Motion of no confidence in Mapisa-Nqakula to be debated

National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 26, 2024


The DA on Tuesday said there was no reason why the National Assembly should not call a sitting next week to consider the motion of no confidence against National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

This comes after acting Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli gave the green light for the consideration of the DA’s motion against Mapisa-Nqakula.

Lechesa received the motion calling for the removal of Mapisa-Nqakula from office, citing various allegations of improper conduct last Thursday after she took special leave. This followed a raid at her home by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Independent Directorate in its investigation of corruption allegations against her.

On Monday, the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria reserved judgement in her application to interdict the Independent Directorate from arresting her.

On Tuesday, Tsenoli wrote to DA chief whip Siviwe Gwarube advising her of his decision to accept her proposed motion as being substantively in order except for minor technical adjustments the National Assembly’s table administration will indicate for her consideration.

“Once you have accepted the changes, the draft resolution will be placed on the order paper under ‘further business’ as notice of motion,” he wrote.

Lechesa stated that he would embark on the required consultation with ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina.

Parliament’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said a motion for the removal of the Speaker from office must comply to the satisfaction of the Deputy Speaker, with the prescripts of any relevant law or rules and orders of the House, including directives and guidelines approved by the rules committee.

“The appropriate scheduling of this motion will be announced once the consultation with the chief whip of the majority party concludes,” he said.

Gwarube confirmed receiving confirmation from Tsenoli that the motion of no confidence had been granted.

She said the motion to remove a Speaker or the Deputy Speaker must be considered urgently.

“Considering that this Parliament remains competent until May, there is no reason why a special sitting of Parliament should not be called as early as next week to consider this important motion,” Gwarube said.

The DA has since written to political parties represented in the National Assembly, including the ANC, requesting their support for the motion.

Gwarube said Mapisa-Nqakula’s refusal to resign amid the alleged corruption scandal left the official opposition no choice but to bring the motion.

“As MPs who uphold the values of accountability, this should not be a difficult decision to make.”

She also said Mapisa-Nqakula was no longer suited to hold the important position of leading the National Assembly.

“We are the very institution that ought to hold the executive to account; we cannot be found wanting when the Speaker is the one facing corruption allegations,” she said.

“Parliament and the parties represented there should do the right thing; support this motion and show South Africans that this Parliament will not be a refuge for some of the worst among us,” Gwarube said.

Meanwhile, Lechesa read a letter by Mapisa-Nqakula to MPs at the start of plenary sitting of the National Legislature on Tuesday.

In her letter, the embattled Speaker said she was made aware that ID was investigating a case of corruption against her.

“I still do not have full information as to the nature of the investigation and the allegations against me as the NPA is yet to provide full disclosure to me or my appointed legal representative.”

Mapisa-Nqakula said she had felt it necessary to take special leave of absence to protect the integrity and functioning of Parliament.

“This is despite my already pronounced innocence on allegations made public against me.

“I believe that depending on the provision of rules of the National Assembly, the matter should be brought to the attention of members at the next sitting of the House,” read Mapisa-Nqakula’s letter as read by Tsenoli.

Cape Times