Lechesa Tsenoli is appointed acting Speaker

Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli has been appointed acting speaker. Picture: Phando Jikelo/Independent Newspapers

Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli has been appointed acting speaker. Picture: Phando Jikelo/Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 24, 2024


Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli has been appointed acting Speaker after Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula took special leave following an investigation into allegations of corruption.

Parliament said special leave was allowed in the rules of the National Assembly.

It said the rules were also clear that if the speaker was not able to perform her duties the deputy speaker takes over as acting speaker.

Mapisa-Nqakula’s house was raided by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate last week.

She denied reports that she was arrested.

But parliament said on Sunday, Tsenoli will be acting in her position.

“According to the Rules of the National Assembly, specifically Rule 24, in the event of the Speaker's absence, inability to perform her duties or vacancy in the office, the Deputy Speaker is required to assume the role of Acting Speaker.

“In light of this, Mr. Lechesa Tsenoli, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, will serve as the Acting Speaker during the Speaker's leave. He will assume all functions, powers, and responsibilities vested in the Speaker,” said parliament.

Tsenoli will inform parliament when it meets this week.

Deputy President Paul Mashatile and Ministers in the Economics Cluster will answer questions in parliament in the next few days.

However, some political parties have questioned Mapisa’Nqakula’s special leave saying it was not provided for in the rules.

Parliament said this was contained in the rules.

“The Speaker's leave of absence is provided for in the Rules of the Assembly, which state that if a member’s absence extends beyond 15 consecutive sittings of the House, a motion explaining the reason and duration of the absence must be introduced. Considering that the National Assembly has only three plenary sittings remaining before it adjourns at the end of March for the national and provincial elections on 29 May, the formal motion process will not be required in this instance,” said parliament.

The national legislature said in terms of the rules, Tsenoli will assume all powers vested in the speaker since he was now acting in the position.

Mapisa-Nqakula was fighting the arrest by law enforcement agencies and has challenged this in court.

She is accused of receiving bribes to the value of R2.3 million from a service provider in the department of defence.

At the time Mapisa-Nqakula was minister of defence.

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