ANC calls special meeting to discuss election of new Speaker
The ANC caucus has called a special meeting for Tuesday morning to discuss the election of the National Assembly's new Speaker.
TimesLIVE can reveal that ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina issued a notice on Monday night inviting all ANC MPs to a special virtual caucus meeting scheduled to start at 10am.
According to the notice, Majodina will speak on the processes to be followed for the election of the Speaker.
The meeting will be also be addressed by ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe, according to the meeting's agenda.
The ANC meeting comes a week before parliament resumes its business after a 10-week winter break, an indication that the party is prioritising the filling of the position.
The position of the National Assembly Speaker became vacant last Thursday when President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Thandi Modise as the new defence minister.
Modise had occupied the position since May 2019 after the general elections that year.
Before then she was the chairperson of the other house of parliament, the National Council of Provinces, for five years.
Parliamentary sources have revealed that plans to elect a new Speaker kicked off on Friday.
The Speaker of the National Assembly is elected from one of its members by secret ballot. This means, for the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, all MPs will have to attend a physical sitting of the house.
Speculation has been rife that outgoing defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula may be the ANC candidate for the position — effectively swapping positions with Modise.
“Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula will be deployed to a new position, and we thank her for service to the nation and dedication to her responsibilities,” said Ramaphosa on Thursday as he axed the long-serving minister from his cabinet.
DA parliamentary leader John Steenhuisen told TimesLIVE the DA will contest the Speaker position, as it was worried about the rumoured ANC names to fill Modise's vacancy.