National Assembly pencils in date for election of new Speaker

Next Thursday has been set down for the election. It must still be confirmed with Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Either Zondo or a judge chosen by him must preside over the election.

Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The National Assembly has earmarked next Thursday for the election of a new Speaker.

The date was proposed at a meeting of the National Assembly’s programming committee on Thursday morning.

It must still be confirmed with Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Either Zondo or a judge chosen by him must preside over the election.

In his Cabinet reshuffle last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa made former Speaker, Thandi Modise, the Minister of Defence.

The African National Congress (ANC)’s parliamentary caucus this week backed the election of her predecessor, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, as the new Speaker, but other parties can also nominate candidates on the day.

The National Assembly is preparing for a secret ballot of members when it comes to voting for a new Speaker. This is in anticipation of there being more than one nomination for the key position.

Next Thursday has been set down for the election.

The ANC announced on Tuesday that former Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was the party’s preferred candidate, but other parties can nominate their own candidates from the floor.

Secretary to the National Assembly, Masibulele Xaso: “Where there is more than one nomination the Constitution prescribes that the voting must be by secret ballot – for that reason, we are busy with preparations as if there is going to be a secret ballot.

“A secret ballot procedure, by its nature, will require the physical presence of members to cast their votes as prescribed in the election rules and this will necessitate measures to ensure all COVID-19 protocols are strictly adhered to, especially social-distancing,” he added.

The date must now be confirmed with the office of the Chief Justice.

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