Cape Town - Luthuli House will have a strong presence in
Parliament with ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete steering matters in the National
Assembly, according to an ANC MP.
Die Burger reported on Wednesday that the ANC elected Mbete
as the Speaker for the fifth parliamentary term, which starts on Wednesday.
The unnamed MP told Die Burger that the ANC had to improve
its performance in Parliament, and Mbete was the right person to ensure the
party's leadership stood strong in the National Assembly.
Mbete was the Speaker from 2005 to 2008, and was described
by MPs who worked with her as strong, capable, effective and a very loyal ANC
Political analyst Richard Calland said Mbete is very
ambitious and a “heavyweight” and based on this the party had to give her an
Lechesa Tsenoli, previously minister of Co-operative
Governance and Traditional Affairs, will be the new deputy Speaker. Stone
Sizani remains as the ANC chief whip and Doris Dlakude is the deputy chief
Speculation over Sisulu
Mbete will take over as Speaker from Max Sisulu.
According to Die Burger, there was speculation that Sisulu 's
role as Speaker ended because of his decision to appoint a parliamentary ad hoc
committee to investigate the Public Protector’s report on Nkandla. Beeld
reported that Sisulu had made himself available for a second term.
However, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe strenuously
denied this speculation and said Sisulu was not the head of the Nkandla
project. There is thus no reason for the party to blame him. There were rumours
that Sisulu could be given a Cabinet post.
Mantashe also announced that former Reserve bank governor
Tito Mboweni had withdrawn as MP, but would not give reasons. There was still speculation
that Mboweni could be appointed as finance minister, as two Cabinet ministers
can come from outside Parliament.