The South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists Constitution and By-Laws can be downloaded here
Date of approval: 2010
Contains amendments approved by the SAICSIT Special General Meeting of 13 October 2009.
In this Constitution, except where the context forbids, words importing males shall include females
and words implying the singular shall include the plural and vice versa.
The name of the institute shall be:
The South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists
The institute focusses on research and development in computing and information technology (IT) in
The strategic objectives of SAICSIT are to:–
The Institute shall consist of members and fellows that meet the criteria as specified by the By-Laws.
All Fellows who were appointed within the Institute since its inception will retain their status as
Fellows of the SAICSIT. No new Fellows will be elected.
The Secretary shall create a register of all members, together with their dates of joining the institution,
postal address and electronic-mail address to be kept.
A Member of the Institute shall be entitled to use the following letters to designate his/her grade of
membership of the Institute:
A member of the Institute may use the following applicable descriptions to specify his/her association
with the Institute:
Every member is required so to order his conduct as to uphold the dignity of the profession of computer
science and information technology; and in whatever capacity he may be engaged, to act towards
his clients, employers, others with whom his work is connected, and his fellow-members, in a manner
consistent with the mission and objectives of the Institute.
The Council shall have power in terms of the by-laws to censure, suspend or expel members of SAICSIT.
Cessation of membership of the Institute shall entail forfeiture of all right, title, and/or interest in
funds, property and assets of the Institute, and of right to participate in the Institute’s affairs.
Subject to the constitution and in conformity with the By-laws the management of the affairs of the
Institute shall be vested in the Council whose members shall serve on the Council until their successors
have been elected and have taken office.
1. The Council shall consist of:
2. No member of the Institute other than the six (6) designated in this clause nor any paid or
honorary employee of the Institute shall be termed an office bearer of the Institute.
3. The Council may co-opt members as they feel fit to conduct or be responsible for specific duties.
4. Coopted members hold office for such period determined by the Council or until the next Annual
General Meeting, whichever is the shorter period.
5. Eight (8) Council Members shall form a quorum.
1. Fellows have the right to attend all Council meetings, but unless also Council Members, shall
not have the right to vote at Council meetings.
2. Members of Council have the right to attend any and all meetings and committee meetings of
any Specialist Section, group or body, associated with, or sponsored by, the Institute.
Should any member of Council be absent from three consecutive Council meetings, without leave of
absence having been granted to him by Council, he shall, at the discretion of Council, be deemed to
have resigned from the Council.
The Office Bearers for the ensuing two (2) years shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting, in
accordance with the By-laws.
The Council shall have the power to fill any vacancy occurring among Office Bearers.
The normal term of office of Council members shall be four years, from Annual General Meeting to
Annual General Meeting.
Members of Council shall be Members of the Institute in good standing.
Members of Council shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting, in accordance with the By-Laws.
The Council shall have the power to fill the vacancy by co-option.
1. The Executive Committee of the Council shall consist of the Office Bearers together with such
additional Council members as may be appointed to the Committee by the Council.
2. The quorum at meetings of the Executive Committee shall be four (4) members.
3. The Executive Committee shall act on behalf of the Council in cases of emergency and in all
matters delegated to it by Council.
4. Any action taken by the Executive Committee shall be reported to the next Council meeting.
The Council shall have the power to appoint a secretary and other officers and servants, and to remunerate
them. Such secretary, officers and servants shall hold office during the pleasure of the Council
and they shall perform such duties as the Council shall require.
The Council shall cause minutes to be kept of the proceedings of all meetings of the Council, the
Institute and the various Committees.
The Council shall have the power to institute and regulate examinations for admission to membership
and for such other purposes as may be determined by Council.
The Council shall have the power to publish journals and other matter as may be determined by Council.
1. The Council shall have the power to levy, fix and amend entrance fees and annual subscriptions.
2. Non-members may subscribe to any of the services provided by the Institute at a fee determined
3. The liability of members for the debts and engagements of the Institute is limited to the amount
of any unpaid subscriptions.
1. All assets, property and funds of the Institute shall be held and registered in the name of the
2. The Council shall have the power to buy, sell, improve, manage, lease, mortgage or dispose of
all or any property, movable or immovable: to raise, borrow and secure payment of money, and
to accept donations, in furtherance of the Institute’s objects.
3. True accounts shall be kept of all monies received and expended by the Institute and of the
assets and liabilities of the Institute.
4. The Council shall have the power to open such banking accounts as it deems fit for the purposes
of the Institute.
5. The Honorary Treasurer, or treasurer engaged by the Council, shall administer the funds of the
Institute in accordance with the directions of the Council to whom he shall be responsible.
6. The funds of the Institute shall be applied solely to the promotion of the objectives of the
The accounts of the Institute shall be audited at least once a year by an auditor who shall be appointed
by the Council for the ensuing year. No member or officer of the Institute shall be eligible for the
position of auditor.
All documents and instruments required to be signed on behalf of the Institute shall be signed by
persons duly authorised by a resolution of the Council.
The Council shall submit at each Annual General Meeting an Annual Report on the affairs of the
Institute, together with an audited Statement of Revenue and Expenditure and a Balance Sheet.
Each member of Council shall be accountable only in respect of his own acts and shall not be accountable
for any acts done or authorised to which he shall not have expressly assented, and no member of
the Council shall incur any personal liability in respect of any loss or damage incurred through any
act, matter or thing done, authorised or suffered by him, being done in good faith for the benefit of the
Institute, although in excess of his legal power.
1. The Council may, upon receipt of a request for incorporation from any organisation with objects
kindred to those of the Institute, arrange for the incorporation of such an organisation in
the Institute on such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon, provided that any such incorporation
shall be subject to sanction by a Special General Meeting of the Institute convened for
2. The Council may decide, with no dissenting vote, to associate the Institute with any institution,
provided that such association
Council may form Sections within the Institute to promote subjects of specific professional interest
to certain members of the Institute. The affairs of Sections shall be conducted in accordance with the
1. The Council shall frame By-laws, which shall be consistent with the provisions of the Constitution,
for the conduct of the business and the management of the affairs of the Institute: such
By-laws may at any time be added to, repealed or amended by the Council.
2. All members shall be notified of such alterations and additions in a manner to be decided by the
3. However, amendments to the by-laws on the election of Council members and office bearers,
and the by-laws on disciplinary procedures requires ratification by a simple majority of votes
cast either (a) of members in a postal ballot or (b) a general meeting.
In any case of doubt as to the meaning of any portion of the Constitution and By-laws, the Interpretation
of the Council shall be binding upon the members.
1. Ordinary General Meetings of the Institute shall be held at such time and place as the Council
2. Nothing related to the management of the Institute shall be introduced or discussed at Ordinary
Annual General Meetings of the Institute shall be held on a date in the following year to be decided by
the Council each year, to receive and consider the Annual Report of the Council, the audited Revenue
and Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet, an announcement of the membership of the Council
where applicable, and to conduct such other business as Council may decide.
1. All meetings of the Institute other than those detailed in 5.1 and 5.2 shall be designated Special
General Meetings and only such business as is specified in the notice convening these meetings
shall be transacted.
2. The Council may at any time convene a Special General Meeting.
3. The Council shall convene a Special General Meeting within thirty (30) days of the receipt
of a written application from no less than ten (10) Members in good standing, provided such
application specifies the objects for which the meeting is required.
Notices convening Annual General and Special General Meetings shall be dispatched to members
at their registered email addresses no less than fourteen (14) days prior to the date decided for such
The accidental omission to give notice of any meeting of the Institute to any Corporate Member shall
not invalidate any resolution passed at such meeting.
The Corporate Members in good standing present at a meeting of the Institute shall form a quorum,
and only these members are entitled to vote, provided that members may authorise a vote in proxy.
Should the Council consider it expedient to propose any change to the Constitution in the way of
addition, alteration or repeal, or should not less than twenty (20) Members express in writing a desire
for such a change, the same shall:
1. Either be considered at a Special General Meeting convened for that purpose, when it shall be
necessary for the adoption of any amendment to the Constitution that not less than two-thirds
of the votes cast shall be in the affirmative;
2. If deemed desirable by the Council, be submitted to all Members in good standing for decision
by email ballot. For the adoption of a proposed amendment, it shall be necessary that not less
than twenty-five per cent of the members entitled to vote cast their votes, and that not less than
two-thirds of the votes cast be in favour of the amendment.
1. The Institute may be liquidated and its affairs wound up, or it may be amalgamated with any
similar body, by a resolution submitted to and adopted at a Special General Meeting convened
for the purpose, at which not less than seventy-five percent (75%) of the votes cast are in favour
of the dissolution or amalgamation, subject to confirmation by a postal ballot, in which not less
than twenty-five percent (25%) of members entitled to vote cast their votes, and not less than
two-thirds of the votes cast are in favour of dissolution or amalgamation.
2. In submitting the resolution to members, it shall be necessary to decide the manner in which any
surplus assets of the Institute, after satisfaction of its debts, shall be applied, with the proviso
that no surplus assets will be distributed among any members of the Institute but will be made
over to a society not for gain, such society to have objects that are in accordance with the objects
of the Institute.
Communication will be by postal service, facsimile or electronic mail.
As approved by the Council at its meeting of 10 October 2010, and ratified by the AGM of 12 October
1. The definitions given in the preamble to the Constitution apply to these by-laws.
2. In any conflict between the provisions of the by-laws and the Constitution, the provisions of the
Constitution shall apply.
A member shall have a relevant 3-year qualification plus two years of relevant experience, or a relevant
four year degree plus one year of relevant experience, or relevant masters or doctoral degree.
1. The Council may admit any person who meets the criteria for membership set out below.
2. Admission only takes effect on all fees being paid.
3. The Council may delegate authority to admit members to the Honorary Secretary.
1. Any person who was previously a member and whose previous membership was terminated
by the Council acting under its disciplinary powers may reapply to be a member of SAICSIT,
following the procedures in Clause J.8
2. The procedure of sub-clause 1 applies to any person who resigned from SAICSIT with disciplinary
3. Any other person who was previously a member of SAICSIT may reapply to be a member
of SAICSIT using the procedure described in Clause B.2. The Council may require that fees
outstanding from previous periods of membership be paid up.
1. All members shall pay entrance fees and subscriptions as prescribed by Council from time to
2. Membership of SAICSIT is from 1 January to 31 December.
3. The mode of payment of fees shall be determined by Council.
4. The Council may prescribe different fees for bona fide full-time students, for retired persons or
for unemployed persons. This clause is permissive and does not obligate Council to do so.
5. Council may, in exceptional circumstances, reduce or omit the annual or arrears subscriptions
due by any member.
1. The membership of an inactive member of the Institute may be terminated by the Council.
2. An active member of the Institute is a member who:
(a) was admitted as a member of SAICSIT in the previous 18 months; or
(b) attended the annual research conference in the current or previous year; or
(c) notified the Honorary Secretary by email in the current calendar year that they wish to
continue as a member of SAICSIT and that they continue to subscribe to the goal of
(d) paid any fees to SAICSIT in the current year.
3. An inactive member of the Institute is a member who has owed any subscription fees for more
than 12 months, or who is not active in terms of sub-clause 2.
4. The Honorary Secretary will send an email circular to all members by 28 February each year
asking any member who wishes to remain active to notify her/him.
5. Members are responsible for informing the Institute using a mode determined by the Council
which activities they have participated in.
The number of members forming a quorum at a Special General Meeting, Annual General Meeting
or Ordinary General Meeting, as per section 4.6 of the Constitution shall not be less than 5% (five per
cent) of the members of the Institute in good standing.
1. Every proposal submitted to any meeting, except as otherwise provided, shall in the first instance
be decided by a show of hands of the members entitled to vote but a ballot may be
demanded by any member present. This ballot shall be taken forthwith and be supervised by
the scrutineers appointed by the meeting.
2. The Chairman of any meeting shall have a deliberative vote and if necessary, a casting vote.
The President shall preside at all Ordinary, Annual and Special General Meetings and Council and
ExCo meetings of the Institute at which s/he is present. Should the President not be present, the order of precedence for taking the chair shall be:
The Chairman of any meeting may, with the consent of a majority of the members present, adjourn
the proceedings from time to time and from place to place.
The financial year of the Institute shall run from 1st March to the end of February.
SAICSIT shall publish the South African Computer Journal (SACJ) as a research journal.
1. The Council shall appoint the editor of the South African Computer Journal.
2. The Editor is granted the rights and obligations of the editor of a scientific journal.
3. The Editor is responsible for determining the contents of the journal. Research papers shall
only be accepted after peer-review, on the basis of quality, relevance and novelty.
4. The Editor may appoint an Editorial Board and any Co-editors, Deputy Editors and Associate
Editors as s/he believes appropriate.
5. Editorial procedures shall be determined by the Editor after consulting any Co-editors and
Deputy or Associate Editors
1. One year before the term of office of the Editor completes, the Council shall appoint a Screening
Committee to appoint a new editor.
2. The Screening Committee shall advertise for the position of editor and may on its own initiative
approach candidates for the position.
3. The Screening Committee shall determine its own procedures and shall consider all material
submitted by candidates for editor. It may also interview shortlisted applicants.
4. The Screening Committee shall make a recommendation to the Council.
5. The Council must confirm or reject any recommendation of the Screening Committee.
6. If the Council rejects the recommendation, the Screening Committee shall propose another
7. The term of office of the editor is five years.
8. An editor may serve more than one term.
1. The Editor, in consultation with the Honorary Treasurer, shall determine the number and size
of issues published each year.
2. There shall be at least two issues published each year.
3. The Council shall determine the mode of publication in consultation with the Editor.
4. The Council shall determine the copyright policy of SACJ in consultation with the Editor.
5. All paid-up members of SAICSIT shall receive or have access to a copy of the SACJ without additional
charge. Right to access and retrieve the copy of SACJ is only for the year of publication
though this may be extended at the discretion of the Council.
1. SAICSIT will hold an annual research conference. The Proceedings of the conference will be
published and comprise chiefly of reviewed publications.
2. The Proceedings shall be published, preferably by an international conference series such as
the ACM International Conference Proceedings Series.
3. The SAICSIT AGM, or failing the AGM, the Council will appoint a General Chair for the conference.
The General Chair will appoint the programme committee and organising committee
(including the chairs thereof).
4. The Council shall determine the review, publication and copyright policies of national research
conference in consultation with the programme committee chair(s).
5. The final decision of which papers are accepted in the conference shall be made by the programme
committee chair or chairs on the basis of peer reviews.
The SAICSIT Council may approve the issuing of any publication or the holding of any workshop
under the name of SAICSIT on such conditions as the Council deems appropriate.
1. Before each AGM, the Honorary Secretary shall determine the opening and closing dates for
nominations for any vacancies and issue a call for nominations.
2. Nominations shall be open for at least 21 days.
3. Nominations shall normally close 48 hours before the AGM.
4. Nominations for any position shall be reopened at the AGM, before any election for that position,
(a) no or insufficient nominations have been received; or
(b) a vacancy have occurred for a position between the initial call for nominations and the
AGM, or as a result of a member of the Council being elected to a different position on
1. The election of office bearers shall take place at the AGM.
2. Any vacancies in office bearers shall be filled in descending order of seniority.
3. Should a newly elected office bearer already be a member of the Council, their previous position
terminates and becomes vacant.
4. No-one is eligible for a position which they have held for three or more years in the last five
1. Elections for Council members shall be held at the Annual General Meeting.
2. Each paid up member of SAICSIT attending the AGM shall have as many votes as there are
3. If there are n vacancies, the n candidates who obtained the highest votes shall be declared
members of Council and hold office as ordinary Council members for four years, or until they
are elected as an office bearer.
Council shall meet as often as the business of the Institute requires. At meetings of the Council all
matters shall be decided by a majority, except as otherwise provided for in the Constitution or By-laws.
The Chairperson shall have a deliberative and, if necessary, a casting vote.
Any member of Council who is absent from three (3) meetings of Council without the approval of
Council shall be deemed to have resigned from the Council.
1. Council shall have power to appoint committees and/or representatives for such purposes and
with such powers as it may decide. Such appointments and/or representations may be made
from members of the Institute or from such other persons as Council may select in order to
further the interests and work of the Institute.
2. The President shall be ex officio a member of all committees.
3. Chairpersons of committees and representatives appointed by Council shall report regularly to
Council either in person or in writing the progress and eventually the result of the work of the
committees or representation.
Any Centre or Section established by the Institute shall be constituted and its affairs conducted in
accordance with the Constitution and By-laws.
ExCo shall meet not less than four times annually, and more often should the business of the Institute
so require. At meetings of the ExCo the Chairman shall have a deliberative and, if necessary, a casting
1. The powers of the Council to discipline members is regulated by the constitution and these
2. The Council may not delegate its disciplinary powers.
Competent disciplinary charges against a member are
1. Wilful or reckless breaking of the constitution or by-laws;
2. Failure to observe Clause 3.2.
1. The Council may on its own initiative, or on receipt of a complaint from a member or a third
party, appoint an ad hoc disciplinary committee to decide any disciplinary charges against a
2. Subject to J.5(5), the Council shall appoint a SAICSIT member to lead evidence.
3. The person leading evidence shall consider any complaints and perform any preliminary investigations
s/he thinks desirable.
4. The person leading evidence shall, based on the complaints and any preliminary investigations,
(a) recommend to the Council that the complaint should not be pursued, in which case the
Council shall either terminate proceedings or consider the matter de novo;
(b) formulate charges which shall be presented to the member and the disciplinary committee.
A disciplinary committee shall consist of at least three members.
1. A majority of the committee must be members of SAICSIT.
2. Members of the committee do not have to be Council members.
3. Subject to sub-clause 1, the Council may appoint as members of the committee people who are
not SAICSIT members.
1. Subject to the provisions of these by-laws, the disciplinary committee may establish its own
procedures, which may be informal.
2. The principles of natural justice must be observed;
3. Without limiting the above, a charged member must have the right to make representations to
the committee, in person or in writing or both;
4. Subject to sub-clause 5, a charged member may ask another member of SAICSIT to act as a
friend at any hearing of the disciplinary committee;
5. No party has a right to legal representation at any meeting of the disciplinary committee. It is
the intention of these procedures that any cases be heard collegially with due regard to the size
and nature of SAICSIT so legal representation shall not normally be allowed. However, the
disciplinary committee may, at its discretion, allow legal representation by parties should the
complexity of the case require it, but may only do so in most exceptional circumstances after
consulting the President.
6. If the charged member is granted legal representation, they disciplinary committee may authorise
legal representation for the person leading evidence.
7. “Legal representation” means any one who is an attorney or advocate in South Africa, or holds a
similar position in another jurisdiction, as well as anyone who has completed an LLB or BProc
or similar degree.
8. The disciplinary committee may at its discretion meet using video conference or internet technology.
9. The committee may at any stage before giving a verdict suspend its work and recommend to
the Council that the matter should be reconsidered de novo.
1. At the conclusion of its hearing, the disciplinary committee shall on each charge
(a) Acquit or find the member guilty;
(b) If the member is found guilty, make a recommendation to the SAICSIT Council that the
member be (a) warned, (b) reprimanded© suspended for some period of time not exceeding
two years, or© expelled.
(c) Any punishment recommended may itself be suspended on whichever conditions the committee
believes is appropriate.
2. The Disciplinary Committee shall send its report, which shall include its findings and recommendations
and its reasons therefor, to the SAICSIT Council and to the member.
(a) The member may make written representations to the Council and/or make an appearance
before the Council (which may be by video or internet technology).
(b) There is no other appeal process.
The Council shall consider the report and any representations made by the member, and the person
who led evidence.
1. With respect to a guilty verdict, the Council may confirm the verdict, or deal with the matter de
2. With respect to any sanction recommended by a disciplinary committee, the Council may confirm
the decision of the committee, or set it aside or replace it with a lesser sanction.
3. Any member of Council who is a member of the disciplinary committee, or who led evidence,
or who has a significant conflict of interest shall recuse themselves from the Council meeting.
4. At its discretion, the Council may invite the chair of the disciplinary committee and/or the
person who led evidence and/or the member to attend the SAICSIT Council to make representations
and to answer any questions of Council members. This is subject to
(a) The charged member also being invited to attend;
(b) Any such person invited in terms of this clause must withdraw from the meeting before
the Council starts deliberations.
5. At least 60% of Council members present must agree to expel a member.
6. The Council may meet using video or internet conferencing technology.
1. If a member is suspended for a period of time, all membership dues will remain due.
2. If a member is expelled, s/he shall be refunded membership charges for the year.
3. A member expelled or who resigns from SAICSIT between (i) the point a disciplinary charge is
laid with the Council or the Council initiating disciplinary procedures, and (ii) the final decision
of Council may only be readmitted to SAICSIT as follows
(a) The candidate member must disclose the relevant facts on application.
(b) Readmission will be at the discretion of the Council and requires the support of at least
60% of Council members voting.
(c) The Council may terminate the membership of any person who does not disclose their
previous status when applying to be a member.
See the following article for more details.
Derrick G Kourie, The South African Computer Journal: 1989 to 2010, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, Vol 65(2), ISSN: 2154-0098 (electronic) 0035-919X (paper), June 2010