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Mbete 'to ensure ANC presence in Parliament'

2014-05-21 09:02

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 cadre.

Political analyst Richard Calland said Mbete is very ambitious and a “heavyweight” and based on this the party had to give her an important position.

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 whip.

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Mantashe also announced that former Reserve bank governor Tito Mboweni had withdrawn as MP, but would not give reasons.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.

Read more on: anc  |  gwede mantashe  |  max sisulu  |  baleka mbete  |  elections 2014  |  parliament 2014  |  politics

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