I attended the Justice and Constitutional Development Portfolio Committee’s deliberations on the ‘Prevention & Combating in Trafficking of Person’s Bill’ (TIP) in Parliament on November 1.
I left Parliament frustrated at the slow progress of this vital legislation. There still does not appear to be any urgency in the Committee’s deliberations on this Bill.
IFP Member, Mario Ambrosini appears to be constantly re-opening issues the Committee previously debated at length during his absence. Other members appeared frustrated at this tactic.
The Committee seems to be going in circles with no clear timeline or strategy to finalise the Bill.
Despite the Department of Home Affairs raising objections about refugee clauses in the Bill almost two months ago – no discussions were held with Home Affairs officials to resolve the issues.
My sense is the Justice Portfolio Committee does not consider the TIP Bill a priority because – as they have said – there were only 60 trafficking cases prosecuted in SA during the past year.
What they fail to realise is that many cases involving elements of trafficking are prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act and are not therefore classified as trafficking. The Hawks have repeatedly said the lack of comprehensive legislation to combat human trafficking is hindering their work.
Committee members also complained about emails they received from the public urging the finalisation of the Bill. They insist there are other laws on our statute books to prosecute human trafficking crimes. But the Hawks & other bodies insist these provisions are inadequate.
There appears to be an invisible barrier preventing this legislation from being passed. Please join me in prayer that this vital legislation will be finalised and signed into law soon.
The North Gauteng High Court ruled an Amendment of the Film and Publication Act unconstitutional last week. The ruling leaves children at increased risk of exposure to pornography in the media.
The Court ruled in favour of Print Media South Africa and the SA National Editors’ Forum that explicit content in magazines and films should not be pre-screened for classification by the F&P Board.
If magazines are not required to be classified by the Films and Publications Board they have the liberty to publish whatever they want and still enjoy wide circulation in family oriented stores.
I have sent a letter to Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Fatima Chohan and Film & Publication Board CEO, Yaliswa Makhasi requesting they immediately appeal this harmful judgment.
The judgment appears to favour the liberal media to the detriment of vulnerable children. The Constitutional Court has already ruled that whenever two rights come into conflict, the rights of the child are always considered paramount. I believe the ConCourt will overturn this ruling.
I also sent a statement to the media and conducted several radio interviews on this issue.
Please join me in praying that righteousness and justice will prevail in South Africa.