Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula remains in charge of Parliament as no-confidence vote defeated

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National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
Deaan Vivier/Netwerk24
  • The ANC used its majority in the National Assembly to defeat a motion of no-confidence in Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
  • The motion, brought by the EFF, was resoundingly defeated.
  • DA MPs abstained from the vote.

The EFF's no-confidence motion in National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has been defeated.

ANC MPs used their majority to brush off the motion as 234 voted against the motion and a mere 42 voted in favour of it. A total of 73 individuals abstained from the vote.

On Wednesday, the National Assembly debated the motion to remove Mapisa-Nqakula from office over her conduct during the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu called for a division which meant all votes from MPs had to be recorded.

All ANC MPs voted against the motion while the DA abstained.

The EFF is challenging Mapisa-Nqakula's conduct during the chaotic proceedings during SONA and demanded an apology from her when fights between security officers and EFF MPs broke out.

Red berets leader Julius Malema told the National Assembly it was clear it was dealing with an "unrepentant delinquent who abuses her power and violates the rule of the National Assembly and the Constitution".

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"To intimidate peaceful Members of Parliament is not something we take lightly. Whenever the president is being held to account, she chooses violence. She chooses to abuse her powers, violate the Constitution and the rules of the National Assembly," he said.

ANC deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude said the populist behaviour of some MPs was destructive to the discourse in Parliament.

"We must be clear that we have anarchists and agents of destruction in our midst who have manipulated this sacred place.

"These are enemies of the Constitution who demonstrated that they do not respect the rules that governs this House. They have done this for self-interest, for populist reasons and misguided relevance," she added.

Last month, Malema gave Mapisa-Nqakula 48 hours to publicly withdraw and apologise on behalf of the institution for the fracas between the party's MPs and security forces during the SONA.

EFF MPs prevented President Cyril Ramaphosa from speaking for more than 30 minutes and stormed onto the stage.

They were eventually ordered to leave. The EFF believes Mapisa-Nqakula was irresponsible and acted unconstitutionally.

It is challenging Mapisa-Nqakula's conduct during the SONA and that of Ramaphosa's protectors.

Malema also claimed Mapisa-Nqakula referred to his fellow MPs as "animals".

The DA's deputy chief whip, Annelie Lotriet, said the no-confidence motion was no trivial matter.

"Such a motion cannot be confined to a single incident. The question we have to ask in this motion, is whether this is sufficient ground," she said, adding the DA would not support the motion.

According to Malema, Mapisa-Nqakula disregarded the Constitution which granted MPs the right to free expression when she suppressed MPs from raising points of order as permitted by the Joint Rules.

Malema argued Mapisa-Nqakula failed to follow the procedure outlined in Joint Rule 14GA for removing MPs from the chamber, "instead she relied on her emotions and her biases, which resulted in shameful violence against MPs".

Furthermore, Malema also noted Mapisa-Nqakula failed to act fairly and impartially in applying the Joint Rules and ensuring the participation of members of all parties in a manner consistent with democracy, but instead allowed the use of violent means.

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