Northern Cape premier to be elected, sworn in

2013-05-23 15:18

The Northern Cape will swear in a new premier today, the provincial legislature said.

“The legislature received a resignation letter from former premier Hazel Jenkins,” said Mpho Masina, spokeswoman in the Speaker’s office.

She said based on the letter, which took effect yesterday, Jenkins was no longer a member of the provincial legislature and Northern Cape premier.

Jenkins collapsed while delivering her state of the province address last year after suffering a brain aneurysm.

Two African National Congress members in the Northern Cape legislature had served as acting premiers while Jenkins was recuperating.

Earlier this month, ANC member Sylvia Lucas was sworn in as acting premier after a failed attempt by her party to get her inaugurated as the new premier.

The ANC failed to get a two-thirds majority, of 20 votes, to pass a motion to remove Jenkins as premier.

Masina said the argument at the time against the adoption of the motion was that there was too much uncertainty about the future of Jenkins’s government benefits and her ability to resign.

As a result, the ANC could not appoint a premier and Lucas remained acting premier.

Masina said the legislature had since been informed that Jenkins was in a relatively good mental state.

During talks with the former premier’s pension fund it was established that she could resign without losing her benefits as a legislature member.

Masina said ANC member Mac Jack would be sworn in as a new member of the legislature on Thursday afternoon.

Thereafter, the province’s new premier would be elected and sworn in. A date for the inaugural speech and debate would be announced during the sitting.

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