In electing Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula as Speaker of the National Assembly, the African National Congress (ANC) has impaired Parliament’s ability to carry out its mandate of ensuring accountability and transparency.
The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone argues that Mapisa-Nqakula’s nomination is further proof of the ANC’s intention to decimate the institution.
In her statement, Mazzone noted that Mapisa-Nqakula is entirely unsuited for the role of Speaker, and her election represents a mockery of Parliament and its values of transparency, accountability, and honesty.
“It is ironic that the Speaker is now leading the very institution she has dedicated her life to destroying, where allegations of misconduct were made against her,” Mazzone said.
Despite being sacked as Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Mapisa-Nqakula won the election in Parliament on Thursday with 199 votes out of 298 votes, with 17 spoiled ballots.
DA nominee Dr. Annelie Lotriet won 82 votes, with 17 spoilt votes. It translates into 66.8% of MPs physically present in Parliament.
Maphisa-Nqakula’s nomination follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle earlier this month, appointing NA Speaker, Thandi Modise as the new Defence Minister.
The Economic Freedom Fighters said Maphisa-Nqakula’s candidacy violated the separation of powers, thus the party boycotted the election.
The Western Cape High Judge, President John Hlophe, presided over the nomination and election of the new Speaker of the National Assembly Speaker.
The United Democratic Movement (UDM), Leader, Bantu Holomisa, told Cape Talk that the ANC’s choice of former defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula as National Assembly Speaker shows the party doesn’t care about the country.
The newly-elected National Assembly Speaker is under investigation for alleged corruption during her tenure as Defense Minister.
As part of her corrupt acts, a South African National Defence Force supplier allegedly offered her R5 million in cash and gifts.
Mazzone contends that the election of the former defence minister does not represent “democracy at work,” but depicts the ANC’s cadre deployment policy as another example of the potential destruction of another democratic institution.
During her inauguration speech as Speaker, Mapisa-Nqakula described Parliament as the last line of defence of constitutional democracy.
She called on all parties to work together in the service of South Africans, and pledged to protect and promote the fairness and integrity of the South African Parliament.