The familiar faces now absent from Parliament

Social Development Minister Zola Skweyiya, Deputy Speaker Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge and COPE president Mosiuoa Lekota have resigned from Parliament, the legislature confirmed on Wednesday.

Madlala-Routledge's resignation came on the eve of the swearing in of the fourth Parliament, and just days after the African National Congress appointed her as the party's new caucus chairwoman in Parliament.

Press reports suggested she stepped down because she had hoped to be promoted to Speaker - a job that went to ANC stalwart Max Sisulu.

Other resignations include that of disabled rights activist Ari Searlis, who ran for the Independent Democrats, but relinquished his seat last week.

Searlis was number three on the party's list, and has claimed that he was pushed out to make place for another candidate after the party's poor election performance gave it only four seats in Parliament.

He will be replaced in the National Assembly by ID elections leader Joe McGluwa.

Lekota kept many in suspense this week before it was decided the former ANC chairperson and defence minister would not move to the opposition benches but remain in Johannesburg to build the four-month-old party's structures.

His seat will be taken by Congress of the People's CM Kotsi.

Vincent Smith will replace ANC defector Dennis Bloem in the National Assembly after he joined COPE just before the elections. - Sapa


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