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National Assembly to discuss SABC, election violence, public protector

Violent protests, pre-election killings, and the selection of the new public protector will be in the spotlight in Parliament this week.

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On Tuesday, the Hawks will brief the police portfolio committee on some of their high-profile cases, including the arrest of terrorism suspects in Gauteng and individuals linked to rhino horn poaching.

On Wednesday, the committee will question the SA Police Service on their handling of violent pre-election protests in areas such as Tshwane and Vuwani, and murders committed during this period. A number of councillor candidates were killed in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

Committee chairperson Francois Beukman said it was important for the committee to receive a comprehensive briefing on the police’s performance in the pre-election and election period, to ascertain lessons learnt about the deployment of resources.

Meanwhile, the ad hoc committee tasked with finding a new public protector is expected to sit this week to nominate a candidate for the job.

Last week, the committee whittled down the number of candidates from 14 to five following an interview process. It hoped to reach consensus on a candidate to present to the National Assembly. The meeting has been tentatively set for Wednesday.

The basic education committee will be briefed on supplementary matric exams and the department’s “second chance” programme, intended to help pupils rewrite their matric.

The trade and industry portfolio committee is expected to get a briefing from the department’s minister on the impact of steel prices and other strategic commodities on the economy.

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi is expected to brief the communications committee on the SABC’s editorial policies, recent changes to this policy and how these have affected the public broadcaster.