New KZN speaker elected

2013-10-09 07:28
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Pietermaritzburg - Lydia Johnson was elected as the new speaker of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature on Tuesday.

"Johnson, who was the legislature's chairperson of committees, brings a wealth of experience into her new portfolio," KwaZulu-Natal Legislature spokesperson Wonder Hlongwa said.

She was previously MEC for agriculture and environmental affairs, and was one of the longest serving members of the provincial legislature.

Johnson replaced Neliswa Peggy Nkonyeni, who was sworn-in as the new education MEC on Monday.

DA withdraws from process

Earlier on Tuesday, the Democratic Alliance KwaZulu-Natal chief whip Radley Keys said his party had withdrawn from the speaker election process.

This was because it felt the office of the speaker had been "abused by the ANC for its own party political purposes".

The African National Congress in the province could not immediately comment on the allegation.

Keys said: "The DA's action... is a vote of no confidence in whatever candidate is proposed by the ANC because of the partisan way this office has been misused.

"Both the former speaker and the deputy speaker have, over the term of this legislature, shown an extreme partiality for the ANC, even to the extent of using their positions as chairperson of public sittings of the House to promote the ANC by name."

Another spokesperson for the legislature, Wesley Canham, said that six members of the DA were present in the house before the election of the new speaker.

He said Keys had informed the deputy speaker that the DA would boycott this segment of the sitting.

"The deputy speaker noted the party’s exercise of its right and the election continued unhindered."

The allegations of partiality of the office had previously been "raised and addressed appropriately," Canham said.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  peggy nkonyeni  |  durban  |  pietermaritzburg  |  politics  |  local government

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