Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

Parliament to elect new Speaker on Thursday after Thandi Modise’s move

Parliament will on Thursday elect a new Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) after Thandi Modise was recently appointed as the defence minister.

The NA’s plenary sitting to elect a new Speaker is scheduled to start at 11am on 19 August 2021.

On 5 August 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Modise as the new minister of Defence and Military Veterans, replacing Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who the president said would be “deployed to a new position”.

It has been reported that Mapisa-Nqakula is the African National Congress’ (ANC’s) candidate for the position of the Speaker of the NA.

Some opposition parties have reportedly indicated that they intend to challenge the ANC’s nominee, Mapisa-Nqakula.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has said that Mapisa-Nqakula is not fit to be the Speaker of Parliament.

DA Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone said the ANC’s decision to nominate “the disgraced” Mapisa-Nqakula “makes a complete mockery of Parliament and the Constitution”.

“While the ANC seeks to give a glowing account of Mapisa-Nqakula’s tenure in government, the reality is that there is nothing to celebrate. She is not fit to lead Parliament as she does not espouse the principles of accountability and transparency required to lead the institution. This nomination is just an example of the ANC recycling an underperforming minister,” Mazzone said.

Mazzone said during her tenure as defence minister, Mapisa-Nqakula was to blame for the following “blunders”, which the DA MP said “bordered on the illegal”:

  • She allegedly smuggled a Burundian woman, who had been in a romantic relationship with her late son, from the Democratic Republic of Congo to South Africa onboard an Air Force jet.
  • She also famously oversaw the ANC’s jaunt to Zimbabwe onboard an Air Force jet which was a violation of lockdown regulations but also a brazen abuse of state resources.
  • It was under her watch and knowledge that the South African Defence Force (SANDF) purchased the unregistered interferon drug from Cuba.
  • She’s been accused of living in the lap of luxury on the taxpayer’s dime.
  • Her and the department blundered the investigations into the untimely death of Collins Khosa at the hands of SANDF soldiers.

“There are clearly numerous instances of her seemingly abusing her position of power and disregarding ethics standards for her own political and personal gain.

“How can the ANC nominate and support an individual whose track record is one of contempt of the very principles which Parliament seeks to uphold and promote?

“The DA will not support the nomination of Mapisa-Nqakula,” Mazzone said.

Parliament said Section 52 (2) of the Constitution compels the Chief Justice of the country or a judge designated by him to preside over the election of a Speaker.

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