DA wants fair, open process

The DA yesterday called on national assembly safety and security committee chairman Maggie Sotyu to ensure that the process in public hearing of Scorpions is fair, open and democratic.

The DA yesterday called on national assembly safety and security committee chairman Maggie Sotyu to ensure that the process in public hearing of Scorpions is fair, open and democratic.

"The ANC has made its intention to use the public consultation process to its own advantage very clear," DA spokesman Dianne Kohler-Barnard said yesterday.

The Kohler-Banard said in statement that the DA wanted firm guarantees from Sotyu that the process for selecting people to make presentations at the hearings would be public and open.

He said his party also wanted a guarantee that the committee would jointly finalise the list of people invited, and the time frame given for each person's presentation would not be less than 30 minutes.

Further, that the time set aside for public hearings should not be less than 10 working days, and every effort should be made to ensure balanced representation was given to submissions from people presenting both for and against the possible disbanding of the Scorpions.

The constitutional court had ruled in the past that, "Under our Constitution, therefore, the obligation to facilitate public involvement is a requirement of the law-making process... Failure to comply with manner and form requirements in enacting legislation renders the legislation invalid, and courts have the power to declare such legislation invalid."

If Parliament wanted to avoid a repetition of what occurred with the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Act, extra care should be taken to ensure that public participation was managed in a proper manner, said Kohler-Barnard.

"The chairperson needs to do everything in her power to ensure that the process is fair, open and democratic," he said. - Sapa

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