Hansard: Unrevised Hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 15 Feb 2018
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2018
THURSDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2018
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The House met at 14:04.
The Serjeant-at-arms ushered Chief Justice M T R Mogoeng into the Chamber.
The SPEAKER: [Singing.] Order! [Singing.] Order, hon members! [Singing.] Order! Hon members, can we have some order? [Singing.] Order, hon members of the EFF! [Singing.] Order!
The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
VACANCIES IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
The SPEAKER: Hon members, I wish to announce that the vacancies which occurred in the National Assembly owing to the resignation of Ms M O Mokause and Mr M S Mbatha have been filled by the nominations of Ms N K F Hlonyana, with effect from 1 January 2018, and Ms N Nolutshungu, with effect from 5 January 2018. [Applause.]
The members have taken the oath in the Deputy Speaker’s Office. I welcome the hon members as members of the National Assembly. [Applause.]
RESIGNATION OF PRESIDENT
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, I also wish to announce that I have received a resignation letter from the President of the Republic. [Applause.] Hon members, the letter will be published in the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, ATCs. The House will now proceed to the election of the new President of the Republic of South Africa.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Speaker ...
The SPEAKER: The Constitution requires the Chief Justice to preside over the election.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Speaker ...
The SPEAKER: I now invite the Chief Justice to take the Chair.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Speaker ...
Mr J S MALEMA: You are out of order, Speaker! You are out of order. No, no, no, no! You are starting on the wrong footing, Speaker. On a point of order: You can’t call the Chief Justice when someone has the floor. You are setting up the Chief Justice for failure. Please! [Interjections.]
The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! When the Speaker has the floor, no one else can be on the floor. [Interjections.]
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Speaker, we rise to call for your attention.
The SPEAKER: Hon members, section 50 of the Constitution
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: We are calling for your attention, Speaker!
The SPEAKER: Hon member, I am talking.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: But we are calling for your attention!
The SPEAKER: Can you allow me to finish talking? [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: And please note the ... [Inaudible.]
The SPEAKER: Section 50 of the Constitution permits any member to propose that the National Assembly be dissolved. However, such a proposal must take the form of a draft resolution, a motion, of which prior notice must
be given, and which must be duly programmed in accordance with the Rules of the House.
I am aware that such a motion has been submitted, but it is not on the Order Paper for discussion today. Members will be aware that these matters are discussed by the Programming Committee, which met yesterday and today.
Rather, the Chief Justice has convened the sitting today for the purposes of electing the President. In the light of this, I must accordingly order that we proceed with the business of the day as it appears on the Order Paper.
Mr N F SHIVAMBU: Hon Speaker, we would like to beg your indulgence. You are pre-empting matters that we are not rising on or are yet to raise.
You have indicated that Mr Jacob Zuma has resigned. We are proposing that, as political parties, we should be given a minute or two to respond to his resignation, to make remarks that we note his resignation. [Interjections.] In this way, all of us here, in Parliament, can make a statement in terms of what has happened.
That is the proposal we are making, but because you have pre-empted us, you thought we were going to raise the issue that you have responded to, now. That is the second part of what we are going to deal with. Now, we are dealing with the issue of the resignation. May we please be allowed to respond to that, immediately?
The SPEAKER: Hon Shivambu, this morning you were represented in the Joint Programming Committee meeting. You were also represented in yesterday afternoon’s National Assembly Programming Committee meeting. Those matters were not raised by your representatives. So, it has been agreed in the structures of the Joint Programming Committee and the National Assembly Programming Committee, that today’s business is about the election of the President.
Therefore, hon members, I now proceed ...
Mr J S MALEMA: Madam Speaker, when we raise our hands in an orderly fashion, you don’t recognise us, and then when we stand up to speak, you are going to complain. We are raising our ... [Interjections.] Wait, Lindiwe, we know
you are singing for your supper! Wait, man! [Laughter.] [Applause.] Please, Speaker.
The SPEAKER: Hon Malema ...
Mr J S MALEMA: Ramaphosa recognised you a long time ago. Don’t worry.
We don’t think we are in the correct position to elect the President because the Constitutional Court has made certain findings against this Parliament. [Interjections.] Therefore, an illegitimate Parliament, which has violated the Constitution and did not execute its responsibilities, cannot be the one that elects, from amongst itself, a person who is accused of the same things. [Interjections.] When the Constitutional Court says we failed, as Parliament, to execute our responsibilities, they include all of us, here.
Therefore, no one should emerge from amongst us to stand for the position of President.
We strongly feel that we must dissolve the Fifth Parliament and go to elections.
The SPEAKER: Hon Malema, you are out of order.
Mr J S MALEMA: If people are not scared, let’s go to elections.
The SPEAKER: I have already ruled on the matter.
Mr J S MALEMA: Let’s not make some elite pact arrangement here.
The SPEAKER: Hon Malema, please take your seat!
Mr J S MALEMA: Let the masses of South Africa choose their President and not some elite which meets here and chooses a President from amongst themselves.
The SPEAKER: Hon Malema, take your seat!
Mr J S MALEMA: Hon Speaker, if you insist upon proceeding with the election of the President, you are engaged in an unconstitutional process ... [Interjections.] ... which will be challenged later. These people who are howling
were doing the same things when we were telling them about Zuma. These ones! They are repeating it.
The SPEAKER: Hon Malema, I have asked you, and I am repeating it again, take your seat. [Interjections.] As I’ve said, that issue must be raised in the form of a properly constituted motion ...
Mr G A GARDEE: Madam Speaker ...
The SPEAKER: ... and I’m not allowing members to abuse this sitting. I’m really pleading with you. Hon Gardee, to take your seat.
Mr G A GARDEE: Madam Speaker, I rise on a different matter. [Interjections.] Firstly, you will recall that our chief whip stood up and requested that courtesy demands that each leader of a political party respond to the announcement that you have made on the resignation. [Interjections.]
Secondly, the resignation letter has not been published in the ATCs. It was not there this morning. We request
you to read it to us, Madam Speaker, because we don’t trust that man at all. You can’t even trust that one in his grave. [Interjections.] So, just read us the letter.
The SPEAKER: Hon Gardee, there is still going to be a debate. You will be able to express yourself as broadly as possible on major issues that you want to express about the resignation and the sitting and the choice of a new President.
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Speaker ...
The SPEAKER: I really ...
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Speaker, on a point of order ...
The SPEAKER: ... appeal to you, hon members, to ...
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Speaker, this morning, I even asked you where the letter from Zuma was.
The SPEAKER: I announced that we have received a letter
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: No, no, Speaker. It must be on record now.
The SPEAKER: ... and we will publish it in the ATCs.
Ms H O MKHALIPHI: Can we see the letter? Can you read the letter to us and to the nation? [Interjections.] We want to see the letter, Speaker. Furthermore, give each and every political party the opportunity to speak on that letter. Don’t rush things!
The SPEAKER: Hon Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi, please co-operate with the Chair. [Interjections.]
Mr J S MALEMA: Speaker ...
The SPEAKER: Please, hon members of the EFF, co-operate with the Chair.
Mr J S MALEMA: We just want to put it on record that we cannot be part of an illegitimate, illegal process. [Interjections.] Mr Ramaphosa thinks like Lindiwe Zulu if you listen to them. [Interjections.] You must ask the one
who came before you. He listens to ill advice from illiterates that think like this. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOKUTHUTHUKISWA KWAMABHIZINISI AMANCANE:
You may call us illiterate.
Phumani. Mabahambe vele.
And they call me illiterate but they are the ones who are illiterate.
Nks H O MKHALIPHI: Hayi sukaa Lindiwe awusayi kuphoswa ukuba wenziwe umphathiswa. Thula Lindiwe thula. Lindiwe
ikoyisile inkomfa awusoze uphinde ubengumphathiswa. Hamba qha wena uyokukorobha. [Uwelewele.]
The SPEAKER: Order! Order, hon members!
The SPEAKER: Order! Order!
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, I
appreciate the undertaking you’ve given with regard to the section 50 notice. You will be aware that that motion is before your office in the name of a member of my party. We trust that the undertakings that you’ve given here today to raise that matter above the line by the Programming Committee, next Thursday, will be heeded. It is a constitutional motion and it must be afforded due preference. Thank you.
The SPEAKER: Thank you, hon Steenhuisen. I note what you have said.
Hon members, the House will now proceed to the election of the new President of the Republic of South Africa. The
Constitution requires the Chief Justice to preside over the election. I now invite the Chief Justice to take the Chair. [Applause.]
Speaker leaves the Chair, takes her seat as a member. Chief Justice leaves his designated seat and takes the Chair.
ELECTION OF PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC (Mogoeng Mogoeng): Speaker and hon members, let me begin by reiterating that the purpose of this sitting is to elect the President of the Republic of South Africa as envisaged in section 86 of the Constitution. It is necessary to make sure there is no lapse and that nobody is left with any doubt in relation to compliance with the prescripts of the Constitution. I therefore begin by reading section 86 of the Constitution:
- At its first sitting after its election, and whenever necessary to fill a vacancy, the National
Assembly must elect a woman or a man from among its members to be the President.
- The Chief Justice must preside over the election of the President or designate another judge to do so. The procedure set out in Part A of Schedule 3 applies to the election of the President.
- An election to fill a vacancy in the office of President must be held at a time and on a date determined by the Chief Justice but no more than
30 days after the vacancy occurs.
I suppose it is enough for me to give an assurance that I have seen the letter written by the President, duly signed, to the effect that he is resigning with immediate effect. Maybe let me read it out. It is dated
14 February 2018:
Dear Madam Speaker,
Resigning the Office of President of the Republic of South Africa
This serves to inform you that I have tended my resignation as the President of the Republic of South Africa, as per the attached Presidential Act. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, all Members of Parliament and the public at large for giving me an opportunity to lead this country from 2009.
Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma
President of the Republic of South Africa
It is signed. As for the Presidential Act, it is entitled Presidential Act 24:
I, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, hereby resign as President of the Republic of South Africa with immediate effect. This decision will be communicated to the Speaker of the National Assembly. This decision is recorded in terms of section 101(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,
Act 108 of 1996, given under my hand at Pretoria on this the 14th day of February 2018.
This is followed by “President,” and then it is signed.
I also confirm that I received notification to this effect, duly signed by the Speaker. In response, I sent a letter to her titled, Election of the President of the Republic. It reads as follows:
In order to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of President J G Zuma and acting in terms of section 86(3) of the Constitution, I have determined that Thursday, 15 February 2018 and
14:00 will be the date and time on which a new President of the Republic of South Africa will be elected.
With kind regards,
Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa
That then confirms that there is indeed a vacancy, as envisaged by the Constitution, that the existence of the vacancy was communicated to me and that, in response and in compliance with section 86, I determined the date and the time at which that is to be done – the election of the President is to be done.
I have to announce that I have made available the rules that will govern today’s proceedings to be distributed to members of this House by placing copies on the seats.
Those are the rules contemplated by the Constitution in Schedule 3, Item 9.
APPOINTNMENT OF RETURNING OFFICERS
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC (Mogoeng Mogoeng): I also announce that I have appointed the following persons to be Returning Officers to assist me in these proceedings:
Ms P N Tyawa as Returning Officer and as Assistant Returning Officers: Mr M Xaso, Dr N Ismail, Mr C V Mahlangu, Ms R Mohlomi, Mr M Plaatjies, Ms T Lyons, Mr J M Manyange, Mr V P Ngaleka, Mr T Nage, Mr Tebello Maleeme Mr F J Basson, Ms A A Kisten, Mr P Hahndiek, Mr G Matakane, Mr M J Toti, Ms R Thinda, Ms N Manjezi, and Ms N Mongo.
They had taken the oath or affirmation of office before me a little while ago. 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 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. Are there nominations?
NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES FOR ELECTION AS PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
Dr P MAESELA: Chief Justice, I, Dr Patrick Maesela, on behalf of the ANC, nominate the hon the Acting President, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, to be elected as the President of the Republic of South Africa, as stipulated in section 86 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1986.
He is a tried and tested revolutionary who brings hope and expectation to our people ... [Interjections.] ... as well as unity, renewal and discipline to the movement.
Africa and the world are pinning its hopes on his revolutionary leadership. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC (Mogoeng Mogoeng): The hon Ramaphosa has been nominated. Is the nomination seconded?
Ms J L FUBBS: Yes, Chief Justice. Chief Justice and members of the National Assembly, I, Joanmariae Louise Fubbs, wish to second the nomination proposed by
Dr Maesela that the hon Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa is the candidate of the ANC as President.
Acting President Ramaphosa is a revolutionary cadre ... [Interjections.] ... who has served the people of South Africa all his life – as a student activist when studying law and a principled community leader and unionist. [Interjections.] The presidency of the hon Ramaphosa will deepen the commitment of the ANC to radical economic transformation ... [Interjections.] ... and strengthen the unity in our country and try to restore our nationhood. We cannot transform our country, he believes, unless we transform ourselves.
Like Oliver Tambo before him, Ramaphosa’s leadership style will not simply be a matter of historical and academic matter. He is a product of deeply ingrained principles and values. Above all, he is a selfless, disciplined leader, and he knows that he is here to serve the people of South Africa and bring about an inclusive
An HON MEMBER: Just like your previous President!
Ms J L FUBBS: ... and prosperous economy for all South Africans in which to benefit. I thank you. [Applause.]
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC (Mogoeng Mogoeng): Hon Acting President, do you accept the nomination?
The ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Yes, I do.
Mr I M OLLIS: That took me by surprise!
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC (Mogoeng Mogoeng): Is there another nomination? As the nomination form is being submitted to me checked, is there another nomination?
Dr C P MULDER: Honourable Chief Justice, I do not intend to make another nomination. I just want to bring the following to your attention: The nomination just made by Dr Maesela was done in terms of an Act that doesn’t exist. He referred to “Act 110 of 1986”. The Constitution is an Act of 1996. So, if it is a mistake, you must rectify that. If it is not, it is not in order. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC (Mogoeng Mogoeng): Thank you, hon member. The reason why the nomination form has to be submitted is so that we can satisfy ourselves that there is compliance.
An HON MEMBER: He had one job!
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC (Mogoeng Mogoeng): Any other nomination?
An HON MEMBER: He had one job – one job! [Interjections.]
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC (Mogoeng Mogoeng): Has the nomination form been submitted to the Returning Officer yet? Is there any other nomination? Yes, hon Lekota?
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Honourable Chief Justice, I rise not to make a nomination but on behalf of Cope to raise an objection against the nominated candidate who has already been found by the Constitutional Court to have violated his Oath of Office, not once but multiple times. [Interjections.]
I would like to draw the attention of the House to this objection because it is the intention of Cope to take the matter on review with the Constitutional Court. It is our understanding that anyone who has ever taken the Oath of Office and then broke it may no longer be allowed – again
– to take that same Oath of Office because there is no guarantee that that individual can be legitimate and be trusted to sustain that Oath of Office. I thank you. [Interjections.]
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC (Mogoeng Mogoeng): Thank you, hon Lekota. I just want to make sure nobody is left out. Is there any other nomination? Very well.
The Returning Officer reported to the Chief Justice that the nomination paper had been properly completed.
There were no further nominations.
Mr M C Ramaphosa accordingly elected President of the Republic.
The CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC (Mogoeng Mogoeng): I am trying to adapt to an environment I am not used to. In a court of law, no singing is allowed. Hon Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, congratulations on your election as the President of the Republic of South Africa. [Applause.] I will now invite the Speaker to take the Chair. [Applause.]
The SPEAKER: Order! Hon President Ramaphosa, [Applause.], the Chief Justice, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. South Africa has just emerged from a historic and challenging time. In taking us forward I wish to remind the House of the words of wisdom by the Former President Nelson Mandela when he said and I quote: “it is in the character of growth that we should learn from both pleasant and unpleasant experiences”.
A lesson that we should draw from these words as a nation is that our challenges are not insurmountable. The challenging is hence forth of the last few weeks and the subsequent resignation of Former President Jacob Zuma brought to mind a similar moment a decade ago if you still remember when Former President Thabo Mbeki resigned
as President of the Republic of South Africa. With all of these I however truly believe that our democracy has matured and remains resilient.
Hon members, I take this opportunity to appreciate and commend the role and contribution made by former President Zuma over the last nine years. [Applause.] We wish former President Zuma and his family all the best in his future endeavours.
On the election of the New President His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, we wish you strength and fortitude in this challenging role. I take this opportunity to extend a word of gratitude to the people of South Africa for their patience throughout this trying period.
As we move forward let us be reminded again of the words of Nelson Mandela that indeed our challenges are not insurmountable. I thank you. Having said that hon members, I think this is a moment for me to thank the hon Chief Justice for having conducted this proceeding for having cooperated so quickly with us and in fact
assisting us to even have this election of the New President earlier than what we thought was possible.
When we were interacting with him, we were very nervous about the question of his availability. We are really grateful Chief Justice. [Applause.]
Hon members, we will now afford parties up to two minutes each to make remarks and thereafter the President elect will have an opportunity to address the House for a few minutes not really to deliver the state of the nation address. That is for tomorrow. May I check whether hon members from the DA have something to say?
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Fellow South Africans, I greet you all. President Ramaphosa, I want on behalf of the DA to congratulate you, wish you well and I want you to know that if you act in the interests of the people of South Africa we will cooperate as best as we can to assist you in that mission. [Applause.]
I also want to remind you that many people have asked the question, what has been the challenge of South Africa in
the last nine years. It will be erroneous of me to say that the problem of South Africa has been in fact Jacob Zuma. You sitting on this side couldn’t even tell him what he has done wrong [Applause.] and I want to remind you what he has done wrong.
Let’s give thanks to this opposition party that we laid charges against him for corruption, we ensure that he account on Nkandla which you removed, we moved motions of no confidence which you voted in defence of [Applause.] and therefore ladies and gentlemen we don’t have a Jacob Zuma problem we have an ANC problem. [Applause.]
I want to say this, that this is a moment in our country where we must move section 50 and go back to the people of South Africa and ask them for a fresh mandate so that we can bring a new beginning to South Africa so that the people who are without work can find work, the hungry can find food, those who are without schooling can go to a decent school and ultimately South Africa will belong to all black and white.
Mr Ramaphosa I wish you strength but know we will hold you accountable and I will see you in 2019 on the ballot box [Applause.]
Morena boloka setšhaba sa gešo.
The MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: The DA where
is van Damme?
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: The ANC where is Zuma? [Laughter.]
Mr N SINGH: Hon Speaker, hon President, and colleagues the word recall has been used so often in the recent past that a certain airline decided to recall a flight this morning from Durban to Cape Town for apparently technical reasons and the hon Buthelezi and two of my colleagues are stranded in Durban and we tried as much to get them by private charter, because he would have liked to be here to personally congratulate you on your appointment.
So, I must apologise on his behalf and on behalf of others.
We whole heartedly support the nomination. We realise that you have no magic warned to cure the ills of the past but we trust that in the execution of your duties you will do the right things. You will get rid of the scourge of corruption. You will inspire hope in all South Africans and international investors. You will remove from your cabinet all those who are allegedly involved in state capture and incompetent ministers. [Applause.]
You will appoint a head of the NPA sooner rather than later. You will visit state owned enterprises and change boards and change leadership of state owned enterprises to make them organs of development in our country. You will provide certainty on free education at tertiary level which was pronounced by the former President.
You must address the scourge of crime and gangsterism. Provide opportunities to all South Africans irrespective of colour, race, creed, or religion. You must be mindful of the fact that major sections of our community have
been disenfranchised and depressed in the past. We hope that you will deal with the land impulse as soon as possible.
Having said this as my time is only five seconds, we would like to remind you that this is not cut blind support. We are giving you the benefit of the doubt. We are an opposition party. We will keep you and your cabinet and everybody on the toes to ensure that the
55 million people in South Africa get benefit out of this government. Congratulations on behalf of the IFP. Thank you. [Applause.]
Prof N M KHUBISA: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Your Excellency, the President of the Republic and hon members of the House, I convey congratulations from my leader, the president of the NFP, hon V Z Kamagwaza-Msibi, the entire caucus and the party.
Mr President, you are taking office at a very crucial time in our country when the economy is ailing. Just recently statistics were released which showed that unemployment has decreased by only 1%. However, 26% is
not good enough. It shows that there is a lot that needs to be done.
Over and above that, there are various social ills that even civil society has been speaking about. Not only have us as the opposition, but everybody here has been talking about these ills. They are evident for everyone to see.
I believe that we are all aware that in each and every corner of South Africa people were clamouring for what is good for the country and we hope therefore that we will build from here.
I think we need to inculcate a new spirit of patriotism where all of us working together will be able to say we put the country first. Our people out there don’t have employment, they are hungry and poor, and they don’t have roads and sanitation ... everything. Many of our youth are unemployed.
It is now time for us to rally around one another and to ensure that we build our country. The issues of state- owned entities, state capture and corruption are the
issues that we as the NFP will put forth, not just to argue and criticise for the sake of criticising, but for the sake of nation-building.
Therefore, as a party and on behalf of V Z Kamagwaza- Msibi, the president of the NFP, we wish you all the best but we will be there to watch, to conduct our oversight and to say let’s forge ahead and take our country forward. Thank you very much and congratulations. [Applause.]
Dr B H HOLOMISA: Hon Speaker, hon President, my secretary-general, SG, hon members ...
... ndiyabona ukuba ishibobo uyifakile phaya katat’ omkhulu. [Kwahlekwa.] Akuhlelanga esihlalweni esingafanelekanga kuba ubufanele ukuba uhleli apha.
UMONGAMELI: Engavakali [inaudible].]
Gr B H HOLOMISA: Ngomso! Oh, hayi kulungile.
The UDM congratulates President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa. Mr President, your abrupt rise to the highest office in the land is the collective efforts and relentless struggles by the people of South Africa from all walks of life against the tyranny of the then ANC-deployed corrupt leader. It is in this regard that I wish to acknowledge and congratulate the determination, selflessness and courageous decisions and actions by opposition parties and citizens of South Africa — notwithstanding the provocative setbacks from the governing party — for our collective actions. You have brought the toxic leadership of Mr Zuma to ground. Indeed, by working together in collaboration as a nation on issues of national interest, no-one, especially a political party, will ever think that it is bigger than the people of South Africa. Let us take courage from this historic victory of the people and push forward the struggle against poverty, unemployment, inequality and corruption.
Accordingly, we remain convinced that we as a nation still need to converge under one roof to evaluate progress since 1994, identify stumbling blocks and
collectively craft a common programme which we can all be confident will guarantee a progressive society and a winning nation. The national convention should, amongst others, focus on finding solutions to our economic woes, the land question, lawlessness and the disregard for the rule of law.
Mr President, in view of your recent pronouncement about the unity of the nation, I am tempted to believe that you will consider this proposal preferable. Finally ... [Interjections.]
Hayi ke sele siyakutya inyama mhlekazi, uze usibize siyeza.
Dr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Speaker, namens die VF Plus wil ek vir die agb President baie geluk en baie sterkte sê. Ek dink daar is ’n versugting in Suid-Afrika dat Suid-Afrika ’n beter en meer regverdige President het as wat dit gehad het. Dit is nie baie moeilik om ’n beter President as Jacob Zuma te wees nie ... [Gelag.] ... maar wat ek
vir u wil sê is dat daar mense is wat u gaan dophou om te sien wat u hiervandaan gaan doen. U sal deur optrede en dade moet bewys dat u ernstig is as u iets sê.
I hope that the level of debate in this House will improve to responsible debates, where the President as part of and head of the executive will respect this House because the previous President had no respect for this legislature.
Furthermore, I want to say to you that one of your obligations in terms of section 83 of the Constitution is that you have to promote unity to enhance South Africa.
Your predecessor was known for blaming white people for everything that went wrong in this country. [Interjections.] Do you hear what your colleagues are saying? I want to say to you that white people will watch to see whether you are going to promote unity or whether you are also going to blame them for the inabilities of the ANC. I wish you luck. Goodbye.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Thank you Speaker. Hon members and the newly elected President of the Republic of South Africa, on behalf of the ACDP I want to join my colleagues in congratulating and welcoming hon Ramaphosa as the newly elected President of South Africa.
Mr President, you are not only the president of the ANC but you are also the President of the Republic of South Africa. All South Africans will be looking to you for leadership, direction, unity, and hopefully for the implementation of policies that will ensure that South Africa becomes a prosperous country and that the image of our country, which was once tainted internationally, is restored.
For us to be able to achieve that, I have a few proposals for you Mr President. Firstly, you need to look at the team around you because one person cannot solve the problems of South Africa. You need to have a good team.
What kind of team do you need? You need to put together a team of men and women of integrity and who believe that they need to be role models for the people of South Africa.
Besides that, you need the wisdom of God. You know that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. [Interjections.] When there are people around you who act as if they are only responsible to their constituencies, you should know — because we have come a long way together — that there is a God in heaven who watches over the affairs of men. So, let the fear of God guide you Mr President.
Lastly, I pray that you will have the courage to do the right thing even though it might be unpopular, and the courage to use a broom to sweep clean. There is a lot of corruption that we have complained about over all these years. Now hope is dawning and may the people who are hopeful out there not be disappointed by the hon Ramaphosa.
My prayer for you sir, is that the Lord will bless you, the Lord will give you courage and the Lord will make you a man of principle who will not buy face. Even though the comrades may say let’s go to the left, if you know that the right way to go is to the right, be willing to go
alone and the Lord will bless you. Thank you, sir. [Applause.]
Mr L M NTSHAYISA: Thank you very much hon Speaker. I’m going to be very, very short. That’s why I didn’t bring any paper with me. I felt I should come here to congratulate my former counterpart because he was the deputy president of the ANC as I was the deputy president of the AIC. [Laughter.]
Mr President, I think you are equal to the task. We hope that you have learnt a lot from the bad things that have been happening here. This should not be repeated.
Together we will fight all these challenges that are being faced by the country. We know that our country is faced with so many challenges.
Of course, as the other parties we have to support you, because alone you cannot win. So it means that we have to come together. Then we will fight all these challenges.
So carry on; be good. We wish you well in all that you are going to do for the country; not for yourself or for
the ANC, but for the country as a whole. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr L R MBINDA: Thank you hon Speaker. Mr President, on behalf of the PAC of Azania, I wish to congratulate you as you are elected President of South Africa during this month of the Defier of the Undefiable, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, as it will be 40 years since his death.
As the PAC we want to remind you that it is not yet uhuru. The struggle must still continue. Our people are still living in bondage. They are looking at us as the leaders in this society, more especially the former liberation movements. You need to think seriously about the issue of changing section 25 of the Constitution so that it is in favour of the African people and not those who stole our land and wealth. Thank you. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Speaker, President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, we are honoured as the ANC to have been supported by all parties
in this House in electing Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa as President of the Republic. [Applause.]
We are very honoured, and we would like to thank all the parties because ... except those who decided to go away! We would like to thank all of you for agreeing with the ANC that, in this Member of Parliament, in this leader and this president of the ANC, Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, we have a leader who, in his DNA, will at all times and has at all times been of service to our people. That is the leader that we have.
And we know, Comrade Cyril, from your student days, from the days when you established and founded the National Union of Mineworkers, from the days when you were part of us in the trenches in the UDF and the MDM formations, from the days when we fought for the unbanning of the ANC, you were there. [Interjections.]
Indeed, when the ANC was unbanned in 1991, you were there to become the secretary general of the ANC.
So you have been there. You have been in the struggle to change the lives of our people for the better. You are now at the helm, Comrade Cyril. This movement has deliberately put you at the helm at this stage of our struggle because we believe you will be able to assist all of us, particularly the ANC, to ensure that our people have a better life.
That’s why the 54th conference of the ANC elected you president. Elected you president! [Applause.] This membership of the ANC deployed here, informed by the national leadership of the ANC, elected you today as President of the Republic of South Africa.
Congratulations, comrade President. Siyabulela!
The SPEAKER: At this point, hon members, it is my honour to invite the honourable President-elect to address the House. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE REPUBLIC: Thank you.
Pasop! [Gelag.] [Watch out!] [Laughter.]
Madam Speaker, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, I’d like to thank everyone and you especially, Madam Speaker, for giving me this brief opportunity.
When I walked in I had occasion to go past where the Chief Justice was enrobing himself. As he emerged, I saw him fully enrobed after having removed his tie and suit jacket. I looked at him and I said, Chief Justice, when this position of Chief Justice came up, I said I would like it to pass me by because of the enrobing. It’s a position that I could have opted for but, because of this enrobing business, I thought, no, I’m not quite interested in it. And so we had a bit of a conversation and in the end I said, well, I seem to have taken on a much more difficult task. And the Chief Justice laughed at me.
So, Chief Juctice, it is a real pleasure to have you here. Thank you very much for having changed your programme.
I’d like to thank all the members of this Assembly. I thank you for the honour that you bestow on me by
electing me to this position. I truly feel humbled to have been given this great privilege of serving our people.
I also want to extend my gratitude to leaders of political parties who are here. I also thank the media.
This, for me, is a truly humbling occasion. Soon, once I’m sworn in, I will no longer be a member of this House. I will miss being a member but that does not erase this collegiate feeling that I have for all members here because I will be coming to this House on a regular basis to exercise my accountability as President of the Republic, to answer your questions and to interact with you on a range of matters that affect the lives of our people. [Applause.]
One of the things that I will be seeking to do is to have an opportunity to continue doing that which I started when I was appointed Deputy President: I will seek to work with all political parties. We will start it off by having a meeting with the leaders of all political parties so that we can try and find a way of working
together. I am heartened by some of the sentiments expressed here about working together and I want to touch on them. [Applause.]
I will do all of this as a servant of our people because I do believe that when one is elected to this type of position, one basically becomes a servant of the people of South Africa. I will seek to execute that task with humility, with faithfulness and with dignity. That is what I will seek to do. [Applause.]
I would like to thank the members of all the parties who have spoken. This is not the moment for me to speak. That moment will be accorded to me tomorrow, I believe. But listening to members of all the parties who have expressed a whole of lot of sentiments here, it is almost like in our culture when a young man becomes a man. You are given almost instructions ...
Nga Tshivenḓa riri u a layiwa. U a layiwa wa vhudziwa uri arali u munnna u ita hezwi na hezwi na hezwi wa dovha wa vhudziwa uri u songo ita hezwi na hezwi.
So, what all of you have been saying here is almost like saying to me, we are offering you advice, we are offering you suggestions. Some have even offered some threats. [Laughter.]
Honourable ... Before I get to that ...
Many of you have spoken about unity. You have spoken about patriotism. You have spoken largely about how we can all work together to improve the lives of our people. That has a great deal of resonance with what I believe in and with what I intend to do.
I would, very briefly, just like to respond to some of the good wishes and some of the advice that I’ve received. Hon Maimane almost soils his wonderful words when he ends off by saying, I’m going to see you in 2019. [Laughter.] I think he’s running ahead of himself because, hon Maimane, I’m going to be seeing you regularly here in this House ... [Laughter.] ... on an ongoing basis! So, leave 2019 aside. Let us deal with the current moment and work together on how we are going
improve the lives of our people, rather than grandstanding, rather than standing on big platforms. That’s all I want to say. [Applause.]
Hon Singh, I’d like to thank you. I’m sorry that hon Buthelezi is not here and that his plane was recalled back to Durban. [Laughter.] I’m sorry about that. I would have loved to receive good wishes from him as well. The issues that you raised that have to do with corruption, with how we can straighten out our state-owned enterprises and how we deal with state capture, are issues that are on our radar screen. Those are issues that we are going to be addressing. Tomorrow we will also have an opportunity to outline some of the steps that we are going to be taking.
Hon Khubisa, I thank you because you went to the heart of the matter by talking about patriotism and how we can work together to put our country first. That is precisely what I, as President of the Republic, would want to do.
South Africa must come first in everything that we all do. [Applause.]
Gen Holomisa — who continues to call me his secretary general, because when he was a member of the ANC, we called each other with wonderful endearments and I said general to him. He continues to say secretary general and I accept that. I agree with you that we should find ways of working together on issues of national interest, as you said correctly.
Ewe, ndiyavuma njengele wam siza kutya inyama kwaye ndiza kubiza nawe ukuba sitye sonke. [Kwahlekwa.]
That already is a good sign of demonstrating that we should have an opportunity of sitting together and eating meat across party lines. I would like to take you up on that.
Ndiza kutya inyama nawe.
Hon Groenewald, yes, I want to join you in saying that it would be wonderful if the level of debate in this House could be raised to a level at we really begin to engage on national issues without screaming at each other, and without, you know, having points of order on an ongoing basis, and without the disorder that has often defined what happens in this House. [Interjections.] Yes, I will want us to rise to that level. I also agree that you would want a President who will respect not only this House, but also the Members of this House. I join you completely on that.
I think the flip side of that coin also says that we should respect one another. In respecting one another, it means that we are respecting this House that our people set up. It means that we will be respecting our people.
So I would say, let everything that we do here be underpinned by respect for our people. When our people look at this Parliament, they see themselves represented. And they don’t want to see disorder and they don’t want to see poor levels of debate. They want to see debate
that is going to lead to the improvement of their lives. Let us rise to that occasion. [Applause.]
Rev Meshoe and I share a history together. Maybe it is important that we should both confess now. [Laughter.] We were at university together, and we both belonged to the Christian students’ movement. The difference between us was that I was his leader when we were members of the Christian students’ movement, and he followed me. [Laughter.] So it’s wonderful that we are both in this Parliament, representing our people. Yes, Rev Meshoe, we will heed your advice that we should choose a great team. That’s precisely what our people deserve: to have a team that will work in their interests. [Applause.]
Yes, and also that all of us ... it does not only behove the President, but all of us should be able to work and lead our people with great courage. That is precisely what we will seek to do.
Deputy president of the AIC, yes, you and I were both deputy presidents of our organisations. I’m sorry that you’ve lagged behind a little bit! [Laughter.]
[Applause.] But I would like to welcome your very kind words, words which say you will support the work that I will be doing, and that you will give as much support to what we will all be doing collectively. So I thank you for that, my dearest DP. Thank you very much.
To the leader of the PAC, yes, this is not yet uhuru. We’ve never thought that this was uhuru. What we’ve always said is that we are going to seek to improve the lives of our people on an ongoing basis. Since 1994, we’ve done precisely that. The lives of our people have been improving on an ongoing basis. The commitment that you will find on this side — which commitment I would like you also to be part of — is that all of us should continue to improve the lives of our people and take their lives a higher level.
I’d like to end by thanking my colleague Jackson Mthembu for your most wonderful words. I thank you. I’m here as a result of the support that I’ve received for my organisation, the ANC. [Applause.]
The ANC which continues to lead the national democratic revolution in our country to bring about change is what has put many of us here in this House. Our intention is to continue and indeed improve the lives of our people.
Ladies and gentlemen, Members of this House, Madam Speaker and Chief Justice, that is what I would like to say at this moment. Thank you all for giving me this great opportunity. I will try to work very hard not to disappoint the people of South Africa. Thank you. [Applause.]
The House adjourned at 15:17.