Ad Hoc Committee Annelie Lotriet.
National Assembly bids farewell to first female Searjent-at-arms
21 November 2019, 7:52 PM
The National Assembly has unanimously passed a motion to bid farewell to Serjeant-at-arms Regina Mohlomi who will retire with effect from January the first next year, after 23 years of service in Parliament.
Mohlomi is a former teacher and former chairperson of trade union NEHAWU in Parliament.
In 2011 she became the first female Serjeant-at-arms who led the President and Presiding Officers of the National Assembly into the chamber.
Another of Mohlomi’s duties was to escort MPs out of the House after Presiding Officers ruled them out of order.
House Chairperson Matlala Borotho paid tribute to Mohlomi.
“As part of the history of this House, to Miss Mohlommi we say you have availed your time and energies to serve our people. You have lend a hand to strengthen our democracy and our democratic institutions. And the accolades that we shower you with today, when the history of this House, the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa is written,- your name will be part of it. As a former teacher, I understand who you could really keep on taking the instructions that were very sometimes hectic for you. But knowing you as a teacher you are able to carry that up.”
EFF pays tribute to Mohlomi
The EFF says Mohlomi had a gentle approach towards the party when their MPs were ordered to leave the chamber.
EFF MP Nazier Paulsen is one of the MPs who paid tribute to Mohlomi during a motion to bid her farewell.
“On behalf of the Economic Freedom Fighters I would like to thank MamRegina for the treatment that she’s afforded us. Our first contact with MamRegina was when we were evicted from this House. She came to us, she approached us in a gentle and kind manner. And tried to avoid the inevitable but of course history would have it that whatever ensued after that had to ensue, because there was no other way for the Economic Freedom Fighters to announce the arrival on the parliamentary political scene and we fought a valiant battle, but obviously there was someone who tried to avoid it and tried to calm us down.”
“Brave and patriotic person”
DA Chief Whip Natasha Mazonne has described the outgoing National Assembly’s Serjeant-at-Arms as a brave and patriotic person who served Parliament with distinction.
Mazonne says Mohlomi had a unique way of communicating with disorderly MPs.
“Those who have been asked to leave – will attest to the fact that MaRegina has always spoken to them in their mother tongue. And I think that it shows some great deal of respect and kindness that someone has taken the effort to learn what language you speak. So in a difficult time of confrontation it’s done in your mother tongue. Having served Parliament with distinction, patriotism, bravery, we now congratulate MaRegina on her retirement. We wish her nothing but help and happiness, time well spent with her family and friends, relaxation and rest and mostly a break from all of us MPs.”
IFP Chief Whip Narend Singh has told the National Assembly’s retiring Serjeant-at-Arms that she has made history if the EFF could pay a moving tribute to bid her farewell.
Singh was impressed by the words from EFF MP Nazier Paulsen who recalled how Mohlomi treated EFF MPs when they were ordered out of the house.
“And I thought I will say to you MamRegina that there are probably some colours that you don’t want to see when you go home and retire. But after that speech I think you will want to see that colour. You will have a soft heart; and you will want to see red as well because it was those lad in red that enabled you to do something that you didn’t do in the past. And I am glad that you went there with full of respect and everything else and spoke to our Honourable colleagues there. But you will be able to write a book on what they told you when you went to them.”
Current 1975 Expropriation Act unconstitutional: Mahlati
7 November 2019, 9:18 AM
The Deputy Chairperson of the Presidential Panel of Experts on Land, Vuyo Mahlati, says the current 1975 Expropriation Act is unconstitutional.
Mahlati who participated in the Constitutional dialogue between various stakeholders and Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee on amending Section 25 of the Constitution, says the 1975 Act is still being relied on for expropriation purposes, while the new Bill to repeal the Act is still in process.
“The tension right now is that we have a constitution, even outside of being amended, that relates to just and equitable compensation. We are sitting with an Expropriation Act of 1975 that precedes the 1996 Constitution and it is seriously unconstitutional.”
“If you read that Expropriation Act of 1975, it is specifically market based, and there is a legal term which I forgot, you further get a sweetener for having agreed,” said Mahlati.
Lawyer Matome Chidi who also participated in the dialogue suggests that 1913 should be removed from the property clause in Section 25 of the Constitution which deals with land restitution.
He told Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee on Amending Section 25 on Wednesday that dispossession did not only take place after 1913.
The Constitution makes provision for restitution only to those who were dispossessed of their land after June 19, 1913, the year that the Natives Land Act came into effect, said Chidi: “There is no need in my view to limit the programme to the year 1913, because the dispossession, annexation and others – happened long before this specific year .
“This year  was just a consolidation of the practice that had already existed. So as a proposal of what should further be done. I would propose that this specific aspects 1913 be taken out of the constitution. So, it would be amended by way of deletion,” added Chidi.
The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CORMSA) says the South African constitution protects everyone, including undocumented foreign nationals.
CORMSA is one of the Non-Governmental Organisations that briefed Parliament’s Portfolio Committee Home Affairs on the challenges that refugees and asylum-seekers are facing in the country.
“The new South Africa was built on a culture of inclusiveness, tolerance and human rights embodied in its 1996 constitution. I believe here we are mandated to promote and protect the country, which then covers everybody. When I say everybody and everyone, it means that asylum seekers, refugees, separated children, undocumented children and refugees… they should be protected because the constitution provides such mandate. So, the issues that normally affect the group we work with or the target beneficiaries, is the denial of access to refugee centres,” says CORMSA Director Thifulufheli Sinthumule.
Watch related video below:
Parliament wants SIU head to be investigated
23 October 2019, 4:30 PM
Parliament cannot ignore the allegations levelled against the Special Investigating Unit Head Andy Mothibi. That’s according to Chairperson of Parliament’s Justice and Correctional Services Portfolio Committee Bulelani Magwanishe who was speaking during a committee meeting.
He wants Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola to urgently investigate the allegations against Mothibi and the SIU.
Some of the allegations include sexual harassment and corruption.
Magwanishe says that Parliament has received more complaints against the SIU Head.
“I think we received a lot of letters after the appearance of the SIU before the committee. And Parliament cannot be seen to be ignoring such complaints. I proposed, Honourable Members, that this matter be referred to as a matter of urgency to the Minister, to investigate and deal with the matter and report to the Committee urgently. Possibly when we come back early next year, we would request him to update the committee on the actions he would have taken to deal with the matter. But we think that the matter should be dealt with expeditiously to look at the veracity of all the allegations that are made and to take appropriate steps to deal with the matter.”