Statement on allegations that the Minister of Home Affairs undermined Parliament

28 October 2007

On Wednesday, 24 October 2007, the Office of the Chief Whip convened a meeting with the Minister of Home Affairs and the Chairperson of the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee. It was agreed by all present that reports that the Minister neglected to attend the portfolio committee meeting were inaccurate and need to be corrected.

With regard to the meeting held on 9th October 2007 it was clarified that the Minister had indicated in writing well in advance of the meeting that she would be out of the country on that date and gave three alternative dates. The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee responded in writing indicating that the meeting would go ahead and indicated they were agreeable to the Director-General leading the delegation from the Department.

The Portfolio Committee then set down the meeting for 22nd October 2007, which was not one of the alternative dates proposed by the Minister. On this day the Minister was due to address an imbizo in Bushbuckridge. This event was not organised by the Minister. She was deployed to it. It was noted that the Minister had advised the Portfolio Committee in writing of her various commitments within the country and outside over the next two months in order to facilitate meetings and other oversight functions.

All present in the meeting accepted that the impression created that by not attending the two meetings, the Minister showed contempt for the Committee or was otherwise disrespectful of the Committee and their important role in overseeing the work of the Department of Home Affairs is devoid of truth.

Issued by the Office of the Chief Whip

For further details: Moloto Mothapo: 082-370-6930.