Parties slam election of new Speaker
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Opposition parties have slammed the election of former defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula as the Speaker of the National Assembly.
This comes after the African National Congress (ANC) used its majority in Parliament to ensure her election against Democratic Alliance (DA) MP, Annelie Lotriet.
Lotriet only got 82 votes while 199 MPs voted for Mapisa-Nqakula.
The other 17 ballots were spoilt.
But DA Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone said the election of Mapisa-Nqakula made a mockery of Parliament.
“The DA maintains that Mapisa-Nqakula is unfit for the position of Speaker and that her election makes a complete mockery of Parliament and it’s principles of transparency, accountability and integrity,” said Mazzone.
“What makes matters worse, is that the new Speaker is heading up the very institution which she for years tried to undermine and where serious allegations of misconduct have been levelled against her,” she said.
Inkatha Freedom Party chief whip Narend Singh said his party had made its feelings known before the vote that they were not in favour of Mapisa-Nqakula’s election.
“Now that it is said and done, democracy has played its part. We will offer our fullest support to the Speaker of the House because we respect the Office of the Speaker.
“In the same way we hope she will reciprocate as she indicated to the house that she will work with all parties,” Singh said.
He also said all parties generally cooperate with the Speaker and her office but time will tell if we will receive the same kind of cooperation from the office of the Speaker as we received in the past.
Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said the ANC did not act in the best interest of South Africa.
“They act in the best interest of the ANC itself,” he said.
Groenewald found it odd that Mapisa-Nqakula spoke about integrity after her election.
“Ironically she is part of the problem in the sense she used her position in the past to favour the ANC by taking executive council members to Zimbabwe on a defence plane. We expect the speaker to set an example.”