** This story has been updated
PARLIAMENT - ANC member of Parliament (MP) Thandi Modise was on Wednesday afternoon formally elected as Speaker of the National Assembly.
Modise went up against DA MP Thembekile Richard Majola, a former Speaker of the Western Cape Legislature.
Modise, former National Council of Provinces chairperson, emerged victorious after the ANC used its majority to secure her as the national legislature's boss for the next five or so years.
The outcome of the secret ballot was 250 votes in favour of Modise, meaning the ANC had help in voting her into power.
The DA's Majola received 83 votes. There were 17 spoilt ballots.
Thandi Modise has been elected as the new Speaker of National Assembly after she obtained 250 votes against Thembekile Majola of the DA, who secured only 83 votes. There was only 17 spoilt ballots— Mayibongwe Maqhina (@uMaqhina) May 22, 2019
EFF MPs abstained from the vote.
After the election, Modise replaced Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and took charge of proceedings, promising MPs she would be fair and unbiased while executing her duties.
"I understand fully the struggle to move South Africa forward, to recognise all her people, to recognise all languages, all cultures and traditions of SA. As elected representatives, we are both the products and custodians of the values enshrined in our Constitution. These values set the tone for how we conduct ourselves, and how we manage the affairs of our people for the common good."
Modise said her role was to enable debate and protect the rights of the public and public representatives. She appealed to MPs to be respectful of each other.
"The decorum of the House and image of Parliament must be maintained. We do not represent ourselves, honourable members, we represent the people of our country. At the start of this term, let us represent those who sent us to Parliament well. Let us respect those who entrust to us the running of our country."
Modise then presided over the election of her deputy. Lechesa Tsenoli will return to his previous position after he was elected unopposed.
African News Agency (ANA)