Section 25: Oral submissions now allowed – Annelie Lotriet

Party says committee’s deadline now extended to the end of May

DA wins fight to have oral submissions made before the Section 25 Ad-hoc committee

5 March 2021

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is happy to announce that, after initial resistance from the Chairperson of the Section 25 ad-hoc Committee, Dr Mathole Motshekga, the ANC and the EFF to hear oral submissions from interested organisations on the 18th Constitutional Amendment Bill, the resolution has now been adopted and oral submissions will be permitted.

In a major climb down from his initial uncompromising position, Motshekga announced today that the ad-hoc committee will allow oral submissions to be presented on the Bill, with the committee’s deadline now extended to the end of May.

Before today’s meeting, DA members represented on the ad-hoc committee had sent a Joint Statement of objection in which we had rejected the decision taken by the Chairperson to exclude oral submissions. We had argued that the decision was unprecedented and at variance with the Constitution.

The 180-degree turn by the Chairperson is hardly surprising because we had made it clear in our Joint Statement that failure to allow oral submissions could amount to a willful violation of the Constitution and potentially place the public participation process at risk of legal contamination.

Public participation is a key component of our democracy and the DA was never going to allow the committee to override this constitutional provision in its rush to meet a deadline. We now look forward to hearing the submissions of interested organisations on the Bill.

Issued by Annelie Lotriet, Chairperson of the DA Parliamentary Caucus, 5 March 2021