RECORDING: Parliament debates justice and constitutional development


FILE: Members of Parliament listen to the Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene as he delivers his mid-term Budget statement on October 22, 2014 at Parliament in Cape Town.

This live stream is now over, you can watch the recorded proceedings in the gallery above.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament debates justice and constitutional development in the National Assembly on Tuesday. 

This follows a media briefing earlier today where the director general Nonkuleleko Sindane told the press that the justice department in the past year disbursed some R222 million on litigation, excluding money spent on court cases by departments who had briefed private counsel.
However, she said it was not a full tally as it did not include the costs incurred by other departments and state-owned enterprises “who also use taxpayer’s money” when they briefed private counsel. The DG said she was reluctantly making the figures public because she would prefer to compute the full amount in order to account properly.
With regard to government turning to lawyers in private practice, Sindane said the department had indulged this because it was aware of weaknesses in the state’s own capacity to provide top-level counsel to departments but plans were afoot to change it.
This would mean bolstering the office of the state attorney ”and revitalising its operations to turn it into the legal firm of choice for the state and all its institutions, including local government and paralegals”.
The ministry also planned to use this development to drive through a new briefing policy designed to give employment and experience to black counsel, particularly, the department said on complex cases.
“We will also be submitting a draft policy to transform the practice of briefing patterns which is a sore point to legal practitioners.”
The idea dates back to the tenure of Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe as justice minister, and the continued use of top-flight advocates by the state has drawn criticism that it was betraying its own transformation agenda.
Watch the live stream from parliament on related issues below.


 - Additional reporting ANA

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