File. Former minister of defence and military veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. File photo: Bongani Shilulbane/African News Agency (ANA)
File. Former minister of defence and military veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. File photo: Bongani Shilulbane/African News Agency (ANA)

Mapisa-Nqakula’s nomination for Speaker position challenged

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Aug 18, 2021

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The election of Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula as Speaker of the National Assembly has come under question after several individuals and the New Nation Movement slapped Parliament with a lawyer’s letter threatening to scupper the election.

The former defence minister is the candidate for the ANC to take over from Thandi Modise, who moved in the opposite direction during the Cabinet reshuffle early this month.

But a group of individuals led by broadcaster Onkgopotse JJ Tabane and political analyst Lukhona Mnguni and the New Nation Movement has asked acting Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli to stop the process.

In a letter, Mabuza Attorneys said the process to nominate her by the ANC was flawed and there were a number of allegations against Mapisa-Nqakula.

Some of the issues were that Parliament’s standing committee on defence was probing her for alleged corruption.

“The joint standing committee on defence is currently, or is contemplating, conducting an inquiry into further allegations made by a whistle-blower implicating Ms Mapisa-Nqakula in further and specific corrupt activities,” stated the letter from Mabuza attorneys.

They demanded that Parliament stop the process.

Already Parliament has said it was ready for the election of the Speaker.

It said Judge President of the Western Cape High Court, John Hlophe, had been assigned by acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to preside over the election process.

The lawyer’s letter further stated that Mapisa-Nqakula was not the right person for the position because of the allegations against her.

“Ms Mapisa-Nqakula is not a fit and proper person to occupy the important position of Speaker of the National Assembly and her nomination to that position is self-evidently irrational,” read the letter.

It warned Parliament that should it proceed on Thursday, it would face legal action to interdict the process.

“Take all reasonable steps to prevent the holding of the ballot scheduled to take place on Thursday, August 19, which due to the allocation of members, will most likely result in the election of Ms Mapisa-Nqakula as Speaker.

“In the event that the ballot is nevertheless held, which should not happen, that a secret ballot be held, and if the above demands are not met, to furnish us with the reasons thereof. Failure to act as aforesaid may result in our clients approaching the courts for appropriate relief,” stated the letter.

Political Bureau

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