Former Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula today officially begins her first day as the National Assembly Speaker following her election by a majority of ANC MPs in the House on Thursday.
The ANC had to use its majority vote in Parliament to elect her after the DA fielded Annelie Lotriet to challenge her for the position.
But opposition parties and analysts warned that Mapisa-Nqakula’s election was questionable given the allegations levelled against her. But the former minister assured MPs that she would work with all political parties.
I also felt great pride both as a member of this House and as a South African observing the exercise of democracy during these proceedings with all parties, big and small, fully utilising the opportunity and space to nominate freely the candidate of their choice for the position of speaker. It is upon this foundation that Parliament has continued to stand as the foremost custodian and protector of our democracy,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.
It is important that this foundation of true democracy particularly should never be compromised, not for personal whim or for narrow party political interests,” she added.
But DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone said that Mapisa-Nqakula’s election as speaker had disarmed Parliament from carrying out its mandate to ensure accountability and transparency.
She said that Mapisa-Nqakula was not fit for the position.
Now that it is said and done, democracy has played its part. We will offer our fullest support to the speaker of the House because we respect the Office of the Speaker. In the same way we hope she will reciprocate as she indicated to the House that she will work with all parties,” Singh said.
He also pointed out that all parties generally co-operate with the speaker and her office but time would tell if “we will receive the same kind of co-operation from the Office of the Speaker as we received in the past”.
Freedom Front Plus leader Petrus Groenewald said the ANC did not act in the best interest of South Africa.
They act in the best interest of the ANC itself,” he said. Groenewald found it odd that Mapisa-Nqakula spoke about integrity after her election.
In other news – Police Minister Bheki Cele presents quarterly crime statistics
Police Minister Bheki Cele is presenting the quarterly crime statistics.
The quarterly crime statistics will reflect crimes that occurred from April to June this year. Learn more