Calls for Mapisa-Nqakula to resign are premature: Mashatile

todayMarch 28, 2024 63

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Deputy President, Paul Mashatile, says calls for Parliament Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to resign are premature.

The Deputy President was answering DA’s Siviwe Gwarube who had questioned him during Q&A session in the National Assembly, on whether the ANC will be supporting its motion against the Speaker.

Opposition parties want Mapisa-Nqakula booted as the NA Speaker over her bribery allegations.

However, Mashatile believes that’s a bit like putting the cart before the horse as the former Defence Minister is co-operating with authorities.

“You may also be aware that on a number of occasions said if she were to be charged with these alleged offences, she is prepared to step down. There are still investigations and she is not charged and all that remains are allegations and therefore I think it will be premature to ask the Speaker to relieve herself from her duties when in fact the allegations have not been tested.”

The Speaker allegedly solicited bribes to the tune of R4.5 million during her tenure as the Defence Minister, but only received R2.5 million in hard cash.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says a wig that was allegedly given to Mapisa-Nqakula as gratification was recovered during a raid at her Johannesburg home.

Pressure is mounting on Acting National Assembly Speaker, Lechesa Tsenoli, to pronounce a date on when the motion will be heard.

The official opposition says a special sitting should be held as early as next week, given that Parliament is set to conclude its business for the current administration soon.

Political analyst, Levy Ndou, says it’s common cause for opposition parties to support the motion amid the election mood.

“If the speaker is removed, her image is tarnished, the image of the ANC is also tarnished and the opposition will have a lot to gain out of this exercise,” says the scholar.

He, however, also believes that the tabling of the motion will serve as a reminder to those in power of their responsibilities and how they should conduct themselves.

Ndou asserts that the controversy surrounding Mapisa-Nqakula has given the opposition ammunition to be seen as though they are working hard to ensure accountability.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says it will support the motion the bid to remove the Speaker.

The party had previously slammed Mapisa-Nqakula as incompetent and not fit for office.

“President Ramaphosa has persistently avoided being held accountable for the illicit holding of cash and has employed every available institution to obfuscate his actions, and this includes using Mapisa-Nqakula as a shield from accountability.

“She is now facing arrest for the same crimes she so determinedly protected Ramaphosa from being held accountable for.”

The red berets say it is important that Mapisa-Nqakula be removed as the speaker, in order to safeguard the integrity of the National Assembly.

Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza

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