Questions raised over panel set to review post-apartheid laws

Casac wants Baleka Mbete to clarify issues around the panel’s appointment and its budget.

Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Questions are being asked about the role and the status of the panel of experts set up to review and weed out laws passed since 1994 that are hindering transformation.

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) wants National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete, to clarify issues around the 17-member panel's appointment and its budget.

Mbete announced the initiative this week on the same day that the panel held its inaugural meeting at Parliament.

Casac's Lawson Naidoo says any effort to ensure Parliament and the executive function more efficiently should be welcomed, but he's questioning the procedure followed in appointing the review body.

"I think there are two concerns that need to be raised about the manner in which the panel has been established and what its legal basis is. It is not a parliamentary structure, it has not been approved by the National Assembly through a resolution in the house."

The panel is an initiative of the speakers' forum, an informal structure bringing together the speakers of the national and provincial legislatures.

While it appears the United Nations Development Fund will be covering some costs, Casac is also calling for more clarity on the panel's budget.