By: Staff Reporter
Former minister of defence and military veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has been elected as the new Speaker of the National Assembly after the ANC used its majority to elect her for the crucial position on Thursday.
She defeated DA caucus chairperson Annelie Lotriet despite a cloud hanging over her head, with parliament’s joint committee on defence investigating allegations including a R5 million bribe from a defence contractor.
Western Cape High Court Judge President John Hlophe, who was appointed by the acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to preside over the election of the Speaker, announced that Mapisa-Nqakula received 199 votes against 82 from Lotriet. While there were 17 spoiled votes.
In her maiden speech as the National Assembly speaker, Mapisa-Nqakula said she was willing to work with all parties represented in Parliament. She said this was a huge task and did not want Parliament to fail in its work, adding that Parliament was too important an institution to fail in its duty.
The voting had begun after Parliament announced that the process would take four hours. The process started at 11am and concluded shortly before 3pm.
Counting began after MPs finished casting secret ballots on the two candidates vying for the position of Speaker.