Former Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has been elected as the new Speaker of the National Assembly, following a vote by secret ballot by Members of Parliament on Thursday.
Addressing the National Assembly sitting for the first time as Speaker on Thursday afternoon, Mapisa-Nqakula said being initially nominated left her “emotional and humbled”.
“I return of course to be part of a collective leadership of this national legislature after what can be considered a long stay within the executive branch of government. I therefore fully appreciate the extent of the transition that I must personally make in order to fulfil my obligations and those of this House, to ensure the accountability and oversight of the executive branch,” she said.
She said this after Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe presided over the nomination and the election of the new Speaker of the National Assembly.
After a voting process that lasted for over three hours, Mapisa-Nqakula was elected after she received 199 votes out of a total of 298 votes cast during a secret ballot. Dr Annelie Lotriet MP, who was a nominee from the main opposition DA, received 82 votes, while 17 ballots were spoilt.
The election comes after Thandi Modise resigned as Speaker following President Cyril Ramaphosa announced changes to his Cabinet earlier this month. Modise was appointed as the new Defence Minister.
Ahead of the vote, ANC Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina rose to nominate Mapisa-Nqakula, and she was seconded by Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu.
The DA’s Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone in turn nominated Dr Annelie Lotriet, MP and was seconded by DA leader John Steenhuisen.
Mapisa-Nqakula’s record of service
Mapisa-Nqakula has served as Chairperson of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and as a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence from 1994.
She served as a Deputy Minister of Home Affairs from May 2002 to April 2004, and then as Minister of Home Affairs from April 2004 to May 2009.
In May 2009, she was appointed as a Minister of Correctional Services, a position that she held until June 2012 when she was appointed as Minister of Defence and Military Veterans. – SAnews