ANC MP Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has been elected the National Assembly’s new speaker.
She was elected by 199 MPs, beating DA candidate Annelie Lotriet who received 82 votes.
Mapisa-Nqakula becomes the sixth speaker of the assembly since SA’s democratic dispensation.
She effectively swapped positions with her predecessor Thandi Modise who was appointed the new minister of defence two weeks ago.
Bound to raise eyebrows are the 17 spoilt ballots, suspected to be from disapproving ANC MPs.
Mapisa-Nqakula was nominated by ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina. The nomination was seconded by ANC MP Lindiwe Zulu who is also minister for social development. Zulu said she was seconding the nomination “in the spirit of South African women”.
Lotriet was nominated by DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone and her nomination was seconded by DA leader John Steenhuisen.
Thursday’s vote was the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic that parliament held a full sitting where all MPs attended physically.
MPs were spread over two venues, with some sitting in the public gallery of the National Assembly building as a measure to observe social distancing.
Judge president of the Western Cape High Court John Hlophe presided over the election of the speaker.
A total of 298 votes were cast.
By Andisiwe Makinana