Mapisa-Nqakula resignation calls for action: Political responses divided

File picture: Phill Magakoe/Independent Newspapers

File picture: Phill Magakoe/Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 4, 2024


The resignation of former National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has ignited a flurry of responses from various political quarters, with some welcoming the decision while others are clamouring for immediate legal action.

Several parties have welcomed the former speaker’s decision to resign but called for her immediate arrest.

Speaking to reporters at the signing of the code of conduct ahead of the elections, the EFF’s Treasurer General Omphile Maotwe said the former speaker must now face the music alone because she protected criminals who cannot protect her now.

She said the image of Parliament was not tainted.

“It is the ANC that deployed her to Parliament, so it is the ANC that wanted to taint our Parliament,” said Maotwe.

Maotwe said they were in a position where all arms of the state were corrupt.

She mentioned that the Phala Phala farm gate saga was still hanging over President Cyril Ramaphosa’s head.

“We don’t know about Zondo because the CR17 documents are sealed maybe he could be there. All these people are the deployees of the ANC,” she said.

Maotwe was confident that they will have an EFF speaker in Parliament after the elections.

“MPs will elect the speaker of the people which will be the speaker from the EFF because we are taking over this government. We are also going to elect the President of the EFF who will also be the president of this country,” she said.

Weighing in on the matter, ANC first deputy secretary-general Nomvula Mokonyane said the party’s rule will now kick in to ensure the process was dealt with by the constitution of the party.

Although she did not comment on Mapisa-Nqakula being granted bail, Mokonyane said she was glad about how the former speaker conducted herself in the process.

The Democratic Alliance called for the election of a new Speaker of the National Assembly.

“This resignation has created a vacancy in Parliament. Both the rules of the National Assembly and, crucially, the Constitution state clearly that once a vacancy has been created, an election of a new Speaker must take place,” the DA said.

Section 52(1) of the Constitution states: “At the first sitting after its election, or when necessary to fill a vacancy, the National Assembly must elect a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker from among its members.”

The DA further said that they will be writing to the Secretary of Parliament, Xolile George, to initiate the necessary processes as the only official duly empowered by the rules of the Assembly to do so.

This is after Mapisa-Nqakula resigned as speaker and Member of Parliament (MP) with immediate effect.

She rendered her resignation letter to the Acting Speaker of the National Assembly, Lechesa Tsenoli on Wednesday.

On Thursday morning, she handed herself over at the Lyttelton Police Station and later appeared at the Pretoria Magistrate Court for a bail application.

Mapisa-Nqakula has been charged with about 12 counts of fraud and corruption but was released on an R50,000 bail granted to her.

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