Hugs, kisses in MPs’ welcome to Parliament

2014-05-21 11:10

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Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng began swearing in MPs as the country’s fifth Parliament convened for the first time this morning.

MPs took the oath in groups of 10 with the first including President Jacob Zuma, ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe and Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor.

The next group included Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is widely expected to return to his portfolio when Zuma announces his Cabinet on Sunday. This after Tito Mboweni withdrew from the ANC’s list of MPs.

Zuma will remain an MP for only a few hours before being formally elected president for a second term by members of the National Assembly.

Earlier, hugs, kisses and handshakes were comfortably exchanged in the Assembly as MPs took their seats before the swearing-in ceremony.

Animated conversations took place between ANC MPs – more than 60% of whom are returning to the fifth Parliament after the elections.

A few of the governing party’s MPs walked over to the MPs from the new kids on the block, the Economic Freedom Fighters, to welcome them to the House for the first time.

Former Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale warmly greeted EFF leader Julius Malema with a handshake and a pat on the back.

Malema, dressed in red overalls and a matching hard hat, was flanked by Floyd Shivambu and other EFF MPs wearing similar outfits.

Earlier, Shivambu said the overalls and hard hats were a deliberate demonstration of the party identifying with the country’s working masses.

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