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Gukurahundi rears its ugly head again as legislators discuss Mphoko’s Peace and Reconciliation bill

Concerns were also raised regarding Clause 8 (3) which acknowledges the due court processes under civil proceedings but negates to do the same for criminal proceedings which implies that the Commission can proceed to investigate matters before criminal courts. The argument raised by stakeholders is that transitional justice systems are put in place where the judicial system is inadequate and/or unable. Subjecting the same person to two parallel systems is against established legal practice especially in criminal matters.

3.9    Clause 9: Manner of conducting investigations

3.5.1 There was general discontent with this clause which affords perpetrators of     violence, dispute or conflict, 14 working days to respond to the allegations raised        in writing to the Commission.  This period was viewed to be too long, thereby providing suspects with an opportunity to destroy evidence, abscond or intimidate witnesses since they will not be in custody or detention.

Clause 9 (4) of the new Bill regarding legal representation for people appearing before the Commission at their expense, is a condition that was viewed as prone         to manipulation and abuse by those with financial resources.

3.5.4 Clause 9 (12)

 No issues

3.6    Clause 10: Compellability of witnesses and inadmissibility of         incriminating evidence given before Commission

No issues

3.7    Clause 11: Appearance before Commission

No issues.

3.8    Clause 12: Other Offences

No issues.

3.9    Clause 13: Staff of Commission

 No issues.

3.10  Clause 16: Funds of Commission

Concerns were raised on the import of consulting the Minister regarding donations to the Commission. This was viewed as eroding the independence of the commission.

4.0      Committee Findings and Recommendations

4.1    The Committee notes that the Short title of the Bill does not give a descriptive summary of the subject matter of the Bill. The need to have a short title that gives a descriptive summary of the mischief the law is trying to cure is recommended. The Committee believes the South African Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act 34 of 1995 is very informative in this regard.[1]

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