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THURSDAY_ 7 APRIL 2005

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THURSDAY, 7 APRIL 2005 ____

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ____

The House met at 14:01.

The Deputy Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.

ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS – see col 000. NOTICES OF MOTIONS

Mr S J MASANGO: Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that I shall move the following substantive motion:

That this House shall debate the failure of the Mpumalanga education department to provide this year’s textbooks to thousands of learners, particularly to those at some of the poorest schools in the deep rural areas, despite the fact that the second school term has already started, and that this House resolves that this provincial MEC for education should be called before the Portfolio Committee on Education to account for these inexplicable delays and

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explain how he intends to ensure that the problem is corrected and never repeated.

Mr C M LOWE: Madam Deputy Speaker, I hereby give notice that I intend moving the following substantive motion on behalf of the DA:

That this House notes with dismay and disapproval that the hon Rhoda Joemat, MP, who has pleaded guilty to defrauding Parliament, and stealing R72 000 of the people’s money, and who was fined R80 000, has been appointed by the ANC to represent it on Parliament’s Joint Budget Committee. [Interjections.]

MEMBERS’ STATEMENTS

PARLIAMENT’S OBSERVER MISSION TO ZIMBABWE

(Member’s Statement)

Mr K K KHUMALO (ANC): Madam Deputy Speaker and hon members, on 1 March 2005 the House adopted a resolution to constitute Parliament’s observer mission to Zimbabwe. It is important to know that the ANC and other political parties like the PAC, put together their missions at their own expense to observe these elections.

To suggest, as the ID has done, that some members of the Parliamentary delegation were there under the protection of their

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parties is politically mischievous, misleading and incorrect. Those who abandoned Parliament’s mission to Zimbabwe are unhappy, as they did not find what they had hoped for.

Those members of the delegation who made statements insinuating that Zimbabwe should operate in line with adopted and accepted guidelines, including the SADC principles and guidelines, in fact ensured that they themselves would not be bound by such guidelines. These guidelines clearly state among other things, that the observers should refrain from making personal media statements.

However, even though they feel that Zimbabwe should be bound, these members do not feel bound by guidelines adopted by the representatives and leaders of millions of African people.

This raises serious questions about their commitment to the African continent and the wellbeing of its people. Nevertheless, despite the hon Vincent Gore or Mr Jankielsohn, Africa will succeed, for now and forever! Thank you. [Applause.]

PROJECT CONSOLIDATE

(Members’ Statement)

Mnr W P DOMAN (DA): Agbare Adjunkspeaker, met die aanstelling van kenners om 136 uit die 284 munisipaliteite te probeer red, is dit

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duidelik dat Minister Sydney Mfumadi se Projek Konsolideer, volgens ons in die DA, ’n pypdroom is. Projek Konsolideer moet gesien word as ’n erkenning deur die ANC dat die mislukking van munisipaliteite om basiese dienste te lewer hoofsaaklik daaraan te wyte is dat amptenare wat aangestel is dikwels familie en lakeie is wat onbevoeg is om die werk te verrig.

Die posisie sal alleenlik verbeter word as onbevoegde, en in baie gevalle korrupte munisipale amptenare, permanent vervang word. Erger nog is die algemene verskynsel van onbevoegde en korrupte ANC raadslede wat nie deur die ANC gedissiplineer of vervang word nie. Projek Konsolideer is goed bedoel, maar doodgebore om ’n wesenlike verskil te maak.

Dit gaan die verstand te bowe hoe een of twee persone byvoorbeeld Johannesburg, met ’n begroting van R16 miljard, ’n personeel van 27 000 wat 4 miljoen mense bedien, gaan omkeer. Hierdie tref-entrap-benadering ontbreek aan legitimiteit, sal nie die samewerking van amptenare kry nie, en sal nie die krises waarin die ANC plaaslike regering gedompel het, omkeer nie.

Ons wens Projek Konsolideer sukses toe, maar is bevrees dat dit weer geld is wat in ’n bodemlose put gestort word. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.)

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[Mr W P DOMAN (DA): Hon Deputy Speaker, with the appointment of experts in order to salvage 136 out of a total of 284 municipalities, it is clear that Minister Sydney Mfumadi’s Project Consolidate is a pipe dream, as far as we in the DA are concerned. Project Consolidate must be seen as an admission by the ANC that the failure of municipalities to deliver basic services, is due mainly to the fact that appointed officials are often relatives or lackeys incapable of performing the work.

The situation will only improve if incompetent, and in many cases corrupt municipal officials are permanently replaced. Even worse is the general occurrence that incompetent and corrupt ANC councillors are neither disciplined nor replaced by the ANC. Project Consolidate is a well-intended, but stillborn attempt to make a real difference.

It is beyond comprehension how one or two persons are going to turn around, for instance, Johannesburg with its budget of R 16 billion and a staff of 27 000 employees, serving 4 million people. This trial-by-error approach lacks legitimacy, will not be supported by officials, and will not turn around the crisis brought about in local government by the ANC.

We wish Project Consolidate success, but we are concerned that it is simply more money being poured into a bottomless pit. [Applause.]]

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POLICE OFFICIAL KILLED

(Member’s Statement)

Prince N E ZULU (IFP): Deputy Speaker, this week a policeman, Sibongile Kamteni, a member of the VIP unit, was shot dead a few metres away from his house. He was in full police uniform when the attack occurred, and he was the second police officer to have been killed in four days.

Our police officers must not be allowed to become targets for criminals. We therefore hope that the people who committed this cruel and senseless crime are brought to book as a matter of urgency, and are given the harshest possible sentences permissible by law, in order to deter other criminals who target, or who are thinking of targeting, police officers.

We need to get a strong message across that the killing of police officers must be stopped, and that the perpetrators of these crimes be severely dealt with. We send our heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased, and hope for a speedy and full recovery for the two women who were injured in this attack.

AGREEMENT BETWEEN POPCRU AND DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES

(Member’s Statement)

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Mr E T XOLO (ANC): Madam Deputy Speaker, the memorandum of agreement signed between the Department of Correctional Services and Popcru at Krugersdorp on 31 March is welcomed by the ANC. We are encouraged by the degree of co-operation displayed by both parties in their efforts to settle their respective differences and to define a new course for the parties and the department as a whole.

This positive step serves to signify that the provision of correctional services is an essential service, and that ensuring the effective and efficient functioning of the Department of Correctional Services is the responsibility of all of us.

We anticipate, therefore, that the issues contained in the settlement, namely working arrangements, a programme to build good relationships, deadlock-breaking mechanisms and timeframes to address issues, will undoubtedly contribute to an effective relationship not only between the parties, but amongst all other stakeholders as well. Thank you.

CORRUPTION AND MALADMINSTRATION IN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

(Member’s Statement)

Ms N M MDAKA (UDM): Madam Deputy Speaker, the UDM has noted with dismay the increasing reports of corruption and maladministration in

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local governments throughout the country. In Plettenberg Bay, highranking officials with unexplained expenses incurred on a trip to Paris have had their behaviour endorsed and whitewashed by the council. [Interjections.]

In a similar cynical exercise of endorsement the council of Beaufort West has reappointed the municipal manager, Truman Prince, thereby implicitly condoning his actions. [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, order!

Ms N M MDAKA: In the Free State, North West and Mpumalanga violent protests have erupted amid allegations of corruption, maladministration and a complete breakdown of service delivery. [Interjections.]

It is significant to note that these problems are characterised by one common denominator, the fact that these are overwhelmingly ANCgoverning councils. [Interjections.] Simultaneously, we have increasingly been receiving reports in the run-up to the local government elections of ANC politicians, from various levels of government, engaging in blatant acts of electioneering in the distribution of essential services to the poor, such as social grants and food parcels. [Interjections.] Their distribution of these poverty alleviation measures...

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The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon member.

Ms N M MDAKA: ... should occur strictly ...

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon member.

Ms N M MDAKA: … in terms of who is most in need. [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Order!

Ms N M MDAKA: It should be administered by officials. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member!

Ms N M MDAKA: Yes, we cannot condone …

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member, your time has expired.

Ms N M MDAKA: We cannot condone politicians meddling in poverty alleviation to score cheap political points and distributing poverty relief where they want. [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon member, will you please take your seat!

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Ms N M MDAKA: It should go where it is most desperately needed. [Interjections.] I thank you. [Applause.][Interjections.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon member of the UDM, I have tried more than five times to tell you that your time has expired. I take this very, very seriously. You have shown disrespect to the Chair. I tried so many times! I am not asking you to respond to me. I am telling you that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable. It must never, ever be repeated. [Interjections.]

COMMUNITY SERVICE OFFERED BY DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS

(Member’s Statement)

Mr Y WANG (ID): Madam Deputy Speaker, information is the key to knowledge and skill. Access to information and the acquisition of skills are often difficult for our communities to achieve. Last year, Prof Smith, the head of the Department of Information Systems of the University of Cape Town initiated the bold step of including 20 contact hours of ICT-related community service as part of the curriculum of the honours degree in Information Systems.

By allowing his students to be actively involved in building a computer software system with youngsters from Khayelitsha, they had given invaluable practical skills to the youngsters and put their hours back into the community.

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The overwhelming response from the community and the students prove that this was definitely the right step towards transformation. As the new students start to take up this year’s community service, I wish them great success and encourage such initiatives to extend to other institutions and professional fields.

Empowering our people is not only the government’s job, but also the responsibility of every citizen. I thank you.

ZEERUST MUNICIPALITY

(Member’s Statement)

Mr B E PULE (UCDP): Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. It is now almost twelve months since the Lehurutse community in the North West have been struggling to get drinking water for their households.

Attempts by the community, especially in Welbedacht, to get an explanation of what exactly the problems are have fallen on deaf ears.

I had personally facilitated a meeting between the mayor of the Zeerust Municipality and the concerned group, and we agreed that councillors from all parties should be present when the community is given an explanation.

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The ANC councillors allegedly decided to convene a community meeting alone, which was said to have been very poorly attended, and it was addressed against the will of the people, of whom there were few. The other allegation was that the number of police who were there made the whole exercise a very tense one.

Indications are that there are fraudulent activities that are being covered up. Pipes were laid on a farm of which the wells became dry even before the pipes functioned to take water to the people. The farmer is alleged to have been paid approximately R18 million for those dry wells and underground water on his farm. Water that is supplied from trucks is put into tanks that are not covered, and this is a recipe for health hazards.

The report of the forensic investigation of the Botshelo Water Supply by Gobotho has not been made known. The behaviour of both the Zeerust Municipality and the central district council can no longer be tolerated as they take the community for granted.

The UCDP hereby requests the Minister of Water Affairs to investigate, as people were told that they would have water by 14 February 2005. [Time expired.]

IVORY COAST PEACE SETTLEMENT

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(Member’s Statement)

Ms E NGALEKA (ANC): Madam Deputy Speaker, the ANC works for the maintenance of world peace and the settlement of international disputes by negotiation, not war. We strive to promote peace and friendship amongst all peoples. This is what guides us in our engagement in the region in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

The leadership of the Ivory Coast arrived in the country on Sunday for peace talks. They were hosted by President Thabo Mbeki, as the African Union-appointed mediator. The Ivory Coast has been in a state of civil war since September 2002, when there was an attempted military coup. Since that action, the country has been divided into two parts, north and south. Thousands of people have died and millions of people were displaced from their homes.

The ANC welcomes the agreement signed by all parties to immediately end all hostilities and end the war in their country. This is another shining example of Africans solving their own problems. I thank you. [Applause.]

ZIMBABWE ELECTIONS

(Member’s Statement)

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Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD (DA): The DA wants to bring to the urgent attention of this House the head of the African Union observer mission’s fierce criticism of the Zimbabwe election as further proof that the ANC have wilfully ignored the true reality of a fatally flawed political event. [Interjections.]

The head of the mission, Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, is alarmed by the high number of people who were either assisted to vote or turned away from the polling stations, disenfranchised. The US embassy in Harare has also issued detailed criticism of the election, including concerns about irregularities in the voting process and the lack of transparency in tabulating the votes. These sentiments have been echoed by the International Crisis Group who point out that the election environment in the months leading up to the poll precluded any possibility whatsoever of the elections being free or fair. There is no doubt that the elections were a carefully managed façade to mask the death of democracy in Zimbabwe. The ANC’s apparent collusion with and acceptance of Zanu-PF and its disregard for the democratic rights of Zimbabwean citizens must and will be treated with the utter contempt it deserves. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

ZIMBABWE ELECTIONS

(Member’s Statement)

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Mr P J NEFOLOVHODWE (Azapo): Madam Deputy Speaker, the elections in Zimbabwe have come and gone. The people of Zimbabwe have spoken, and have expressed their free will in choosing their elected representatives. [Applause.]

Azapo wishes to congratulate the people and government of Zimbabwe for the peaceful and exemplary manner in which they went about choosing their elected representatives. [Applause.]

Further, Azapo takes joy in the fact that not a single person was reported injured and that no one lost their lives during the period of the elections. [Applause.]

Azapo takes this opportunity to congratulate all SADC, AU and South African observers who took time to assist the people of Zimbabwe to exercise their democratic right. [Applause.]

Azapo therefore urges the people of Zimbabwe to stand firm in defence of their sovereignty and independence. The defence of the sovereignty and independence of Zimbabwe is a goal Azapo shares with the government and people of Zimbabwe. I thank you. [Applause.]

DEATH OF ADOLICAN SANDAMELA

(Member’s Statement)

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Mr S A MSHUDULU (ANC): Madam Deputy Speaker, the ANC has learnt with sadness about the untimely death of young Adolican Sandamela who died four days after having undergone a routine operation in Kopanong Hospital.

Adolican Sandamela, who was four years old, went to hospital with tonsillitis. At the time of going to hospital, he was fine, could walk, talk and play like any other child of his age. Immediately after the operation, he was transferred to Sebokeng Hospital with no medical reports from Kopanong Hospital. This made treating him difficult. It is alleged that, for about two days, doctors from Sebokeng Hospital tried very hard to secure the report from their colleagues at Kopanong Hospital, but to no avail. It is also alleged that, on the third day, a concerned doctor from Sebokeng Hospital, called again, and he was given the report over the phone. By that time, the boy could not be saved. The boy passed away on the following day. On behalf of the ANC, I would like to call on the Portfolio Committee on Health to follow up on this matter to ensure that such incidents do not happen again. I thank you. [Applause.]

AGREEMENT BETWEEN BANKING ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AFRICA AND DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING

(Member’s Statement)

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Mr A C STEYN (DA): Madam Deputy Speaker, the DA welcomes the agreement signed between the Banking Association of South Africa and the housing Ministry.

However, the Minister’s statement that bad credit records would still need to be defined suggests that she has still not learned from past failures. It is essential to provide home loans for lowerincome earners, but it is just as important to ensure a transparent and objective system to screen applicants to avoid bad debt, and for people to understand that if they default on their loans, they will lose their homes.

Servecon Housing Solutions, for example, was established to try to improve the viability of non-performing housing debt. It failed after three years, because beneficiaries failed to honour their obligations.

The Housing Minister cannot solve the housing crisis by redefining bad debt and then passing the buck to the private sector. If she wants to absolve home owners of their responsibility to pay back loans, then she will have to stand surety for those loans. Can she afford to do that?

CABLE THEFT

(Member’s Statement)

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Mr H J BEKKER (IFP): Madam Deputy Speaker, the IFP has previously expressed its concern about the alarming rate of cable theft in the country. The IFP’s worst fears have now been confirmed with the announcement that the value of the theft of electric cables for the year was in excess of R33 million.

Attention is also directed to the senseless cutting of traffic light cables in order to cause accidents for the benefit of tow truck operators.

We are of the opinion that this R33 million is but the tip of the iceberg, and that this destruction and sabotage of cables is probably resulting in ten times more than the mere economic loss of the cables, particularly if one looks at the downtime and the loss of production and communications resulting from these thefts.

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The following measures can be considered: Firstly, declare cable theft and the destruction of infrastructure an act of sabotage and punish perpetrators accordingly. Secondly, outlaw the dealing in second-hand cables and the substances from cables. Thirdly, only the utilities such as Eskom and Telkom should be authorised to melt down and recover copper and basic materials from cables and similar products. I thank you.

APPLICATION OF LICENCES BY FISHING COMMUNITY

(Member’s Statement)

Mnr D A A OLIFANT (ANC): Mev die Adjunkspeaker, die ANC verwelkom die aankondiging deur die Minister van Omgewingsake en Toerisme, Mnr Martinus van Schalkwyk, op Dinsdag 5 April 2005 dat die aansoekgelde vir langtermynlisensies van bestaande vissergemeenskappe verminder gaan word.

Tans betaal alle bestaande vissersgemeenskappe vanaf Alexanderbaai in die noordweste van die Weskus tot in die noorde van KwaZulu-Natal dieselfde nie-terugbetaalbare aansoekfooie van R6 000 as kommersiële maatskappye in die vissersbedryf.

Sommige vissergemeenskappe poog die hele jaar om hierdie geld bymekaar te kry net om uit te vind aan die einde van die dag dat hulle aansoek onsuksesvol was.

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Die nuwe inisiatief beteken dat die koste vir aansoeke met 83% verminder word.

Toe die Vryheidsmanifes in 1956 deur die ANC aanvaar is, en ons dit nou weer hierdie jaar herdenk, is ‘n onderneming aan die mense gegee dat wanneer die mense se demokratiese regering aan die bewind sou kom, die rykdom en erfenis van Suid-Afrika aan alle Suid-Afrikaners teruggegee sou word.

Hierdie is ‘n verdere voorbeeld van die ANC-regering se verbintenis om hierdie onderneming suksesvol te bereik. Ek dank u. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.)

[Mr D A A OLIFANT (ANC): Madam Deputy Speaker, the ANC welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mr Martinus van Schalkwyk, on Tuesday 5 April 2005, that the application fees for long-term licences of existing fishing communities will be reduced.

Currently all existing fishing communities from Alexander Bay in the northwest of the Western Cape to the north of KwaZulu-Natal, pay the same non-refundable application fee of R6000 as commercial companies in the fishing industry.

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Some fishing communities spend the whole year trying to raise these funds, only to be told at the end of the day that their applications were unsuccessful.

This new initiative will mean that the application costs will be reduced by 83%.

When the Freedom Charter was adopted by the ANC in 1956 - and we are celebrating its anniversary once again this year - an undertaking was given to the people that when the people’s democratic government comes into power, the wealth and heritage of South Africa would be given back to all South Africans.

This is a further example of the ANC-led government’s commitment to successfully achieving this undertaking. Thank you. [Applause.]]

MINISTER’S RESPONSES

ALLEGED CORRUPT COUNCILLORS

(Minister’s Response)

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINERALS AND ENERGY: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. I will not respond to the unsubstantiated allegations of corruption and rumours from the hon member from the UDM concerning the Free state and Mpumalanga. I do believe that if the hon member

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has clear evidence on whatever she alleges has been done by councillors or whoever, the Ministers are here. The Minister of Social Development, who has been dedicated in his efforts to fight corruption in his department, has an open-door policy and the hon member is welcome to come forward with evidence.

Of course there will be opportunities. This is an election year and there are people who are going to play to the gallery of the media.

I also want to say that I agree with the hon member from Azapo that the people of Zimbabwe have spoken. I think the elections in Zimbabwe were indeed peaceful and free. I do believe that as Africans we have the opportunity to take control of our lives and our destiny.

I have never been invited to go and observe elections in the United States. I know that there were elections of which the results were quite questionable, and indeed the United States government and embassies were very silent. In fact their silence on the results of those elections was deafening.

I also want to declare that Africa is not a zoo for people to come from all over the world and watch how we hold our elections. The South African government has said that we will look at the concerns of the opposition, the NGOs and so on, in Zimbabwe, and we will do so with all the political parties in that country. We were not

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prepared to prejudge these elections. We were able to go and observe them and come out with a verdict, together with the countries of Southern Africa.

I want to say to the hon member from the IFP that, yes, I couldn’t agree more with him with regard to the targeting of our police in the country. We must do all we can to protect and defend our police. Thank you. [Time expired.]

TRUMAN PRINCE ISSUE

(Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Madam Speaker, I cannot but agree with my colleague here. Regarding the issue of Truman Prince, quite obviously there is a problem. I think you should allow the ANC to continue with its own processes without any interference.

If you were listening, you would have heard quite clearly that the provincial secretary of the ANC has given the council as well as Mr Prince at least some time to come and appear before the provincial disciplinary committee. And the council must be given a chance to make its decisions without any influence whatsoever, especially from those people who we know very well where they come from. So I think the more you keep quiet, the better for the processes and the better for everybody. [Applause.]

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On the question of what my colleague has just spoken about, such as the issue of food parcels, I would really like the honourable lady from Mqanduli - I think the hon member comes from Mqanduli or something - [Interjections.]

Abekho abantu abanje ngalo eMqanduli? [There are no people like her at Mqanduli?]

I am sorry then. I would like her to come and substantiate her allegations because she heard me say, one week ago, two months ago, even yesterday and this morning, that there is a problem with regard to the way in which tendering has been handled. I want her to come back and tell me which member of Parliament, Minister, Premier, councillor, or whoever was responsible, then we will take the necessary action.

My colleague has put it very well, that elections are coming and the only time one has left to say whatever one wants to about the elections in Zimbabwe is this week and next week. You are not going to boost your influence or your votes if you are not able to substantiate your allegations.

Zibambe ntombazana, zibambe. [Kwahlekwa.] [Kwaqhwatywa.] [Hold your horses, girl.] [Laughter.] [Applause.]]

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The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, you are reminded that Extended Public Committees will start in 10 minutes.

Debate concluded.

The House adjourned at 14:34.


				
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