Mapisa-Nqakula the least suitable person to lead National Assembly - DA

The move to nominate Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula as the next Speaker has been met with stiff opposition - not just from other parties, but from civil society organisations which have written to Parliament.

FILE: Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) will nominate its parliamentary caucus chairperson, Annelie Lotriet, to stand against Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula when the National Assembly elects a new Speaker on Thursday morning.

Former Speaker, Thandi Modise, has been sent to Cabinet as the country's new defence minister following President Cyril Ramaphosa's reshuffle earlier this month.

The move to nominate Mapisa-Nqakula as the next Speaker has been met with stiff opposition - not just from other parties, but from civil society organisations which have written to Parliament.

DA Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone said that Mapisa-Nqakula was the least suitable person to lead the National Assembly.

"The Democratic Alliance has of course complained about the nomination and we think it is absolutely bizarre. We're not going to stand idly by and let the nomination go. We are putting up a fight, we are putting up our own nominee as Speaker of the National Assembly and we are going to try our level best to beat this particular candidate," Mazzone said.

While the national legislature's been asked to stop the election, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said that it would not participate in rubber stamping what it called the president's violation of the separation of powers.

The election will be presided over by Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe.

Meanwhile, acting Speaker of the National Assembly, Lechesa Tsenoli, said that the secret ballot vote to elect a new national Speaker would go ahead on Thursday as planned.

On Wednesday, Parliament received a letter of demand to prevent Mapisa-Nqakula's pending election as National Assembly Speaker.

The letter from Mabuza Attorney's represented political analysts JJ Tabane, Lukhona Mnguni as well as the New Nation Movement organisation.

They implored Tsenoli to "take all reasonable steps" to prevent Mapisa-Nqakula's election.

Tsenoli said that it did not work that way.

"We have advised them that we are going ahead. They know that they could have gone to court to seek the advice of the court on their own. The reasons that they have given, we differ with them."

Additional reporting by Mia Lindeque.

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