Saul’s re-election paves the way for Orania to be recognised: FF+

Saul’s re-election paves the way for Orania to be recognised: FF+

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The Freedom Front Plus in the Northern Cape says the re-election of Zamani Saul as the Premier paves the way for its request for the consideration of the status of Orania.

The FF Plus voted with the ANC in the provincial legislature to ensure the re-election of Saul.

Orania is an Afrikaner nationalist town in the province. It is located along the Orange River in the Karoo region.

An agreement between the FF Plus and the ANC stipulates that the provincial government will legally recognise Orania.

FF Plus member of the Provincial Legislature, Theo Joubert says, “I think it’s a historic moment because now the government, by doing that, they are actually recognising the right to existence of these communities such as Orania. Furthermore, there will be a working team set up by the Province that will go liaise with Orania with the idea of helping other communities in the Northern Cape.”

7th Parliament | Saul re-elected as Northern Cape Premier

New Speaker set to navigate a very fragile national legislature

New Speaker set to navigate a very fragile national legislature

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Newly elected National Assembly Speaker Thoko Didiza is set to navigate a very fragile national legislature in this seventh democratic Parliament. But those who have worked with her say she is equal to the task.

She was elected National Assembly Speaker on Friday night.

Thoko Didiza was born in Durban in 1965. She joined Parliament in 1994 at the age of 29. She’s held various Ministerial positions including Public Works, and Agriculture and Land Reform.

Her experience as the National Assembly House Chairperson in 2016 will come in handy. During her tenure, she was able to contain rowdy lawmakers.

One instance was the budget debate on Social Development in 2016. “Honourable members, do you want this debate to go on or not? Can you please be in order? Mam’khawula can you please stop it? Can you please be in order?”

In 2019, Didiza also showed her ability to diffuse unwarranted conduct by one MP.

Speaker: “Honourable Madisha you have actually exhausted your time. Thank you very much!
Madisha: “Honk honk honk”

Didiza is the eighth Speaker of the National Assembly, with Baleka Mbete having served two stints. In her acceptance speech, she promised to be neutral.

“The role of the Speaker is that of ensuring that the debates in this parliament within the rules in the manner that is fair and I commit that I will be working with the team in the Speaker’s Office together with the House Chairperson that will be duly elected do exactly that. I also commit that I will work with all the parties led by their whips and their representatives to make sure we conduct the business of parliament in a manner that indeed reflects the will of the people of South Africa.”

Didiza may well be aware that two former Speakers were accused of being biased and protecting the Executive and she would be mindful to act without fear or favour if she is to be respected.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) National Chairperson Veronica Mente voices her support for the new Speaker.

“We trust that she will do the right things, she is going to be a neutral speaker, she is going to drive the interest of the people, she is going to make sure that oversight is carried through, she is going to ensure that the executive is accountable, she is going to ensure that the laws are drafted by parliament and she is going to make sure that she looks after all of us as members of parliament.”

The Office of the Speaker is critical in decision-making in Parliament. Some commentators want her to be objective.

Political Analyst Dr Ntsikelelo Breakfast says, “I think it’s gonna be very interesting how some of the recommendations coming from committees will be dealt with by her office, given the fact that it is responsible for holding the Executive institution accountable. In the past, some of the Speakers have been accused of not being objective.”

Didiza has come full circle, having started in Parliament in 1994 and now being at the helm of the institution.

Executive Secretary, Lawson Naidoo explains, “She has always stood out as a politician of great sincerity, integrity and depth. I’m confident she will enable Parliament to rise to the standards that we expect of this preeminent institution in our constitutional democracy. I know Frene Ginwala, the first Speaker of the National Assembly held Thoko in very, very high regard. Today she would be extremely happy to see Thoko Didiza as one of her successors.”

One of the first tests for Didiza is to see how she will handle the EFF’s urgent motion requesting an investigation into President Cyril Ramaphosa over the Phala Phala matter. The motion was submitted on the day of her election.

7th Parliament | NA Speaker Thoko Didiza presides over Deputy Speaker’s election: 

New Speaker set to navigate a very fragile national legislature

Didiza voted National Assembly Speaker

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The African National Congress’s  (ANC) Thoko Didiza has been voted in as the National Assembly Speaker with an overwhelming majority of 284 votes of the 341 cast.

The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Veronica Mente got 49 votes.

There was a total of nine spoilt votes.

Proceedings in the NA below:

Earlier, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo acceded to a request from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) that the counting of the votes for the election of the Speaker be observed by political parties represented in Parliament.

The voting process was conducted through a secret ballot.

Justice Zondo asked all parties to assign one member to observe the counting process.

 

ANC-DA reach deal to form Government of National Unity

ANC-DA reach deal to form Government of National Unity

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After days of speculation, SABC News has reliably learnt that the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have finally reached a deal to form a Government of National Unity (GNU) together with the Patriotic Alliance (PA) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).

This comes days after parties failed to reach an agreement on who to work with in the ANC’s proposed GNU after the May polls failed to produce an outright winner.

On Thursday, IFP President Velenkosini Hlabisa said the party will commit to forming a GNU at national level, with the ANC and DA.

Hlabisa said the party took the decision to be part of the GNU for the sake of South Africa and the country’s citizens.