July 22, 2018

After a long silence, the former deputy head of the Parliamentary Protection Services (PPS), who was placed on precautionary suspension back in 2015, has resurfaced demanding the opportunity to clear his name.

The ongoing disquiet over the decade-long MalaMala land deal provides a salutary lesson on the need to tread with great caution. This comes amid the talk of land restitution, with or without compensation, as Parliament’s Joint Constitutional Review Committee traverses the country scanning public opinion on whether it’s necessary to meddle with the Constitution to achieve this.

Occasionally hidden in the many long pages of Parliament’s Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports (ATCs), a precious nugget of information may be found. For example, here is something for those who are wondering when the state capture investigation to get underway. It turns out that a small start has already been made.

Those who value transparency and accountability in political party funding, and who welcomed the National Assembly’s passing of the contentious Political Party Funding Bill in March after a delay of more than a decade, may be in for a disappointment. The Bill has been sitting in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) since it was sent for concurrence in March, and records show that the NCOP has held only one hearing since then.

South Africa’s determined ongoing efforts to cut its ties with the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICC) in the Hague re-surfaced at the tail end of a meeting of the Committee of Justice and Correctional Services in parliament.

Representatives from the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) expressed anger and “disgust” at the way the Office of the Institute Supporting Democracy (OISD) has gone ahead with the process of amalgamating Chapter 9 Institutions, without considering the special role that the gender commission plays in a society fraught with violence against women and girls and particularly harsh patriarchal discrimination.

Since 1979 about 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty in the People’s Republic of China, more recently at a rate of more 130 million people every year since 2013.

A number of concessions have been introduced to the controversial hate speech Bill to placate those who regard it as a threat to democracy and civil rights.

A new Private Member’s Bill has been tabled by the DA’s TOBY CHANCE for the establishment of an Ombud service for small and medium enterprises. He tabled the Bill and has called for public comment in an effort to ensure that small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) get the backing they need to survive.

Is there another Life Esidemeni tragedy waiting to happen, especially in provinces which have no mental care facilities at all, or hospitals with 100% vacancy rates for mental health care professionals?

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Notes from the House is an independent weekly email newsletter that tracks and monitors Parliament in its role of holding government to account and passing legislation to improve people’s lives. It aims to bring you the news from Parliament that you don’t get elsewhere. Published by Moira Levy with the support of the Claude Leon Foundation.

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