To respond firstly to hon Maynier, as he is well aware that section 11 of the Powers Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act ... [Interjections.]
Order, hon Ndlozi!
On a point of order, Chair: I just want to check if the Deputy Minister is allowed to speak even when the Minister is around? Is that what the Rules state? [Interjections.]
Can I tell you that any relevant Minister, Deputy Minister or any other Minister can respond on behalf of another Minister.
Thank you, Chair. I mean to say, as the hon Ndlozi knows, that is not a rule, but the Minister is currently not here anyway. However, on the issue of section 11 ... [Interjections.] ... the hon Maynier knows ... [Interjections.]
Hon Members, order! You had your chance so allow the Deputy Minister to respond, hon Maynier. Continue, hon Deputy Minister.
The hon Maynier knows that section 11, read with the definition of security services, provides for the defence force, the police and the intelligence services, which would include the State Security Agency ... [Interjections.]
On a point of order: Rule 105(7), here read with subsection 105(6) - under Statements by members - it says, and I quote:
(7) In the absence of a Minister who may respond to a statement as envisaged in Subrule (6), the relevant Deputy Minister or any other Minister must be given an opportunity to respond on behalf of the absent Minister
AN HON MEMBER: The Minister is here! [Interjections.]
Hon members! [Interjections.] Hon members ... [Interjections.] ... no, no, wait! Can you take your seat, hon Minister.
Hon members, I read it out to you and said that the Minister or the Deputy Minister may respond to the statement. [Interjections.] Listen! I am still talking, please give me a hearing.
As the Presiding Officer here, if the Minister delegates his duties to the Deputy Minister, I can't stop them. And I am going to allow the Deputy Minister ... [Interjections.] Hon Minister, please sit down unless you are responding and taking your delegated time. Let me listen to you.
Chairperson, I was not here when the statement was made. How do I respond to a statement that I did not hear because I was not here? [Interjections.] That is why the Deputy Minister is acting perfectly within the Rules, because he was the one who was here when I was away. [Interjections.]
Okay. Thank you. Hon members. [Interjections.]
Chairperson, can we address you?
Please do not do things that are contrary to the Rules of the NA. That is the main reason why this House is having lots of challenges. They emanate from the rulings of the Presiding Officers.
The Rule is very clear here. Let us read it slowly for you so that you can understand it properly. [Interjections.] It says "In the absence of the Minister". [Interjections.] The Minister is here, why is the Deputy Minister speaking when the Minister is here? He is undermining him. [Interjection.]
I have read that.
We cannot allow people to undermine Ministers. [Interjections.]
Don't continue, hon member. I heard you correctly and you showed me on which Rule you were rising. There it is - it says so, "In the absence of the Minister ... ".
However, I am saying that I am allowing this delegation of duty. [Interjections.]
But it is not there in the Rules; the delegation is not in the Rules. [Interjections.]
On a point of order!
We will deal with that.
It is not in the rules that the Minister can delegate the Deputy Minister. It says in the Minister's absence he speaks. [Interjections.] If the Minister is here he must keep quiet and sit down. [Interjections.]
Hon Shivambu, please don't talk back to me. I have ruled on this matter.
HON MEMBERS: No! [Interjections.]
Don't talk back to me. Are you saying I shouldn't allow him? I have allowed him. [Interjections.] Because I am sitting here.
On a point of order!
Wait! Because I am sitting here you can take your seat. [Interjections.] I am still speaking. I am watching this House and I know why I make certain deviations, and the deviation that I made was exactly on the basis that was raised by the hon Minister. Hon Steenhuisen?
Allow me to help you, perhaps Madam House Chair. Neither the hon Jeffrey nor the hon Masutha are the relevant Ministers in this case. If one looks at the statement read by the hon Maynier it was directed to the Minister of State Security who quickly scampered out of the House in case he had to be accountable. [Interjections.]
Hon member, you are out of order. [Interjections.]
I am not out of order. [Interjections.]
You are out of order hon member! [Interjections.]
Madam House Chair ... [Interjections.]
Will you sit down and let me address you.
Madam House Chair, allow me to finish, please. [Interjections.
The relevant Minister is the Minister of State Security. If he is not here the relevant one is the Deputy Minister, and the Deputy Minister of State Security is not here. Hon Masutha is maybe being given the opportunity to respond because he is a Minister. The hon Jeffery is not a Minister, he is not a member of Cabinet, but he is a Deputy Minister.
On the relevancy of the question, as to who should answer it, I never heard the hon Maynier saying that the question should be answered by the Minister of State Security. [Interjections.]
Okay, let me talk. I am still talking. [Interjections.] If that is the case - and maybe I missed it - there was nothing wrong in hon Jeffery responding. But if you specifically ... [Interjections.] Wait, hon members! How are you going to hear me out? If you specifically asked for the Minister of State Security, because she was here, let me pass and allow them to settle it so that we can go on to the next response. [Interjections.]
Chair, can I respond to another question which is not on this one? [Interjections.]
HON MEMBER: No, no!
On a point of order, Chair.
There is a point of order. When I have ruled ... [Interjections.] Is it on the same matter?
AN HON MEMBER: The Deputy Minister is here! [Interjections.]
Can I address you, hon Chair?
Continue, hon Ndlozi.
Chairperson, you must assist us all because these Rules - marah aaah! [Laughter.] [Interjections.] You know, Chairperson, here in the Cabinet ... [Laughter.]
Hee-eh, hee-eh, hon Ndlozi!
Chairperson, I want that ruling to be clear so that we all understand the ruling properly. You know, these Rules 6 and 7, they would not have been written separately if the provision for an absent Minister was not important, in terms of how we should read it. So, it says a Minister who is present must respond. Then it makes a provision for when that Minister is not present, because if a Minister speaks here ... [Interjections.]
I think you have made your point.
This guy is not a member of the Cabinet.
Hon Ndlozi, no, don't continue.
He is not a member of the Cabinet. [Interjections.] He is responding to questions and it's a ... [Interjections.]
Hon Ndlozi ... [Interjections.]
He is undermining the Minister, and it is important for us to rise and defend the national ... [Interjections.]
Hon Ndlozi, it is okay. I heard you and have ruled on the matter. And I asked - and I am not going to repeat what I said - that the hon Maynier asked specifically the Minister of State Security; that is why I allowed him to speak. But now, I still have three sports for the ... [Interjections.]
Chairperson, can I respond to the hon Carter's matter? [Interjections.]
Hon Jeffery, I still have three spots left, and I will allow you now to respond.
Thank you, Chairperson. It was the hon Carter's statement which was on a constitutional matter, which I think I can respond to.
She seemed to be complaining about the fact that because Cabinet issues a statement complaining about Parliament that that is a violation of the separation of powers. I am not quite sure where she got that idea from, but cannot Cabinet express a view on Parliament?
To the hon Ndlozi, this is a constitutional matter, the Minister is out of the House and therefore, I can speak. [Interjections.] It is also interesting to note ... [Interjections.]
Hon members, please give hon Jeffery a chance.
It was interesting to note, when I was responding to a DA statement, how the EFF defended them. Thank you.
Chair, may I address you, please? Can we put it on record that the hon Minister, a black Minister, ran out in order for his white Deputy Minister to respond. We would like to put that on record. [Interjections.]
Can you please remove the racist reference ... [Interjections.]
Because we view it as a matter of a national question. [Interjections.] He ran out - gone!
Hon Ndlozi, can you please remove the racial naming of it. [Interjections.] I am not going to put it on record. Listen to me. Listen to me, hon members! You cannot come here ... [Interjections.]
No, hon member, I am speaking. You cannot come here and start that racial labelling by saying the hon black Minister allowed the hon white Minister to do this or that. I am not going to allow that. So, I take it as no point of order. [Interjections.] It's no point of order!
On a point of order, House Chair. I think it does not have to end there. The hon Ndlozi must be made to withdraw the unconstitutional remark that he has made. [Interjections.] He is a Member of Parliament and has taken an oath in terms of the Constitution and the laws of this country. He must withdraw the unconstitutional remark that he has made. [Interjections.] It can't be left unchallenged.
Hon Ndlozi, please, please. [Interjections.]
Chairperson, ... [Interjections.]
No, no, I am still addressing hon ... [Interjections.] No, no, no, I must address him ... [Interjections.] because it was ... [Interjections.]
But Chair, we must ... [Interjections.] ... we can't be harassed by ... [Interjections.] ... and the next thing you want to change it ... [Interjections.]
No, no, wait! You don't know what I am going to say. Why are you standing? Sit down. [Interjections.]
You have taken a decision so why do you want to change it now because you have been given advice from somewhere else?
Chair ... [Interjections.]
No! I am not changing any decision. Why do you ... [Interjections.] hon Shivambu, please wait to be recognised. I was going to address the hon Ndlozi and the hon member who is asking for a withdrawal, I think I said that was not a point of order. Having said that I understand where you are coming from. Can we follow the other structures of saying what you wanted to say because I have already ruled on the issue. [Interjections.] I don't need your assistance, hon members I told you long before that I don't need any assistance.
Is there any other Ministerial response? Hon members, that concludes the Ministers' responses. Thank you very much.