Baleka Mbete: 'Parliament has performed well under my stewardship'

The Speaker of the National Assembly has had a rocky term at the helm of the House, with disruptions, violent clashes and persistent criticism that she protected Jacob Zuma.

FILE: National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - As parliamentarians prepare to start the final Parliamentary session before elections, Speaker Baleka Mbete says that Parliament has performed well under her stewardship.

Mbete has had a rocky term at the helm of the House, with disruptions, violent clashes, and persistent criticism that she protected former President Jacob Zuma to the detriment of Parliament’s reputation.

On Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the State of the Nation Address (Sona), starting the final leg of the fifth democratic Parliament.

Mbete says that Parliament will account to the nation through its Legacy Report, which will deal with how it has carried out its constitutional functions over the last five years.

She claims as some of the successes of this Parliament, the strengthening of oversight and accountability.

An example of this is the various parliamentary inquiries conducted, including the Public Enterprises Committee’s dogged probing of state capture at state-owned enterprises.

She also cites the number of “quality” laws passed by both houses of Parliament.

“Strides were made in putting the people at the centre of parliamentary programmes with our oversight accountability model being recognised as worthy of any nation by the interparliamentary union in its global parliamentary report.”

Mbete says the fifth Parliament is busy finalising a handover report for the 6th Parliament that will chronicle its performance, in particular, the areas of lawmaking.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)