New batch of young bloods sworn in as MPs

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu. Photo: Motshwari Mofokeng.

Parliament’s newest MPs, including the youngest, have been sworn in by National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu.

Chu-Chiao Huang from Cope, and Liezl van der Merwe and Mkhuhleko Hlengwa from the IFP were sworn in on Tuesday.

Huang replaces former Cope MP and treasurer Hilda Ndude, while Van der Merwe and Hlengwa replace former IFP MPs Patricia Lebenya-Ntanzi and Musa Zondi respectively.

Hlengwa, 24, is now the youngest member of Parliament after the DA’s Geordin Hill-Lewis, 25, who was also 24 at the time of his appointment. Hill-Lewis maintains he still “holds the record” as he was sworn in when he was 24 and seven months while Hlengwa was 24 and 11 months.

Hlengwa and Van der Merwe, 31, join Hill-Lewis and ANC MP Mdu Manana, 28, as among the youngest MPs.

Van der Merwe was the IFP’s parliamentary press officer before assuming her new role as an MP. Van der Merwe joined the IFP in 2006 when she became the media officer for the parliamentary caucus.

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said Huang was one of the founding members of the party and had been on the candidates list since the party’s first participation in elections in 2009. He described Huang as a “brilliant fellow”.

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