ANC Western Cape Caucus Calls For Urgent Debate On Niel Barnard

28 January 1997

ANC MPL Cameron Dugmore has once again called on Speaker Willem Doman to allow a debate in the Provincial Legislature concerning the appointment of Dr Niel Barnard as Director General.

A similar request made on 1 November 1996 was turned down. Rule 105 of the Legislature rules allows members to call for snap debates on matters of public importance. The speaker has in the past agreed to debates on issues such as the taxi violence, Saldanha steel and the education crisis. The only debate he has refused was the one requested by the ANC on the appointment of Niel Barnard. On this occasion Speaker Doman gave no reasons for his unprecedented decision.

It appears that Dr Barnard is demanding that in addition to his package of over R600 000 per year as DG of the province, he is also paid his salary for his previous job as DG of the National Department of Constitutional Affairs until 1999. If Dr Barnard succeeds, the taxpayer could foot a bill of over R1- million per year.

The ANC caucus has opposed the appointment of Dr Barnard as DG on the basis of his role as Head of the National Intelligence Service under PW Botha and FW De Klerk. Nehawu is seeking a Supreme Court interdict to block the appointment of Dr Barnard.

The ANC caucus believes that the full legislature should debate this issue as a matter of public importance. The caucus is greatly concerned that the speaker has allowed himself to be influenced by narrow party political concerns of the NP whose Premier made the appointment.

The request made to the speaker calls for the debate to take place this week.

It is hoped that the need for tranparency and accountability are uppermost in the mind of the speaker when he considers the request.

Issued by ANC Head of DIP, Cameron Dugmore, 4184616 code 7131