Hansard: Election of President of the Republic of South Africa
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 25 Sep 2008
No summary available.
START OF DAY
THURSDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2008
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Members assembled in the Chamber of the National Assembly at 11:06.
Chief Justice P N Langa took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
ELECTION OF PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
The Chief Justice announced that the meeting had been convened for the purpose of electing the President of the Republic of South Africa.
The Chief Justice P N Langa announced that the Rules as contemplated in item 9 of Part A of Schedule 3 of the Constitution had been made available to members.
APPOINTMENT OF RETURNING OFFICER AND ASSISTANT RETURNING OFFICERS
The Chief Justice announced the appointment of Mr Z A Dingani, as Returning Officer, and, as Assistant Returning Officers, Mr M K Mansura, Mr M Xaso, Dr N Ismail, Ms M C Griebenow, Mr T D Molukanele, Ms C S Abell, Mr C V Mahlangu, Mr V Ngaleka, Mr M E Philander, Mr E Hendricks and Mr J M Manyange.
NOMINATIONS OF CANDIDATES FOR ELECTION AS PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC: The meeting will now proceed to the election of the President of the Republic of South Africa. Before I call for nominations, I have to remind members that in terms of the Constitution each nomination must be submitted on the prescribed form and be duly seconded.
Furthermore, I have to draw the attention of members especially to item 4 of Part A of Schedule 3 to the Constitution, in terms of which there may be no debate.
There will now be an opportunity for the nomination of candidates for election as President of the Republic of South Africa.
Prof B TUROK: Chief Justice, it gives me great pleasure to nominate the hon Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe to be the President of the Republic of South Africa. Thank you. [Applause.]
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC: The hon Mr Motlanthe has been nominated. Is the nomination seconded?
Mrs B M NTULI: Chief Justice, it is a great honour to second the nomination by the hon Prof Ben Turok of the hon Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe as the President of the Republic of South Africa. I thank you. [Applause.]
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you. Please submit the nomination form to the Returning Officer. [Applause.]
The RETURNING OFFICER: Chief Justice, I have satisfied myself that the nomination is in order.
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you. Are there any further nominations?
HON MEMBERS: No! [Laughter.]
Mrs C-S BOTHA: Chief Justice, it is my privilege on this wonderful occasion to nominate the hon Wetshotsile Joseph Seremane as candidate for the position as President of the Republic of South Africa. Thank you. [Applause.]
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC: Well, let's proceed. The hon Mr Seremane has been nominated. Is the nomination seconded?
HON MEMBERS: No!
Mr I O DAVIDSON: Mr Chief Justice, it gives me great pleasure to second the nomination of the hon Seremane for the position of President of the Republic of South Africa. [Applause.]
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you. Please submit the nomination form to the Returning Officer. [Applause.]
The RETURNING OFFICER: Chief Justice, I have satisfied myself that the nomination is in order.
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC: Are there any further nominations?
HON MEMBERS: No! [Laughter.]
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC: Right. We proceed.
The following candidates have been properly nominated: the hon Mr Motlanthe and the hon Mr Seremane. Since more than one candidate has been nominated, a secret ballot will take place in terms of item 6 of Part A of Schedule 3 to the Constitution.
I now suspend proceedings to allow the Returning Officer to prepare ballot papers. We shall resume proceedings when the bells are rung. It is estimated that the printing of ballot papers will take approximately 30 minutes.
Business suspended at 11:15 and resumed at 12:06.
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC: The Assistant Returning Officers will now show that the ballot boxes are empty and then seal them. [Interjections.] Right, let's proceed. They are empty and sealed.
The procedure is as follows: Members will be called in alphabetical order according to their surnames. When their names are called, members must collect a ballot paper from the voting table. After collecting a ballot paper, each member must proceed to one of the ballot booths and make a clear cross against the name of the candidate for whom he or she desires to vote for in the space provided on the ballot paper for the recording of a vote.
After making the mark on the ballot paper and whilst still in the booth, a member must fold his or her ballot paper in such a manner that the official mark thereon is visible to an Assistant Returning Officer - this is important, and I will repeat it. After making the mark on the ballot paper and whilst still in the booth, a member must fold his or her ballot paper in such a manner that the official mark thereon is visible to an Assistant Returning Officer.
After the Assistant Returning Officer has noted the mark on the ballot paper, members should deposit it in the ballot box and resume their seats.
VOTING FOR THE ELECTION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
The House proceeded to a secret ballot for the election of the President.
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC: Are there any members who have not voted and who wish to vote? [Interjections.] Because this is the time to do so. If not, the Assistant Returning Officers will close and seal the ballot boxes.
The vote counting is going to begin. For that purpose, I will suspend the proceedings to enable the Returning Officers to count the vote in my presence and report the results to me. It will be appropriate for members to take their lunch break now until 14:00. The bells will be rung for five minutes before the resumption of proceedings.
Business suspended at 13:02 and resumed at 14:03.
Members reassembled in the Chamber of the National Assembly at 14:00.
ELECTION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
The Serjeant-at-Arms announced the return of hon Chief Justice Pius Langa.
(TAKE IN FROM MINUTES.) … (Interjections.)
The CHIEF JUSTICE: The hon Chief Justice declared the hon Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe duly elected President of the Republic of South Africa, in accordance with item 6 of Schedule 3(a) of the Constitution.
The Chief Justice congratulated Mr K P Motlanthe on his election as President.
The Speaker thanked the hon Chief Justice for conducting the proceedings.
Parties and the President-elect were afforded the opportunity to address the House.
Mr B A D MARTINS: Madam Speaker, Your Excellency President Kgalema Motlanthe, Your Excellency Comrade Thabo Mbeki, esteemed Chief Justice Pius Langa, distinguished leaders of the ANC-led alliance: Comrade Jacob Zuma, Dr Blade Nzimande and Zwelinzima Vavi, members of the diplomatic corps, distinguished guests, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, subsections 83(b) and (c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa enjoins the President, as the head of state and head of the national executive, to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic and to promote the unity of the nation and that which will advance the Republic.
The President of the ANC, Comrade Jacob Zuma, the national executive committee of the ANC and the leadership of the alliance are confident that Comrade Kgalema will be equal to the task that he has been entrusted to perform on behalf of all South Africans. He will thus ensure that there is continuity in government up to and beyond the 2009 elections.
Comrade Kgalema was born on 19 July 1949, in Alexandra Township in Johannesburg to a working-class family. Comrade Kgalema has an impeccable record of selfishness ... [Laughter.] ... selflessness and sacrifice. [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members!
Mr B A D MARTINS: Let me correct myself: Comrade Kgalema showed an impeccable record of selflessness and sacrifice during the struggle to free South Africa. He was recruited into Umkhonto weSizwe in the early 1970s whilst working for the Johannesburg City Council. He and the late Comrade Stan Nkosi formed part of a unit that had the responsibility of recruiting ANC members for military training.
On 14 April 1976, they were arrested and detained for 11 months at the notorious John Vorster Square police station in Johannesburg. In 1977 they were tried under the Anti-Terrorism Act, found guilty and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on Robben Island.
Comrade Kgalema served his term on Robben Island in an exemplary manner, with fortitude, dignity, integrity and courage in the face of adversity.
Prince M G BUTHELEZI: Madam Speaker, on a point of order, I just want to express objection to the fact that the President is being referred to as Comrade Kgalema, because that is not in our culture, really. Privately, yes, it's ok, but I think that most of our problems emanate from ignoring some of these things. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: I think we will note the objection. However, we actually did refer to the previous President as Comrade Thabo. [Applause.] Some people referred to him as Comrade Thabo and others didn't. This should be understood in the way people relate to one another.
Mr B A D MARTINS: Madam Speaker, I will respect the advice of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi as an elder, and refer to "Comrade President Kgalema Motlanthe". [Laughter.
Upon his release in 1987, he was given the responsibility of working in the trade union movement in order to assist the process of strengthening it. Comrade President Kgalema worked for the National Union of Mineworkers and in 1992 he was elected as its general secretary.
During his tenure, he was instrumental in negotiating and concluding an agreement for mineworkers which helped to avert massive retrenchments at a time when the gold price was low and when marginal mines were closing down.
When the ANC was unbanned in 1990, he was given the responsibility of leading the re-establishment of the ANC as a legal organisation in the PWV region. He was subsequently elected its first chairperson.
When South Africa was engulfed in violence in the early 1990s, he travelled around the country, on numerous occasions with the ANC stalwart, Comrade Walter Sisulu, to visit areas that bore the brunt of violence.
In 1997 and 2002, he was elected unopposed as the secretary-general of the ANC. Amongst other things, his responsibilities included fostering party-to-party relations in Africa, Latin America and Europe.
In December 2007 he was elected ANC deputy president at the ANC's 52nd national conference in Polokwane. In July 2008 Comrade Thabo Mbeki appointed him as Minister in the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa.
Madam Speaker, the ANC commends Comrade President Kgalema Motlanthe to you and the nation with the full confidence that he will serve with honour and humility to promote the unity of the nation as the Constitution calls upon him to do. I thank you. [Applause.]
MR W J SEREMANE
MR B A D MARTINS
Mr W J SEREMANE: Madam Speaker, Your Excellency, Chief Justice Langa, colleagues and fellow citizens, on behalf of the DA I would like to congratulate the hon Mr Motlanthe on his election as President of the Republic and wish him well for the months ahead. Allow me also to be the first to say: Your Excellency, the President of the Republic of South Africa, nkgonne [my brother.] [Applause.]
Election to such high office brings with it great and profound responsibility, the most important of which is the need to rise above party-political interests and to put the needs and aspirations of the people of South Africa first.
The country is crying out for resolute and strong leadership to reduce the level of anxiety currently felt by a great many of our people, who have been deeply unsettled by the governing party's internal power struggles, now playing themselves out on a national and international stage.
The newly-elected President must, therefore, act with speed to calm both domestic and international fears about interruptions in policy continuity, service delivery and the possible vacuum in leadership.
At a time of extraordinary global financial turbulence, South Africa does not have the luxury of being too insular at present, and we must be mindful that any misstep in this area will be severely punished by international and domestic investors, to the great detriment of all South Africans irrespective of political persuasion.
With this in mind, it is essential that the President appoints the few Ministers who performed very well under the previous administration, such as my brother the Minister of Finance, to his new cabinet without delay.
There are urgent challenges facing South Africa which have to be dealt with. The new administration must therefore do away with a focus on internal power struggles and rather turn its attention to the issues that matter most to ordinary South Africans. These include rampant crime and lawlessness; widespread and devastating poverty; chronic levels of unemployment; the continuing negative effects of HIV/AIDS; the gradual erosion of our general infrastructure; and poor or nonexistent service delivery.
Dealing with these problems needs to become the nation's number one priority, not the politics of revenge and hatred which we have witnessed within the ANC's ranks over the past week.
For our part, we in the DA are confident that we possess both the vision and the solutions necessary to overcome the many challenges facing our country today, and it is this compelling alternative which we know will find increasing favour with the electorate in next year's elections.
Hon Motlanthe, Mr President, you will shortly swear an oath of allegiance to the Constitution. I trust that you will make this oath with due sincerity, and in so doing ensure that you rise above the petty internal squabbles and political interests within your party, which have held this country to ransom for far too long.
Last but not least, we trust that you will tirelessly strive to allow sanity, decency, decorum, to prevail in this august House, the Parliament of South Africa. I thank you, colleagues and all citizens of this country. [Applause.]
PRINCE M G BUTHELEZI
MR W J SEREMANE
Prince M G BUTHELEZI: Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President, the honOURABLE Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, hon Ministers and hon members, today the shining torch of leadership of the republic is passing to the new President - has already passed. The party I lead, the IFP, congratulates His Excellency Mr Kgalema Motlanthe on becoming the President-elect of the republic. We wish him well and may the light of God Almighty shine upon him as he shortly takes his solemn oath to serve the Republic.
Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the hour. Yet I for one believe this is a moment which will pass; the nation is strong. Confidence at home and abroad in the integrity and independence of our institutions has languished for such confidence, thrives upon truth, obligations and protection. This is the great work of restoration that our new President must now turn to and do so swiftly.
I have no doubt that our President-elect, Mr Motlanthe, is more than equal to this task, possessing as he does integrity, an instinctive sense of the common good and the fair society and an abiding respect for the institutions of the Republic.
I would like to applaud for not being afraid to stand up to some of the rabble-rousers in the ANC and encourage him to continue to do so. This is something that really gives me hope for our country. [Applause.]
Today we also honour the many achievements of the former President, His Excellency Thabo Mbeki, and we trust that they will endure and in the fullness of time flourish. We wish him and his wife, Mrs Zanele Mbeki, all the happiness in the world as they leave office and hope that they will continue to contribute to the progress of the country, the wider region, and global affairs as they have done for so many decades.
Our President-elect has been shown a remarkable example of leadership by both his immediate predecessor and President Nelson Mandela before him. The President-elect has already demonstrated a cool and unclouded judgement in standing up, as I say, to some of the rabble-rousers within the ranks of the ruling party. I think he will be able to draw on this in the coming months.
We in these opposition benches simply ask our President to trust in the future of democracy and the common sense of the South African people. The Republic is looking for leadership and direction. May God protect our President, the Republic and each one of us.
Ntwa ha e lwane, rona makwala re none.
MR G T MADIKIZA
PRINCE M G BUTHELEZI
Mr G T MADIKIZA: Madam Speaker, hon President, Chief Justice Langa and hon members, at the outset we would like to wish the newly elected President well. Allow me to join my colleagues in congratulating you on your ascendancy to the High Office, sir. The manner in which we have arrived at today leaves much to be desired. It is a political crisis in the ruling party that has led to the country's Head of State being removed.
To claim that there is no crisis is ridiculous. There is a huge crisis in this country and the ruling party's inability to manage its internal conflict is affecting us all. So bitter has the fight become that service delivery and stability is forgotten in favour of purges and witch-hunts. This whole saga has led to the embarrassment of the country. Indeed, there are people within the ruling party who have never stood in the election, but they have publicly promised that they will have the Head of State removed.
The endless insults flung at the President have also damaged his office. This is the short-sightedness of these unelected and irresponsible people; they break something down that they will inherit later.
To the new President we say that he will be watched closely to see if he is focusing on service delivery as it is expected of him. Thank you. [Applause.]
MS P DE LILLE
MR G T MADIKIZA
Ms P DE LILLE: Madam Speaker, on behalf of the ID I would like to congratulate Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe on his election as President of the Republic of South Africa. President, Motlanthe, we in the ID ... [Interjections.]
April, bly stil! [Laughter.]
President Motlanthe, we in the ID hope that you will now put the lives of ordinary South Africans ahead of party-political agendas and focus on leading our nation. During times such as these, when there is political and economic upheaval, we urgently need leadership that will give all South Africans hope that the enormous challenges we face, such as corruption, crime, poverty, unemployment and HIV/Aids will be addressed.
Mr President, we also have faith that you will respect the request by the honourable Judge Nicholson in the Pietermaritzburg High Court and appoint a judicial commission of inquiry into the arms deal. [Interjections.] The ID wrote a letter to former President Mbeki to request that he set up a commission of inquiry. The decade-long denial by the ANC that there was wide-scale corruption in the arms deal has now made former President Thabo Mbeki its highest-profile casualty. It is my hope that you will give this matter your urgent attention.
South Africa needs a leader who is serious about accountability and transparency and has the courage to deliver on the vision of the struggle that we would all be equal before the law.
Mr President, it is our hope that in the coming days you will make appointments to the Cabinet on the basis of what is in the country's best interests. South Africa needs leadership that can lead by example and usher in a new era in which we can truly build upon the values, principles and ideals of the struggle. I thank you. [Applause.]
REV K R J MESHOE
MS P DE LILLE
Rev K R J MESHOE: Madam Speaker, hon President, the ACDP wishes to congratulate hon Kgalema Motlanthe on his election as President of the Republic of South Africa. He will be faced with severe challenges following the shocking events of the past few days. This leadership crisis is due to the internal squabbles within the ANC and has caused anxiety amongst citizens, damage to our financial markets and a mass exodus of experienced Ministers.
Our nation is crying out for strong and responsible leadership following the turmoil of the past days. It is up to the hon President-elect, ntate Motlanthe, as President of all South Africans, to now unify the squabbling factions within his party and our nation. It is critical now to put the interests of the nation before the narrow interests of the ruling party.
We are pleased that there are experienced Cabinet Ministers who are available to ensure that there is a smooth transition to the new administration. The critical issues of crime, HIV/Aids, poor service delivery, poverty and unemployment must remain a high priority for the new Cabinet. It does, however, present hon Motlanthe with the opportunity of appointing new Ministers in Cabinet positions in which there have been a lack of delivery.
We are pleased that former Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel, has indicated that he will serve in the new administration, and we call on hon Motlanthe to confirm that existing fiscal and monetary economic policies will not change. This, we believe, will stabilise our financial markets. We hope it will not take too long for confidence in our markets to return following the unsettling events of the past few days.
In conclusion, the ACDP wishes the hon Motlanthe well. Our advice to him is to earnestly seek the help and wisdom of God to be able to lead our nation during this period of political uncertainty in the run-up to the 2009 elections. Our citizens need political as well as economic stability. As responsible parliamentarians we will hold him and his Cabinet accountable for their actions, and in this regard we trust that the recent robust parliamentary oversight exercise by the ruling party over the executive will continue.
A pula e go nele, Presidente Motlanthe. [All the best, President Motlanthe.]
DR P W A MULDER
REV K R J MESHOE
Dr P W A MULDER: Madam Speaker, on behalf of the FF Plus I wish to congratulate Mr Motlanthe on his election as President of South Africa. South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with incredible potential. We all love this country.
South Africa, however, is also one of the most difficult countries in the world to govern. President Motlanthe can ask his predecessors about it. The FF Plus wishes him wisdom in these difficult times. All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing, as Edmund Burke said. That is true for all of us as leaders in South Africa. Experience is important, but in the end all that we really need from leaders in South Africa is common sense. I must be honest with you; over the past year I've been worried that common sense is no longer so common in South Africa. [Laughter.]
I like Mr Seremane. We both come from the same place, Randfontein. The FF Plus abstained from casting a vote today in this election, not because we are angry with Mr Seremane, but we thought it opportunistic of the DA to nominate Mr Seremane ... [Applause.] [Interjections.] ... as President of this country while from the ranks of the DA, during the recent election of a new leader for the DA, Mr Seremane could only obtain 6% of the DA's vote. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
As for Mr Zuma, I want to tell him a story. [Laughter.] Two Afrikaners in the olden days were on their way with a wagon and eight oxen. That evening they unharnessed the oxen and went to sleep in the bushes next to the road. At midnight they heard lions roaring around the camp. Quickly and anxiously they harnessed the oxen and dashed off. When the sun rose that morning they saw that in their haste they had harnessed seven oxen and one of the lions. [Laughter.] The two looked at each other and said, "It was easy to hastily harness the lion in the dark, but how do we now unharness it?" [Laughter.]
Now sir, the ANC has harnessed Mr Motlanthe as a lion today during the dark and current crisis, and we really wish him well in this position. Does the ANC, however, also know how to unharness a lion, should it be necessary? [Laughter.]
It seems that we will not have the opportunity again today to thank Mr Mbeki. The FF Plus often disagreed with Mr Mbeki, but in our opinion he served his country to the best of his ability and he was always a dignified President. We wish him a peaceful retirement. Thank you. [Applause.]
MR M V NGEMA
DR P W A MULDER
Mr M V NGEMA: Madam Speaker, the President, His Excellency the Chief Justice, Mzizi, Umsholozi, Nadeco is one of the youngest parties in this House and in the country. It had to take us, as a young party, to stand up to the rebellious youth from the ANC Youth League and the SA Communist Party called Young Communists in defence of a man they were attacking. We thought we were just defending an elderly person from naughty youngsters - we did not know that we were defending our future Head of State.
We wish to express our anger at the manner in which the ANC dealt with the problems that brought us here today. Merely a week after Polokwane, Nadeco issued a statement saying the ANC should look firmly and squarely at the problems within their ranks and see if they had the capacity to deal with them. If they felt that they found themselves coming short, we'd advise them to call for an early election. It is history today that my friends, the youth of the ANC and the SACP ended up making the same call, which was also echoed by the DA and the ID, seven months after we made the call.
We advise the ANC to deal with the matters of this country with courage in the same idiom that Nkosi Albert Luthuli, the former president of the ANC warned his members and said "Let your courage rise with danger". In this the ANC has failed. We are hopeful that the State President in his leadership is going to correct this, not only for the ANC ... [Time expired.]
The SPEAKER: Hon member, I would like to unharness of you from the podium the House! [Laughter.]
MR P H K DITSHETELO
MR M V NGEMA
Mr P H K DITSHETELO: Speaker, hon President Motlanthe, Chief Justice Langa. I, on behalf of the United Christian Democratic Party, feel honoured to be here to congratulate Mr Kgalema Motlanthe on his ascension to the highest office of our country. We come from a background that says many are called, but few are chosen. This son of Africa is one of those rare flowers who nearly wasted his sweetness in the desert air of segregation.
The UCDP has enjoyed friendship with him and his office while he was the secretary-general of his party, the ANC. As a humble and down-to-earth man he was never too elevated to listen whenever we spoke to him about the issues that affected our party. We hope he will continue to listen and digest. I hope the new President will preside over the affairs of the state without fear, favour or prejudice and that he will not hesitate to "kgalema" [reprimand], as his name indicates, should there be any need whatsoever.
While we are aware that the President will vacate the office, we wish him the best of luck and we wish that the entire nation will stand behind him and commit itself to hard work and discipline. The UCDP wishes the President-elect the best of luck. In the words of John 19:4 we say...
A motho! Bonang motho!
We believe in this living God, the Almighty. If you ask for wisdom He will guide you in all the problems that lie ahead.
Re tlaa bo re le teng. Re teng, re ikaelela go dira le wena. A pula e go nele.
MR R B BHOOLA
MR P H K DITSHETELO
Mr R B BHOOLA: Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President, honourable Chief Justice, the leader of the MF, Mr A Rajbansi, who is present in the gallery today, has requested that I convey the good wishes of the MF on your appointment, hon Kgalema Motlanthe, to the highest office as the State President.
Hon President, you carry a heavy responsibility, as all South African eyes are locked in eager anticipation on your fluent advance of the country's affairs. We are comforted by the majority party's assurance that there is stability in this important and critical period in South African history. Hon President, we have observed you in your public performances as a senior officer of the ANC. Your conduct excels in integrity, dignity and credibility as a promising leader to our people.
I agree: What game is the DA playing? The hon members on my left had no confidence in the hon Seremane to lead the DA and today they say that he is fit hold the highest office in the country. [Laughter.] [Interjections.] The DA has a false hope. The hon leader of the MF asked me to convey a message to the DA that in 2006 we gave you a thrashing, and in 2009 we will give you a thrashing at the poles in Kwa-Zulu Natal. [Applause.]
In this pivotal stage of politics in our country one thing needs to remain constant and that is the principle values and purport of our national Constitution of 1996 that clearly upholds great respect for the rule of law, the independence of three spheres of effective governance, accountability, transparency and a commitment to the people of South Africa.
It is our united duty to serve the people and it is our united commitment to bring recovery and prosperity to the long-suffering masses of South Africa.
Hon President, we consider your appointment as most worthy and extend our warmest congratulations. We hereby assure you of the MF's fullest co-operation and support. I thank you. [Applause.]
MR N T GODI:
MR R K BHOOLA
Mr N T GODI: Madam Speaker, comrades and hon members, I wish, on behalf of the APC to extend our congratulations to you, Comrade President. We are painfully aware that you are being elected at a difficult time for the nation. We, however, hope and wish that you will be able, with the support of the whole House, to pull the pieces together for the sake of our young democracy, our children and continent.
The deep schisms in the liberation movement cannot be disguised but it is our conviction as the APC that we need to handle the situation carefully beyond narrow partisan interests. The APC adds its voice in calling for calm. We need to take our responsibilities to the nation seriously. This is no time for grandstanding. We need to send a positive message of hope to our people and the world.
Any mishandling of the situation has the potential to have disastrous consequences as shown by the reaction of the markets to the resignation of Ministers earlier this week. Comrade President, we are in the silly season of elections and all sorts of things will be said. We hope that you will steady the ship till the elections. We also hope that your administration will strengthen consultation and interaction with all stakeholders in a manner that seeks to develop and consolidate a shared national vision. The truth is that the ruling party does not have a monopoly of the truth or of talent. There are countless progressive and patriotic South Africans who can and must make a positive contribution to the building of our country.
The APC believes in a government of all our talented citizens. You are now the President of all of us. Lead with firmness, fairness and consistency. Once again, congratulations. The struggle continues. [Applause.]
DR S E M PHEKO
MR N T GODI
Dr S E M PHEKO: Madam Speaker, hon Chief Justice Langa, the PAC congratulates the hon Mr Kgalema Motlanthe as the President of our country. He is a pleasant person. He seems endowed with a lot of wisdom. The PAC wishes him success in his new position.
As our President, one of his duties is to unite, not only his own ruling party, but this nation. A united nation can develop economically and advance technologically faster and bring about the eradication of poverty.
It would be hypocritical on my part not to state that this would have been a happier moment if it didn't happen under the cloud that necessitated this election. The PAC does not believe that it was correct to remove Pres Thabo Mbeki on the basis of utterances that were made by a judge in a court, where he was not an accused. An inference, whether made in court or not, cannot be a substitute for evidence. The matter of the Presidency could have been resolved in a more dignified manner than to sacrifice the good image of the country and frighten investors. The PAC upholds the independence of the judiciary, the rule of law and the principle of natural justice that no one is guilty until convicted in an impartial tribunal.
Lastly, hon President, the PAC has campaigned for the release of our former Apla members and others who have been languishing in the prisons of this country. We hope that the departure of Pres Mbeki will not compromise their release. These are political prisoners. They fought against apartheid, which the UN declared a crime against humanity, through the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.
It is the PAC's hope that this is the last time that a sitting president leaves in the manner in which Pres Mbeki has left. The Presidency of this country is an important national institution. It must be handled with care. It must be handled with the dignity and respect it deserves. Ruri, ruri, ruri. [Really, really, really.][Applause.]
Mr P J NEFOLOVHODWE
Dr S E M PHEKO
Mr P J NEFOLOVHODWE: Thank you, Madam Speaker, hon Comrade President Motlanthe and hon members.
Vho-Motlanthe, kha vha ntendele ndi lidze mufhululu wa u vha tanganedza sa Muphuresidennde wa shango lashu la Afurika Tshipembe. [U dzhenelela.] Rine vha Azapo ri vha tamela mashudu kha hetshi tshudulo tshihulwane fhano kha shango lashu.
As an organisation, we are willing and ready to make our contributions to the development of our country and its people. Be assured, hon President that we have watched carefully the developments in our country as they happened and we are convinced that these developments will need your careful attention and our collective attention.
Ri vha fhululedza ro takala vho dzhena kha tshidulo hetshi. Ri a vha tanganedza nahone ri dovha ra ri kha vha fare vho khwatha vha tsireledze shango lashu uri li songo balangana. Nnda! Aluta continua! [U vhanda zwanda.]
MR S SIMMONS
MR P J NEFOLOVHODWE
Mr S SIMMONS: Madam Speaker, hon President, hon Chief Justice Langa and colleagues, on behalf of the NA, I first wish to congratulate the House for making a sensible choice under the circumstances in electing the hon Motlanthe as the President of the Republic. Our sincere congratulations go to the hon the President Motlanthe.
The hon Motlanthe is widely regarded as reasonable, level-headed and meticulous in what he does. It is precisely on these qualities that we as a nation place our hopes for at least the next few months, to ensure stability.
The current turmoil in the ANC is without doubt the result, not only of conflicting personalities, but also conflicting ideas of policy directions. The core policy concern, I believe, is the method of dealing with the fundamental principle of transformation. For instance, the hon President in his capacity as Deputy President of the ANC, not so long ago, while addressing members from the Afrikaans community alluded to the willingness to re-examine aspects of certain transformation policies. Shortly thereafter the President of the ANC, Mr Jacob Zuma, suggested that nothing of the sort will happen, two directly opposing views.
I therefore call on the hon President to give consideration to a summit on the model, role and place of transformation policies, specifically the Employment Equity Act. This, I believe, is necessary to ensure certainty and also labour and economic stability. I trust that the hon President will ensure political stability, resume all constitutional mandates and ensure that they are performed without incident. Hon President-elect, may God bless you with wisdom. Thank you.
MR S SIMMONS
The PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE REPUBLIC: Madam Speaker of the National Assembly, Madam Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, our esteemed Chief Justice P N Langa, hon leaders of our political parties, hon Members of Parliament, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, the former Deputy President of the Republic and current president of the ANC, Ahmed Kathrada, Isitwalandwe, heads of our security services, distinguished Premiers present, heads of state organs supporting our constitutional democracy, directors-general and other leaders of the Public Service, your excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners, distinguished guests, friends, and comrades, the people of South Africa, I hereby accept election as the President-elect of the Republic of South Africa. [Applause.]
I am deeply humbled and honoured by the faith and confidence that the members of this Assembly have in me. I undertake this responsibility fully cognisant of the duties and responsibilities that are attached to this high office, and the expectations that the people of this nation rightly have of the Head of State. I thank you. Ro livhuwa. [Thank you.] Baie dankie. [Thank you.] [Applause.]
HOURS OF SITTING OF HOUSE
The SPEAKER: Hon members, I have been informed that the proceedings of the swearing in of the President at Tuynhuys will be televised on the screens in this Chamber. Members may, therefore, view those proceedings inside the Chamber.
The National Assembly will resume sitting at 17:00 for further business, including a statement by the President. So, hon members, we adjourn the sitting in order to allow a few people to go to Tuynhuys, after which we reconvene so that the President can then address the House after having been sworn in.
Business suspended at 14:56 and resumed at 17:02.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, I have to announce that Mr P S Sizani has been nominated with effect from 23 September, 2008 to fill the vacancy caused by the passing away of Mr P J Gomomo. Mr S Shicheka has been nominated with effect from 25 September, 2008 to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr P J Moleketi. Mr Sizani and Mr Shicheka have made and subscribed the oath and affirmation in the Speakers office. [Applause.]
REQUEST OF PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC TO MAKE A STATEMENT
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to announce that I have agreed to the request by the President to make a statement to the House.
STATEMENT OF PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC IN TERMS OF RULE 106
The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Madam Deputy Speaker, esteemed Chief Justice, Madam Speaker, hon leaders of our political parties, members of Parliament, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, Mr Jacob Zuma, former Deputy President of the Republic and President of the ANC, Mr Ahmed Kathrada, Isithwala ndwe Leaparankwe, Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders and hon traditional leaders, heads of organs supporting our constitutional democracy, directors-general and leaders of the public service, Your Excellencies, ambassadors and High Commissioners, distinguished guests, friends, comrades and people of South Africa. Today I make a solemn pledge that I will do all to live up to these expectations and to undertake this task to the best of my ability.
I wish to record my sincere thanks and appreciation to the outgoing President, Mr Thabo Mbeki, in whose cabinet I've had the honour to serve these last few months. I know that I speak on behalf of all the people of South Africa when I say that we have been privileged to have him as our President these last nine years. There is no value that we can place on the service he has rendered to our country, nor any tribute that can adequately capture his contribution to building this nation. For all he has done for South Africa, for our continent and for the advancement of the global community we remain forever indebted.
I wish also to express my gratitude to my Cabinet colleagues, most of whom were appointed in 2004 in my presence while I was secretary-general of the ANC and with whom I have been part of a team in government. I am grateful to the ANC for the tasks and responsibilities it has given me over several decades for providing the political and analytical grounding that is so essential for effective public service.
The ANC is a movement with a rich political tradition. While conditions have changed and tactics have had to be adopted, the policy orientation of the ANC has remained consistent over 50 years. The vision espoused in the Freedom Charter remains at the core of the work of this movement reflected in the mandate of this government. Even when faced with difficulty and confronted by unanticipated challenges, the ANC has remained unwavering in its commitment to advance the interestS of all the people of South Africa. This has been reflected in the policies of three successive ANC governments, as it will continue to be reflected in the final months of the country's third democratic national government.
In 2004 the people of this country gave a clear and unequivocal mandate to this government to forge a people's contract to create work and fight poverty. It placed on this government the responsibility to use all means at its disposal to ensure that by 2014 we would be able to reduce poverty and unemployment by half.
When its term ends next year, this government will be able to report to the people that indeed it has done what it was mandated to do. It will be able to report on an economy that has sustained a pace of growth unprecedented in recent South African history, that has created jobs at an accelerated pace and that has enabled government to dedicate greater resources to meeting the basic needs of our people.
It will be able to report on significant progress in pushing back the frontiers of poverty. This government will be able to report on tangible advances in the provision of housing, electricity, water, sanitation and other basic services to the millions of our people; and it will be able to report on major improvements in the access poor South Africans have to health care, education and social security.
South Africans across the length and breadth of the country will attest to these and many other achievements, but they know too that much work still lies ahead. They know the challenges our country faces and the hardships that many of our people continue to endure. To them and to the world at large we say that we shall not falter in leading the national effort to build a society in which all South Africans, regardless of their background, race or gender, have equal access to an expanding array of opportunities. To them and to the world at large we say that this government will continue, as it has done under the leadership of President Thabo Mbeki, to dedicate every day that it remains in office towards the achievement of this goal. The resolve of this government will not slacken, the pace of implementation will only quicken and the fulfilment of its mandate will only ever draw closer.
We are able to make such pronouncements with neither hesitation nor doubt, precisely because the policies we are charged to implement are the policies of the ANC. These policies, which government will continue to implement unchanged, are the product of an extensive consultation and decision-making process. These policies are the property of a collective, they do not belong to any one individual and it is not for any one individual to change them. [Applause.] The policies of this government are clear; they are based on the 2004 manifest of the ANC enhanced by the decisions of both the ANC's policy conference as well as its 52nd national conference held in Polokwane in December 2007.
Mine is not the desire to deviate from what works. It is not for me to reinvent policy, nor do I intend to reshape either Cabinet or the Public Service. We will not allow the work of government to be interrupted; we will not allow the stability of our democratic order to be compromised and we will not allow the confidence that our people have in the ability of the state to respond to their needs to be undermined.
At this moment in our history, as we stand poised to make still further advances towards the achievement of a better life, it is as important as ever that we stand united as a nation. It is as important as ever that we retain our faith in the resilience of our constitutional order and the vibrancy of our democracy.
Though we may at times experience difficulty, though we may suffer moments of doubt and uncertainty, we have both the will and the means to rise above the challenges of the present and to forge ahead with our historic mission to liberate all our people from discrimination, oppression and want. We, therefore, stand here to send out a message that government remains on course to deliver on its commitments to the poor, who rely on us daily for the fulfilment of their basic needs and for the provision of important services like health, education and social security.
We remain on course to halve unemployment and poverty by 2014. We remain determined to stamp out crime, violence and abuse whomever it affects and wherever it manifests itself. We remain committed to building safer communities and protecting the vulnerable in our society from abuse. In doing so, we need all our people to work with and within the criminal justice system so that together we stamp out crime.
We are here to assure all those on our continent and in the world that we will continue to meet our international obligations; we will continue to play a positive role within international institutions and forums; we will continue to provide whatever assistance we can in the pursuit of peace, security, democracy and development in Africa; we remain on course to host the best Fifa World Cup ever in 2010 - an African World Cup; we fully expect to meet every commitment our nation has made to the football world.
In a turbulent global economy we will remain true to the policies that have kept South Africa steady and that have ensured sustained growth; we will intensify the all-round effort to accelerate the rate of growth and job creation and ensure that the benefits of growth are equally shared by all our people.
In the spirit of building a united democratic nonracial, nonsexist and prosperous South Africa, I look forward to a constructive relationship with all parties within this assembly, even as we begin preparations for next year's elections. I hope to benefit from the critical eye that a vibrant and alert opposition brings to politics. [Applause.] We will continue the regular engagements between government and the various working groups representing vital sectors within our society. These, together with initiatives like the nationwide izimbizo programme, provide a crucial opportunity for enhancing popular engagement with the highest levels of government.
In the interest of establishing immediate stability and certainty, I thought it important not to delay in filling whatever vacancies may have occurred in government and confirming the Cabinet. I therefore intend appointing the following to the Cabinet of the Republic:
For the position of Deputy President, Mrs Baleka Mbete; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma; the Minister of Defence, Mr Charles Nqakula; the Minister of Finance, Mr Trevor Manuel; the Minister of Provincial and Local Government, Mr S Shiceka; the Minister of Transport, Mr J T Radebe; the Minister of Social Development, Dr Z S T Skweyiya; the Minister of Public Enterprises, Ms Brigitte Mabandla; the Minister of Communications, Dr I F Matsepe-Casaburri; the Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Mr Richard Baloyi; the Minister of Labour, Mr Membathisi Mdladlana; the Minister of Public Works, Mr Geoff Doidge; the Minister of Intelligence, Dr Siyabonga Cwele; the Minister of Health, Ms B Hogan; the Minister in the Presidency, Dr M Tshabalala-Msimang; the Minister of Correctional Services, Mr Ngconde Balfour; the Minister of Housing, Dr Lindiwe Sisulu; the Minister of Safety and Security, Mr N Mthethwa; the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr M E Surty; the Minister of Education, Ms Naledi Pandor; the Minister of Arts and Culture, Dr Pallo Jordan; the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Rev M A Stofile; the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk; and the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr M B Mphahlwa.
As you know, the Minister in the department of Science and Technology used to be Mr Mangena, who comes from Azapo. We have initiated discussions with his organisation and Azapo has indicated to that they will revert back to us by tomorrow. We should be able to confirm Mr Mangena as the Minister for Science and Technology.
The other Ministers are: the Minister of Minerals and Energy, Ms B P Sonjica; the Minister of Home Affairs, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, Ms Lindiwe Hendricks; the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, Ms Lulu Xingwana.
The following have been appointed as Deputy Ministers: The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Aziz Pahad; the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Derek Hanekom; the Deputy Minister of Safety and Security, Ms Susan Shabangu; the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, Adv D C du Toit; the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Ms Rejoice Mabudafasi; the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Molefe Sefularo; the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms N G W Botha; the Deputy Minister of Provincial and Local Government, Ms N E Hangana; the Deputy Minister of Social Development, Dr J Swanson-Jacobs; the Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Adv J H de Lange; the Deputy Minister of Defence, Mr Fezile Bhengu; the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba; the Deputy Minister of Communications, Mr R Padayachee; the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Sue van der Merwe.
With regard to the Deputy Minister of Public Works, we have initiated discussions with Dr Kganyago's organisation and they have also indicated that they will be able to revert back to us by tomorrow so that we can confirm his appointment as Deputy Minister of Public Works.
The rest of the Deputy Ministers are: Sport and Recreation, Mr C J G Oosthuizen; the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr R H Davies; the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe; and the Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, Ms L Jacobus.
We live in challenging times. We see before us many mountains that are yet to be climbed and numerous rivers that still need to be crossed. Yet for all the challenges that lie ahead, the incontrovertible truth is that never before has South Africa been closer that it is today towards the achievement of a better life for all its people. We therefore have a shared responsibility to build on these results and to strive together, sparing neither courage nor strength towards the achievement of a better life and a better South Africa, and a better Africa and a better world. I thank you. [Applause.]
RESIGNATION OF SPEAKER
The SPEAKER: Madam Deputy Speaker, the President of the Republic of South Africa, the honourable Chief Justice, members of the executive, hon members of the National Assembly, guests and members of the public, ladies and gentlemen, it is an honour and privilege for me to be offered an opportunity to make these few remarks.
Now that the President has expressed his wish that I occupy the post of Deputy President, I rise to officially vacate the post of the Speaker of the National Assembly.
I wish to thank members of this august body for their unwavering support for me and for the Office of the Speaker over many years that I have been serving as both the Deputy Speaker and later the Speaker of the National Assembly. I sincerely thank you for allowing me to preside and lead the House during this time.
When I reflect on all my experiences in this Assembly I become convinced that it would have been impossible to fully discharge my responsibilities without your steadfast support.
I must take this opportunity to also express my feeling of humility at the confidence that the ANC has extended to me at this time. This show of confidence gives me strength as I look forward to serving the people of South Africa in a new role. I commit myself to serving the Republic of South Africa to the best of my ability. In my new position I will continue to keep in touch with the NA, a body that I regard as my second home as I remain a member of the NA notwithstanding my new role. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: There will now be an opportunity for parties to respond to the Speaker's statement.
Order, hon members! We will now give an opportunity to those parties who have a message in response to the statement of the Speaker.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Deputy Speaker, it is an unexpected opportunity, but I will take it with gratitude because I am very thrilled at the appointment of a Speaker that I know as Deputy President of the country. I got to know her as a colleague and as a friend. I believe that she is a woman who commits herself to a job completely and wholeheartedly.
I also think that she is probably in a better position now as Deputy President than as a Speaker because I think her political heart has always been too strong for the position of a Speaker. And we often have thought that she should have refrained from the support she may have given politically in the way that she did.
However, I have absolute faith that she will commit herself to this job with the greatest grace and ability. From all of us we wish her luck in the service of the country. [Applause.]
Mrs C DUDLEY
THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
Mrs C DUDLEY (ACDP): Deputy Speaker, the ACDP would like to wish the now Deputy President every success in this new venture and new mandate she has. We would like to thank her for all that she has done for the NA in the time she has been Speaker and Deputy Speaker. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order: May I ask whether the speakers' list that we have here is to allow for reaction to the Deputy President or to the new President? There is a speakers' list. What is it for?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is a speakers' list which I also received, but I have been advised that I should allow parties to respond if they needed to.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Do you mean to respond to Ms Mbete, the Deputy President?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes.
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: In that case, then the IFP will speak. [Laughter.]
Ms S C VOS (IFP): Madam Deputy Speaker, I have the honour, on behalf of the IFP, to congratulate the hon Mbete on her appointment as Deputy President. We would clearly like to thank her for her years of hard work and dedication on our behalf as members of Parliament and also on behalf of the country. We would like to thank her for all she has done in this Parliament, not only on this continent, but also internationally. We sincerely congratulate her, and we offer her our support in her new role as Deputy President. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms P DE LILLE (ID): Madam Speaker - if I can call you that for the last time - on behalf of the ID, I want to congratulate you. As I sat here and looked at you, I thought back to the days when we sat at the World Trade Centre, negotiating a new constitution for our country. Who would have dreamt that today you would be the Deputy President of this country? I want to wish you well.
But I also want to say, Madam Deputy Speaker, that we are a bit tired. Can I nominate you as the Speaker so that we can go home? [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: We shall ignore that last part.
MS M MDLALOSE
MS P DE LILLE
Ms M M MDLALOSE NADECO: Madam Deputy Speaker, Nadeco wishes to congratulate the Speaker, now Deputy President, on her new role. We wish her success in her new role. We also wish to congratulate her on the exemplary way in which she led this Parliament and on her role as a nation-builder and a leader. We thank her, and we wish her the best of things. Thank you.
MS S RAJBALLY
MS M M MDLALOSE
Ms S RAJBALLY (MF): Madam Deputy Speaker, firstly, I take the honouron behalf of our leader, Mr A Rajbansi, to thank hon Madam Speaker, Baleka Mbete, for her impeccable chairing of the House's affairs. We are certain that her skills will be an astounding contribution to the position of Deputy President for the pending term of Parliament. We have great faith in her as the Deputy President, and we wish her well. Thank you. [Applause.]
MS M M MDLALOSE
Mr P J NEFOLOVHODWE: Deputy Speaker, on behalf of Azapo, we want to congratulate you because it shows that we are sticking to the advancement of women even in this new administration. It is a very pleasing matter to Azapo that we stick to the advancement of women to the highest office as we go along with our democracy.
Having seen and worked with the Speaker for a couple of years now, we are convinced that she will discharge her responsibilities at the highest office in the same manner that she did when we were working together here in Parliament. We wish her well and we hope we will still interact as she will remain part and parcel of this institution. Thank you.
HON B J TOLO:
HON P J NEFOLOVHODWE
HON B J TOLO (UCDP): Deputy Speaker, on behalf of the UCDP, I would like to congratulate Ms Baleka Mbethe for her nomination as the Deputy President. She has been a very cool and calculated Speaker of this House and we have no doubt that she will do well as the Deputy President. Thank you. [Applause.]
HON N T GODI
HON B J TOLO
Mr N T GODI:
Nkul N T Godi: Xandla xa Presidente, hi vito ra APC ha tlangela eka ku hlawuriwa ka n'wina ku Museketeri wa Murhangeri. Ha mi nkhensisa. Hi mi navelela mikateko na ku humelela. Ndza tshemba leswaku leswi a mi tirhisa xiswona tanihi Xipikara xa Huvo leyi, hileswi mi nga ta tirhisa xiswona tanihi Xandla xa Presidente ya tiko. Hi mi navelela mikateko. Hi ri Homu! Homu! [Va ba mavoko.]
HON C P A MULDER
HON N T GODI
HON C P A MULDER: Madam Deputy Speaker, before I address the new Deputy President, I would like to thank the hon President for the making the announcement with regard to the executive in this House this afternoon. I think that is in recognition of the importance of the NA as the legislative arm of government. Thank you for that. [Applause.]
I would like to address myself to the new Deputy President but I do so with mixed feelings. I am happy on her behalf for this wonderful opportunity she is being given to become the Deputy President and we all know that she will do a wonderful job the same way as she did when she was our Speaker.
I am also a bit sad on behalf of the legislative arm of government because we are losing one our finest to the executive. I hope that the Deputy President will remember us and look after us as well. [Applause.]
DR S E M PHEKO
DR P W A MULDER
Dr S E M PHEKO: Madam Deputy Speaker, I think that today, since the Speaker has become the Deputy President, I can be given those few minutes that she haD not been giving me while she was the Speaker. [Laughter.]
We sincerely would like to congratulate the Deputy President. I always get very emotional when I see our women rise to high positions because I believe that the 21st century is the women's century, and also that they are the majority anyway. [Applause.]
As men, we have always pretended and played the role of the majority, but we are actually a minority. I believe that women should take the challenge and lead the continent.
I don't want to digress into a lot of things that I could digress into, but I cannot but reflect on Nehanda, Manthatise and Nzinga. It is generally not known that it was Nzinga who brought about the abolition of slavery long before 1834 when the British pretended that they were abolishing slavery. You know who took up the arms in Zimbabwe; it was Nehanda.
In the past our women played a very important role, and I believe that they are yet to play even a better role, so I would like to congratulate you, Madam Deputy President.
I also remember those days when we travelled with you to Italy and Belarus in Russia. At that time you were received as a head of state - I don't know how you manoeuvred that!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Point of Order: Hon member! You see the danger in giving you more time!
Dr S E M PHEKO: Izwe lethu! Izwe lethu! Izwe lethu!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon members, for those kind words.
The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Deputy Speaker, Mr President, on behalf of the ANC and of the House, congratulations to Madam Speaker for the last time. We wish her strength for the path ahead.
We wish to thank you for the role that you have played in the formative years of this very important institution of our democracy and for the leadership that you have displayed in steering this institution through both difficult and good times. The role that you've played in the transformation of this institution from how we found it in 1994 to the people's Parliament that it has become, is commendable.
We wish to pledge our support to you in the new role that our organisation has entrusted you with. We hope that in the spirit of co-operative governance, the relationship between the legislature and the executive will be further consolidated and strengthened.
Baie dankie, voorspoed, alles van die beste!
ELECTION OF SPEAKER OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon members, owing to the resignation of the Speaker of the National Assembly, with immediate effect, there is now a vacancy in the Office of the Speaker. I now request the Chief Justice to take the Chair to preside over the election of the Speaker. [Applause.]
The CHIEF JUSTICE: There will now be an opportunity for the nomination of candidates for election as Speaker of the National Assembly.
Mrs R A NDZANGA: Justice Langa, I have the honour to nominate hon Gwendolyn Lindiwe Mahlangu‑Nkabinde as a candidate for the Speaker of the National Assembly. [Applause.]
The CHIEF JUSTICE: Is the nomination seconded?
Dr M SEFULARO: Chief Justice, I, Molefi Sefularo, rise to second the nomination of Ms Gwendolyn Lindiwe Mahlangu‑Nkabinde. Thank you. [Applause.]
The CHIEF JUSTICE: Please submit the nomination form to the Returning Officer.
The SECRETARY TO PARLIAMENT: Mr Chief Justice, I have satisfied myself that the nomination is in order.
The CHIEF JUSTICE: Are there any further nominations?
Mrs S V KALYAN: Chief Justice, it is an honour and a privilege to nominate the hon Celia Sandra Botha for the position of Speaker of the National Assembly. [Applause.]
THE CHIEF JUSTICE: The hon Ms Botha has been nominated. Is the nomination seconded?
Mr S J MASANGO: Chief Justice, I stand to second the nomination of hon Celia Sandra Botha as the Speaker of the National Assembly. [Applause.]
The CHIEF JUSTICE: Please submit the nomination form to the Returning Officer.
The SECRETARY TO PARLIAMENT: Chief Justice, I have satisfied myself that the nomination is in order.
The CHIEF JUSTICE: Are there any further nominations? If not, we will proceed. The following candidates have been properly nominated: the hon Ms Gwendolyn Mahlangu‑Nkabinde, the hon Ms Sandra Botha.
Since more than one candidate has been nominated, a secret ballot will take place in terms of Item 6 of Part A of Schedule 3 to the Constitution. I now suspend proceedings to allow the returning officer to prepare ballot papers. We shall resume proceedings when the bells are rung. It is estimated that the printing and preparation of ballot papers will take approximately 10 minutes.
Business Suspended at 17:51 and resumed at 18:08.
ELECTION BY SECRET BALLOT OF NEW SPEAKER
The CHIEF JUSTICE: We shall now proceed with voting. Assistant Returning Officers will, as before, now show that the ballot boxes are empty and seal them.
I will now go through the procedure. It is the same as before. Members will be called in alphabetical order according to their surnames. When their names are called members must collect a ballot paper from the voting table. After collecting a ballot paper, each member must proceed to one of the ballot booths and make a clear cross against the name of the candidate for whom or he or she decides to vote, in the space provided on the ballot paper for recording of a vote.
After making the mark on the ballot paper and while still in the booth, a member must fold his or her ballot paper in such a manner that the official mark thereon is visible to an Assistant Returning Officer. After the Assistant Returning Officer has noted the mark on the ballot paper, members should deposit it in the ballot box and resume their seats. The Returning Officer will now call upon members to vote.
THE CHIEF JUSTICE: Are there any members who have not voted and wish to do so now? It seems not. The Assistant Returning Officers will close and seal the ballot boxes. Thank you, that has been done. I now suspend proceedings to enable the Returning Officer to count the votes, in my presence, and report the results to me. The bells will be rung for five minutes before resumption of proceedings, which I estimate to be in about 20 minutes.
Business suspended at 18:55 and resumed at 19:16.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF ELECTION RESULTS BY THE CHIEF JUSTICE
The Chief Justice took the Chair and announced the results of the ballot as follows:
Total number of votes cast: 320
Spoilt ballots: 15
Mrs C-S Botha: 45
Ms G L Mahlangu-Nkabinde: 260
The CHIEF JUSTICE: In terms of item 6 of Part A of Schedule 3 to the Constitution, I accordingly declare Ms G L Mahlangu-Nkabinde the speaker of the National Assembly.
Ms G L Mahlangu-Nkabinde accordingly elected Speaker of the National Assembly in terms of item 6 of Part A of Schedule 3 to the Constitution.
The CHIEF JUSTICE: I now call upon the Serjeant-at-Arms to conduct the Speaker to the Chair.
The Serjeant-at-Arms conducted the Speaker to the Chair.
STATEMENT BY NEWLY ELECTED SPEAKER OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The SPEAKER: Chief Justice Langa, honoured guests, esteemed colleagues, I'm greatly honoured and deeply humbled by the confidence shown in me by the House today. This institution is the ultimate custodian of the democracy for which we fought for so hard, and for which so many brave South Africans suffered and died.
It is for me, personally, an enormous honour to have been tasked as Speaker of the NA. As my colleagues on both sides of the House will know, I am passionate about this institution and the work it does. I'm also deeply attached to the community which we have established here. Although we have differences between parties across the House, those differences are ideological. We remain beyond those differences one community committed to the shared ideal of building a better future for all South Africans. [Applause.]
I shall endeavour to do my work to the best of my ability to facilitate the efficient and effective functioning of the House in order to achieve those ideals which we are here to serve. In order to achieve that, I will need not only the co‑operation of my colleagues, but also of that enormously valuable resource, the parliamentary staff.
I wish to express, in particular, my appreciation to the former Speaker Mbete, under whom I served as Deputy Speaker, and from whom I learnt so very much. I wish her well in the great new challenge that lies before her.
I wish to acknowledge the commitment and hard work of the House Chairs, the Whippery and the staff in the Speakers' Office. I look forward to continue working with that team. Above all, I thank God Almighty. [Applause.] I thank God Almighty for the protection and guidance over the years; but, above all, I thank Him for allowing me to do His work. I thank you. [Applause.]
The House will proceed to the election of the Deputy Speaker, in terms of the procedure set out in Part A of Schedule 3 to the Constitution, and in accordance with the rules of the Chief Justice. There will now be an opportunity for nomination of candidates for election as Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.
ELECTION OF DEPUTY SPEAKER
ELECTION OF DEPUTY SPEAKER
Ms M A A NJOBE: Thank you Madam Speaker, I have the honour to nominate the hon Nozizwe Charlotte Madlala-Routledge as Deputy Speaker for the National Assembly of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa. I thank you. [Applause]
Mrs T L P NWAMITWA-SHILUBANA: Hon Speaker, his Excellency the Chief Justice, I stand here to second the nomination of Nozizwe Charlotte Madlala-Routledge as a Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa. I thank you. [Applause]
The SPEAKER: Thank you. Please submit the nomination form to the Returning Officer.
The Returning Officer: Madam Speaker, I have satisfied myself that the nomination is in order.
The SPEAKER: Thank you. Are there any further nominations?
Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, I want to inform the House that the DA has huge privilege and pleasure in announcing that we will not be nominating anybody for the position of Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]
Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Madam Speaker, we also do not have a candidate. [Applause.] [Laughter.]
The SPEAKER: Order! There are no further nominations. Only one candidate has been nominated, namely, the hon Madlala-Routledge. [Applause.]
The nomination is in order, accordingly in terms of item 5 of Part A of Schedule 3 to the Constitution, I declare the hon Madlala-Routledge duly elected Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of south Africa. [Applause.]
On behalf of all present here, I congratulate you on your election as Deputy Speaker. You now have the opportunity to address the House.
Ms N C MADLALA-ROUTLEDGE: Madam Speaker, hon members, it's been a wonderful day. When I woke up this morning, there was a rainbow covering the mountain. I felt blessed because I live in this wonderful country, South Africa. I feel that as a country and the very young democracy, we have set for ourselves a course and a path that will remain not only for the generations to come but for the continent as a whole.
I humbly thank all of you, hon members, for electing me. I pledge to work with the Speaker to serve you because I believe that when we elect leaders, we elect them to serve us. I will not give you a long speech because I think I am overwhelmed.
I want to thank the ANC. [Applause]. I want to thank the leadership of the ANC and our people in the streets, who have great expectations of this House and of us.
Today we have listened as the President of the Republic addressed us and we felt a sense of hope, a sense of optimism and for me that rainbow I saw this morning is a promise of a bright future for our country, as we build our democracy. Thank you, members. [Applause.]
The House adjourned at 19:31.
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