Thank you, hon Speaker. Deputy President, Ministers and hon members, let me state at the outset that Cope, having engaged with the Bill over a period of days and weeks, and having evaluated the work on the basis of the Constitutional Court judgment that we had before us, will support the Bill. [Applause.]
I need to state that in our consideration of this Bill we, as committee members coming from opposite poles, engaged robustly on it. The end result was that we agreed that we had done our best under the circumstances, and it was, of course, the right of the Constitutional Court to assess the Bill in its current form to determine whether we had done enough or not. We based our engagement on the four pillars that were instructions in the judgment. The first one was security of tenure. Having engaged with the issue of security of tenure in the committee, we were satisfied with the powers for the national Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, DPCI, to do the implementation and the appointment of staff, including the fixed term of seven to ten years.
We went further and said that all the staff that were in this component were the responsibility of the national director. In fact, the second pillar we discussed was the issue of subordination, which is part of the judgment. On that score we agreed that, having engaged robustly as a committee, we had to find a middle road in order to make sure that the director was not subordinate to the national commissioner. The post was called "deputy national commissioner" and we agreed that we needed to change the name of the position. It had to be independent, and it had to be the national head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the head of the DPCI. It would basically be the equivalent of the national commissioner. We did not engage in regard to the remuneration, the salary, at this stage.
The third issue was the finances. We engaged on this, weighing up whether we wanted to support the Bill, and looking at the judgment. I need to say that if you look at section 214 in the judgment, you will see it speaks to the issue of co-existence provided that there is adequate independence. We engaged in regard to resources in the light of the judgment, and we agreed as a committee in our engagement that the budget of the directorate was the responsibility of the national director, from its drafting to preparing it for submission by the national commissioner. There is no veto right. There is no veto right in that respect, in regard to independence.
The last issue was the location. We also weighed this up in our engagement on the location. Where should the directorate be located? We looked at the judgment. The judgment makes the instructive comment that it is not their responsibility to say where it should be located. In fact, it goes on to say that whether it is in the police or in the National Prosecuting Authority, as was the case with the Directorate of Special Operations, DSO, in terms of justice its placing is not necessarily illegal.
Having considered all that was presented in the judgment, we then felt that the work we were doing was to correct what had happened. What had happened in the abolishment of the Scorpions was that it had been a rushed process, it had been incorrect and it had had loopholes in it. Let us state that as a fact. We also agreed that we had done the best we could in this regard, although it might not be one hundred per cent of what we wanted to achieve.
We agreed that the Constitutional Court was the final arbiter on the Bill. We should submit it to the Constitutional Court for it to have its say. If we needed to correct something, we would have to correct that. However, having received a legal opinion from Parliament, we were convinced that the legal opinion gave us a direction that we needed to take.
Therefore, I declare that we support the Bill. We say that while it should be put to the test of the Constitutional Court, we have done our work! [Applause.]