Sisulu accepts his job with humility

Applause and ululation greeted the election - unopposed - of ANC national executive member Max Sisulu as Speaker - the first male to hold the position since democracy dawned in 1994.

"The term madam speaker rolled very easily off the tongue for many years but now all members both new and returning will have to make a big adjustment," Sisulu quipped, urging all members to "resist the urge" to call him Madam Speaker: "The title Speaker will suffice".

Sisulu paid tribute to former Speakers Dr Frene Ginwala, Baleka Mbete and Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde for the role they played.

Former Cape Town mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo was elected Deputy Speaker. The ANC NEC member's nomination was also unopposed.

Addressing the House, Mfeketo said : "I accept this nomination with humility. I thank my organisation, the ANC, for having confidence in me that I can do this job and promise that together with the Speaker we will do our utmost best and not disappoint the expectation of this house.

"I am looking forward to working with all parties in making this house what our voters expect us to be," she said.

After prayers, including Muslim, Hindu and traditional African blessings, the House adjourned for lunch, to resume at 2pm for the election of the country's president.

About half the 400 MPs sworn in on Wednesday are first-timers.

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