Attendance by the Minister and Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs to National Assembly Sittings to Reply to Questions

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO: 966

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 20 OF 10 JUNE 2005
Mr L B Labuschagne (DA) to ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs:

(1) On how many occasions since 10 May 2004 until 30 June 2004, when oral questions to her department were scheduled for reply in the National Assembly (NA), did (a) she and (b) her two Deputy Ministers attend the NA sitting to reply to questions;
(2) whether there were any occasions during that period when (a) she and/or (b) her two Deputy Ministers were not available to attend the NA sitting to reply to questions to her department; if so, (i) on what dates in each case, (ii) on what date or dates (aa) was her Ministry informed that questions for cluster 1 were scheduled and (bb) did she and/or her Deputy Ministers schedule other engagements and (iii) why did she or her deputies not make arrangements to be available for question time in the NA;
(3) whether she has taken a decision not to make herself available for oral questions in the NA; if not, (a) why does she never attend such sessions and (b) when does she next intend to be available for oral questions; if so, (i) why and (ii) how does she reconcile this decision with clause 92 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act, Act 108 of 1996?
N1321E

REPLY:

1. It is my understanding that there were no Oral Questions for the Peace and Security Cluster scheduled for the period 10 May 2004 to 30 June 2005.

2. I have no recollection of any of my deputies missing Question time when scheduled to answer Questions on my behalf in Parliament.

3. As you would appreciate, South Africa's international obligations require me from time to time to be out of the country. This does not only happen during Parliamentary Question time but also during Cabinet sittings and the honourable member should understand since he has been an official in the Department of Foreign Affairs until a few years ago.

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