The Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, sought legal advice regarding Parliament’s handling of the amendment of Article 25 of the Constitution to facilitate expropriation without compensation.
The mandate of the relevant parliamentary ad hoc committee expired last Sunday and was not renewed. This means that there is currently no official parliamentary inquiry into the change of the Constitution.
The committee was tasked with investigating whether and how the Constitution should be changed to allow expropriation without compensation.
At a meeting of the National Assembly on Thursday morning, there was a great deal of disagreement about the future of the process.
While proponents of the amendment to Article 25 want to put pressure on the committee to complete its operations by October 31, opponents such as DA Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone have pointed out that it is currently impossible to hear public input at community meetings as required by the Constitution.
No such public participation hearings have taken place in the Eastern Cape or the Western Cape and, due to the isolation measures currently in force, the holding of such meetings is illegal.
Thereafter, expert opinions must still be heard by Parliament before the committee starts debating the content of the proposed changes.
Therefore, given the legal pitfalls, Modise undertook to report to the program committee on the future by legal advice by Thursday afternoon, but by Friday afternoon no such advice had yet been received by committee members on an issue that caused Parliament to go head-to-head.