Western Cape ANC wants legislature to elect new Speaker next week

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Cameron Dugmore. (Photo: Malherbe Nienaber)
Cameron Dugmore. (Photo: Malherbe Nienaber)
  • The ANC wants the Western Cape legislature to elect a new Speaker by next week. 
  • It comes after the DA stripped legislature Speaker Masizole Mnqasela of his party membership.
  • The ANC on Friday tabled a motion before deputy Speaker Beverley Schäfer, asking for a new speaker to be elected. 

The ANC in the Western Cape has tabled a motion in the provincial legislature calling for a new Speaker to be elected by next week. 

The DA stripped its Speaker Masizole Mnqasela of his party membership, effectively creating a vacancy within the legislature since Mnqasela is no longer a member of this house.

Mnqasela's membership was terminated on Monday after he seemingly made disparaging remarks about the party. 

He is challenging the termination of his membership. On Friday, the house deliberated on the appropriation bill, but proceedings were disrupted when heckling ANC members demanded that the process to elect a new Speaker be set in motion.

The ANC tabled a motion before deputy Speaker Beverley Schäfer, asking for a new Speaker to be elected. Leading the charge, ANC MPL Cameron Dugmore said: "We have a challenge which we must address in the best possible way - the provincial parliament must elect a Speaker among its members."  

READ | Chaos mars Western Cape legislature house sitting as DA faces sharp criticism over Mnqasela ousting

"The clarity we require is what process must be taken. This house must deal with this matter and pass a resolution to contact the president of the Constitutional Court," he said. 

Schäfer told members the process would be taken further by the secretary. On Thursday, the majority in the house approved a motion that would see the secretary of the legislature act on behalf of the legislature while the speaker's position remained vacant.

Despite strong opposition, the motion was passed. 

The ANC's motion on Friday was clear that since Mnqasela was no longer a member of his political party, and therefore no longer a member of the house, the Speaker's position had become vacant, and a new Speaker should be elected.

The ANC's motion that was tabled reads: 

Section 20 of the provincial constitution requires that the provincial legislature must fill a vacancy, and believing that the legislature cannot operate without a Speaker, this house resolves to mandate the secretary of the legislature to make contact with the president of the Constitutional Court, as per Section 20(2) of the provincial constitution, to designate a judge to oversee the election of a new Speaker by no later than next week.

The motion is expected to be heard on Monday. 

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