New Serjeant-at-Arms earns her stripes

2011-02-10 22:51

Cape Town - Parliament's first female Serjeant-at-Arms, Regina Mhlomi, performed like a veteran at Thursday's State of the Nation address.

It was her job, carrying the 9.86kg mace on her shoulder, to lead President Jacob Zuma and the presiding officers of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces into the packed chamber.

The mace, just over 1m long, is made of 18 carat gold, springbok skin, diamonds and platinum.

Part of the serjeant's task is to announce loudly to the chamber who she is bringing in, but Mhlomi's task was eased by a head mike linked to the chamber's speaker system.

She stood holding the mace as Speaker Max Sisulu called for a moment of prayer or silent meditation, then was helped by a parliamentary official to place the mace in its stand next to the Speaker's chair.

Mhlomi, a former teacher with a post-graduate diploma in labour law and a master’s in conflict management, joined Parliament as a senior labour relations officer in January 1996.

She was appointed as an under-secretary in May 2007.

The Serjeant-at-Arms is responsible for security and keeping order in the National Assembly and has some ceremonial duties - including leading presiding officers and presidents into the chamber for sittings.

  • coolwaynie - 2011-02-11 06:59

    Is it my imagination or is sergeant really being spelt as serjeant????

      Lucy - 2011-02-11 07:10

      Yup CW - maybe thats the new SA word for sergeant where they use bits from all our 11 official languages. We cld start a whole new SA language - bit like the Dutch did with Afrikaans in earlier years

      Sizwe - 2011-02-11 07:41

      Consult your DICtionary, serjearnt-at-arms is a variation in terms of spelling only, but it is a word and does exist....

  • Alwyn - 2011-02-11 07:20

    Eish,,,, A serjeant,,,She must be the boss of the colonel,,,i think,,,Or she must be under the staff sergeant,,,Now i am to confused

      Singo - 2011-02-11 08:00

      it is the language of the SA parliament.

  • ddstroking - 2011-02-11 08:27

    if you are going to put a story on the net how about checking the spelling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! serjeant my arse!!!!!!!!

  • AJ - 2011-02-11 08:43

    Serjeant is a British variant of sergeant - let's leave it at that.

  • hugovaughan - 2011-02-11 08:55

    As all can see from the role described above, a Serjeant is not a sergeant. Cute, the way the grumpies fall for it.

  • - 2011-02-11 09:05

    I wonder if she underwent the same intense, grueling training that I did when I was in the SADF. I dont think she did any fire and movement or pole PT.What a joke this country has become.

  • nathang247 - 2011-02-11 09:11

  • Matthew Wilke - 2011-02-11 10:25

    oh stop acting bloody ignorant, all of you. just trynna find something to bitch about. She is an SANDF NCO, shes in a ceremonial role! Read the article and go research SERJEANT-at-arms... Come on man. Too early for some of you're bullsh*t. 1st female in the role, well done.

      Matthew Wilke - 2011-02-11 10:26

      I meant she is NOT an NCO...

      coolwaynie - 2011-02-11 10:47

      I can just imagine Matthew wiping his nose after this tirade and feeling all puffed up with indignation. It should have been spelt Sayjent like it's pronounced... - 2011-02-11 11:03

      Go back to banging your maid.

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