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Lechesa Tsenoli to act as National Assembly speaker

Speaker of parliament Thandi Modise has been appointed as defence minister. File photo.
Speaker of parliament Thandi Modise has been appointed as defence minister. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

Deputy speaker Lechesa Tsenoli will act as the National Assembly speaker until the house elects its new leader.

Parliament announced on Friday that after President Cyril Ramaphosa's appointment of speaker Thandi Modise as defence minister, a date for the election of the assembly's new speaker would be determined through consultations within parliament and the office of the chief justice.

The constitution provides for the chief justice to preside over the election of a speaker, or designate another judge to do so.

“Should there be more than one nominee for the position of the speaker, there will be a vote by secret ballot,” said parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.

He said in committees where vacancies had arisen, members of those committees would elect acting chairpersons from among themselves until new chairpersons were elected.

Besides Modise, changes in Ramaphosa's executive have seen three parliamentary portfolio committees lose their chairpersons in Mondli Gungubele (social development), Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo (health) and Philemon Mapulane, who chairs the higher education and training committee.

Dr Chana Pilane-Majake was the National Assembly's programming whip, the MP in charge of drafting its programme and presenting it to the programme committee.

The new deputy minister of mineral resources and energy, Dr Nobuhle Nkabane, is the only appointee who did not hold an elected position in parliament.


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