#6thParliament: We Have A New Parliament

Update: ANC deputy president David Mabuza was sworn into parliament on May 28. This clears the way for the president to reappoint him as deputy president of the country if he wishes.

When the bells rung at 10:05am in parliament, members of the national assembly (NA), new and old, gathered. Members of Parliament (MPs) swore to be faithful to South Africa, respect and uphold the Constitution and to do their duty to the best of their ability. “Our country has challenges, mediate on solutions,” chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng told MPs. Here’s what the sixth parliament looks like. By SHAAZIA EBRAHIM and FATIMA MOOSA.

Mabuza and Mokonyane and other Zuma allies missing from the sixth parliament

There were two notable missing people during the sitting: outgoing deputy president David Mabuza and environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane.

Mabuza asked his party the African National Congress (ANC) to delay his swearing as an MP. He made the request in light on an ongoing integrity commission investigation. He was present in the viewing gallery during the sitting.

It was announced an hour before the sitting that Mokonyane would not be sworn in on Wednesday. The ANC withdrew her deployment as chair of chairs which she was appointed on Monday. The party said Mokoyane said she would be unable to take up her duties because of family responsibilities.  

Just a day before MPs were to be sworn in, outgoing parliamentary speaker Baleka Mbete and former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba announced they were declining a seat in the NA.

While the old guard were not present for the ANC, many young people were sworn in for the party. Former Fees Must Fall leader, Nompendulo Mkhatshwa (26) joined the parliament’s youngest MP Itu Mavuthela (21) and Collen Malatji (26).  

DA loses seats

The Democratic Alliance (DA) forfeited some seats in the new parliament. From 89 seats, the DA now has 84 seats. The party’s Sibongiseni Ngcobo (23) will be the party’s youngest MP sworn into parliament. Former DA federal youth leader Luyolo Mphithi also took up a seat in parliament.

The EFF voshos into parliament

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) added 19 seats to its Parliamentary tally, taking its total to 44. Former student leaders Naledi Chirwa (24), Vuyani Pambo (30), and Peter Keetse (26) were all sworn into parliament.

Introducing the newcomers in parliament, welcoming back the old

Patricia de Lille’s four month-old party Good had a bit of drama after Good Chairperson Nthabiseng Lephoko. Lephoko handed her resignation to de Lille on Monday, accusing her of choosing Shaun August over her for an MP position. The party has two seats in parliament. De Lille will fill the other seat, making an appearance in parliament for the first time in nine years.

She previously held the position of Cape Town mayor under the DA. She was last an MP as member of the Independent Democrats. Good is a newcomer in parliament.

Other newcomers in parliament include the African Transformation Movement party featuring former ANC member Mzwanele Manyi which has also secured two seats. Al Jama-ah has also secured a seat.

Both the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and Freedom Front Plus (FF+) grew in support this elections, and have been given more seats. The IFP gained 4 seats and now has 14 in total while the FF+ gained 6 seats and now has 10 in total.

Our new parliamentary speakers

Thandi Modise replaced Mbete as the new speaker of parliament. Former national council of provinces (NCOP) speaker Modise went up against the DA’s Thembekile Majola in a secret vote for the new speaker of the NA. Majola was the former speaker of the Western Cape legislature. Modise received 250 votes, Majola managed to get 83 votes.

The EFF declined to vote for the speakers, reasoning that the ANC’s majority of seats would render voting a waste of time.

With no formal contenders for deputy speaker, the ANC’s Lechesa Tsenoli was elected unopposed.

And the president of the country is…

Surprise, surprise the president of South Africa is Cyril Ramaphosa who was elected unopposed.

Watch the parliamentary proceedings here.

Featured image via Flickr