Furore over nomination of SA Parliament speaker


Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) CRITICS have derided the nomination of former minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, as South Africa’s next Speaker of Parliament.

Her nomination by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) comes days after she was removed as Defence Minister in a cabinet reshuffle by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa, in his address during the reshuffle, said she would be redeployed.

Commentator, Ashraf Garda, lampooned the nomination.

“That’s like dropping a player for being a poor goalkeeper only to shift the player to striker,” he said.

Mapisa-Nqakula apparently lost her job in the wake of the security cluster’s lapse during the unrest that bedevilled South Africa in July, when the arrest of former president, Jacob Zuma, led to massive violence.

“If we ever needed confirmation that a cabinet reshuffle is just musical chairs this is it,” Garda said.

Mapisa-Nqakula was Minister of Defence and Military Veterans from 2012.

She was Minister of Home Affairs from 2004 to 2009 and Minister of Correctional Services from 2009 to 2012.

The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) described the decision as a candidate for Speaker of the National Assembly as a “complete mockery” of Parliament and the Constitution.

“While the ANC seeks to give a glowing account of Mapisa-Nqakula’s tenure in government, the reality is that there is nothing to celebrate,” Natasha Mazzone, DA Chief Whip, said.

Mazzone said the former minister was unfit to lead Parliament as she does not espouse the principles of accountability and transparency required to lead the institution.

“This nomination is just an example of the ANC recycling an underperforming minister.”

Parliament is currently in recess but will reconvene next week.

A date for the election of the new speaker will be determined at a later date.

Speaker Thandi Modise was meanwhile appointed to Mapisa-Nqakula’s position during the reshuffle.

– CAJ News



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