Things are about to heat up as new faces enter debates

2014-05-12 00:00

CAPE TOWN — South Africans can look forward to the parliamentary television channel becoming a lot more riveting when the new crop of political hotheads who are heading to the National Assembly enter the debates.

Among the new brooms in Parliament is the contentious Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), whose party will get 25 seats in the National Assembly.

Malema’s own seat depends on whether he will be declared insolvent.

The EFF’s ranks include the outspoken Floyd Shivambu and Magdalene Moonsamy.

The DA remains the official opposition, but has been supersized with its seats growing from 67 to 89 after the party’s share of the national vote increased to 22,23%.

New members for the DA include Mmusi Maimane, the party’s premier candidate in Gauteng, advocate Glynis Breytenbach, who resigned from the National Prosecution Authority and Zelda Jongbloed, a former journalist, as well as former DA communication staffers Phumzile van Damme, Zak Mbhele and Solly Malatsi.

On the ruling party’s bench, which has shrunk by 15 seats, the new names include Bheki Cele , who was dismissed as national police commissioner by President Jacob Zuma; the party’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa ; Tito Mboweni, former Reserve Bank governor; and Jackson Mthembu, ANC spokesperson.

Other controversial new ANC names are Andile Lungisa, former chair of the wasteful National Youth Development Agency who was last year arrested for alleged fraud and money laundering; and former land affairs minister Thoko Didiza, a supporter of former president Thabo Mbeki.

Two former advisers to Zuma, and Lindiwe Zulu, (International Relations) and Zizi Kodwa, are also rewarded with a place in Parliament.

Cope’s MPs are reduced to Mosiuoa Lekota and Willie Madisha while former Cope MPs Leonard Ramatlakane, Juli Kilian and Nic Koornhof have crossed the floor to the ANC.

The proportional system will also ensure seats for newcomers like KZN’s National Freedom Party led by former IFP Youth Brigade leader Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, as well as the Eastern Cape’s African Independent Congress (AIC), the tiny party some analysts said got its votes because voters confused the similar logos of the AIC and the ANC on the ballot paper.

The NFP has the fifth highest number of seats in the National Assembly, garnering six seats, with the Inkatha Freedom Party down to 10 seats of the 18 it had after the 2009 elections.

Another newcomer is Dr Mamphela Ramphele, leader of AgangSA, which party got two seats.

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