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Thoko Didiza appointed new National Assembly Speaker

Thoko Didiza

Thoko Didiza has been appointed as the new Speaker of the National Assembly (NA). This election results from a collaborative partnership between the African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA), and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), which enabled Didiza to secure 284 votes against the Economic Freedom Fighters’ Veronica Mente, who garnered 49 votes.

Didiza is well-versed in parliamentary proceedings, having previously served as a house chairperson in the fifth administration. With her election, the focus now shifts to electing her deputy.

The ballots are being prepared for a contest between the DA’s Annelie Lotriet and the African Transformation Movement’s Vuyo Zungula. This election is noteworthy as it marks a rare occasion since 1994 when a deputy speaker may not hail from the ANC, recalling when Bhadra Ranchod of the National Party was elected under the Government of National Unity (GNU).

In her acceptance speech, Didiza expressed gratitude for the cross-party support and emphasized her commitment to collaborative governance. She stated, “I also commit that I will work with all the parties led by their whips and representatives to ensure we conduct the business of this parliament in a manner that indeed reflects the will of the people of South Africa.”

Following her appointment, Didiza presided over a National Assembly sitting to facilitate the election of her deputy. This session highlighted the evolving dynamics within South African politics and the significance of the Government of National Unity in shaping parliamentary proceedings.

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