35. As soon as reasonably possible after receiving a referral from the Prosecutor, the Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee must allocate a date(s) for a disciplinary enquiry and inform the Prosecutor and the Accused member thereof.
36. The disciplinary enquiry date(s) must be not less than ten (10) working days but also not more than thirty (30) working days from the date on which the Prosecutor has referred the matter to the Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee.
37. Within two (2) working days after receiving the date(s) for the disciplinary enquiry from the Chairperson, the Prosecutor must issue a written notice to the Accused member informing him or her of:
37.1 the charges of misconduct;
37.2 the date, time and venue of the disciplinary enquiry; and
37.3 his or her rights, including the right to representation at his or her own cost, the right to call witnesses and to present evidence, and the right to question COPE’s evidence and witnesses.
38. The Disciplinary Committee must conduct the disciplinary enquiry in the manner as set out in “Annexure 4” below. The Disciplinary Committee must make recommendations in the manner set out in clause 13 above.
39. The proceedings must be minuted and / or recorded. The proceedings are only open to the relevant people. No disciplinary enquiry may proceed in the absence of the complainant, unless he / or she has already testified and is no longer needed at the enquiry. Disciplinary enquiries may proceed in the absence of the Accused member if there is sufficient evidence that he / or she has been timeously informed about the date of the hearing.
40. The Disciplinary Committee must decide whether the Accused member is guilty of misconduct and, if so, must consider representations from the Accused member and the Prosecutor as to the appropriate sanction.
41. The possible sanctions that the Disciplinary Committee may impose include, but are not limited to, suspension for a specified period, the imposition of a fine, community service, a written apology, or expulsion.
42. The sanction to terminate the Accused member’s membership (expulsion) may only be implemented by the CNC, after an appeal process was followed, if any, and by a simple majority of CNC members voting in favour of this expulsion.
43. When deciding on an appropriate sanction the Disciplinary Committee must take into account the seriousness of the misconduct, the effect thereof on COPE and on its relationship with the accused member, COPE’s purpose, mission and standards of conduct, mitigating and aggravating circumstances, the need for deterrence, and any other relevant factor.
44. The Disciplinary Committee must complete the disciplinary enquiry within four (4) calendar weeks after its commencement, subject to the Chairperson’s discretion to extend this period in exceptional circumstances, if it would be unfair not to do so.
45. The Disciplinary Committee must make a written recommendation to the NOB and / or POB within ten (10) working days after completing the disciplinary enquiry. This recommendation must be in accordance with “Annexure 5”.
46. Based on the report of the Disciplinary Committee the NOB and / or POB must report its recommendation to the CNC and / or CPC at the earliest convenient time that must decide on the matter.
47. The General or Provincial Secretary must accordingly communicate the decision of the CNC or CPC to the Accused member and inform him / or her of his / or her right to appeal to the next higher disciplinary committee within fourteen (14) working days of receiving the decision from the CNC and / or CPC.