File photo: Picture: Reuters/Rogan Ward
File photo: Picture: Reuters/Rogan Ward

MPs gear up for swearing-in ceremony

By Chantall Presence Time of article published May 21, 2019

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PARLIAMENT - Parliament was a hive of activity on Tuesday as many of the 400 politicians elected to serve in the National Assembly registered with the institution ahead of their swearing-in on Wednesday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa joined in the registration process after attending the party's first parliamentary caucus. 

He will be a member of Parliament (MP) up until he is formally elected president in the National Assembly. He will then cease to be a member of the legislature and will lead the other arms of the State -- the executive. 

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng will represent the third arm of the state -- the judiciary -- when he officiates over the swearing-in ceremony and the election of the Speaker and President on Wednesday.

Ramaphosa held his cards close to his chest when asked about his cabinet, which is expected to be appointed after the inauguration ceremony, which takes place in Pretoria on Saturday.

The president said he has not had sleepless nights, assuring South Africans that his next Cabinet will be a balanced one -- taking into account representations based on gender, youth, competence and demographic dispersal.

"It's the work that we have to do and everybody knows that we've got to do this work and that's precisely what we are working on and we will present an outcome we think our country will welcome and what we will be pleased with," Ramaphosa said walking the halls of Parliament after the caucus meeting.

New ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina was introduced to her caucus. She told the media that she was awaiting Ramaphosa's new Cabinet before the party puts forward names to be nominated as the chairpersons of Parliament's portfolio committees, which will be expected to undertake the important work of oversight over ministers and their departments.

"We await for the president to appoint his Cabinet which will be done possibly by Monday then thereafter we will as an organisation appoint capable chairpersons of committees as well as the whipery and all other outstanding portfolios we are supposed to fill," she said.

Other political parties also held caucuses and made sure their representatives went through the bureaucratic process of registering.

The EFF's Tebogo Mokwele said with her party almost doubling its number of seats, its MPs will return to the National Assembly reinvigorated.

"We are more energetic as the EFF. We promised our people that we are going to deliver on what we promised them and we are saying we are here to stay, to make sure that our people get better services, our people get their land, the means of production which is the economy gets back to those who are in need of it," said Mokwele.

Other MPs were also happy to return, none more than Congress of the People (Cope) MP Willie Madisha who joked that given his party's poor showing at the polls he made it back "through the eye of the needle".

Some 400 MPs will all gather in the National Assembly on Wednesday at 10.30am to be sworn in.

The members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) are set to be sworn in on Thursday.

African News Agency (ANA)

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