Mbete nominated as National Assembly speaker

If elected, the ANC national chairperson will replace Max Sisulu.

ANC National Chairperson Baleka Mbete. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - National chairperson Baleka Mbete has been nominated to become the new National Assembly speaker, ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe revealed on Tuesday.

If elected, she will replace outgoing speaker Max Sisulu.

Mbete held the post before being appointed ANC chairperson in 2009.

Mantashe says the ANC wants Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Lechesa Tsenoli to act as Mbete's deputy.

That post was previously held by Nomaindia Mfeketo.

Mantashe announced the decision in Parliament shortly after addressing ANC Members of Parliament (MPs) in their first caucus meeting this afternoon.

He rejected suggestions that Sisulu had been dropped because he ordered an ad-hoc committee to look into spending at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead.

The secretary general also denied reports the ruling party discussed making Mbete his replacement second deputy president, saying the ANC made no provision for such a space.

Elections for a new speaker and deputy take place during the first sitting of the new Parliament, which will take place on Wednesday morning.

If other parties make nominations, there will be a vote by secret ballot.

Around 400 Members of Parliament will also be sworn in on Wednesday.

They will include newcomers the Economic Freedom Fighters, led by expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.

At the same time, DA ministers will have their first caucus meeting on Wednesday.