Presiding Officers nominations raise the ire of opposition parties

Cedrick Frolick
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The National Assembly has approved the nominations of three additional Presiding Officers as well as members to serve on four external legislative and legal bodies.

The nominations, however, raised the ire of the some opposition parties as they demand that one Presiding Officer be drawn from the opposition benches.

ANC MP Cedrick Frolick was elected House Chairperson against opposition by the DA.

The election of Frolick has been met with criticism as he was implicated before the State Capture Commission of Inquiry. He allegedly received a monthly retainer of R40 000 from the controversial Bosasa Group in order to facilitate meetings between the company and politicians.

Frolick has now been re-elected as one of three House Chairpersons to preside over the National Assembly in the absence of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

The DA fielded its own candidate, Annelie Lotriet. She lost by 205 votes to 83, with 15 MPs abstaining during voting.

The National Assembly has also approved the nominations of members to serve on the Judicial Service Commission, the Magistrates Commission, the Pan African Parliament as well as the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

Frolick, who served as the Chair of Chairs in the previous Parliament, was a late inclusion to serve as a Presiding Officer. This after former Environmental Affairs Minister, Nomvula Mokonyane, declined the position, citing family commitments.

DA Chief Whip, John Steenhuisen says it would have been in the best interests of the House to have an officer without questions hanging over his head.

“I also think and certainly, it was the view of caucus meeting this morning that, given the events of Bosasa, given the unanswered questions that remain, that in the interest of the House it would be better to have a Presiding Officer who didn’t have these questions over their head.”

FF+ Chief Whip, Corne Mulder says precedence from the first to the fourth Parliament accommodated the voices from opposition parties.

“We’ve had the precedence in the first, second, third and fourth Parliament that we accommodated, also other voices from opposition parties when it comes to Presiding Officers. We did do that. It was only in the 5th Parliament that we moved away from that precedent.”

UDM Chief Whip, Nqabayomzi Kwankwa says that there was a resolution in 2018 that the opposition would be accommodated.

“It’s one of the issues we discussed last year (2018). It’s one of the resolutions we thought we were going to take forward to the 6th democratic Parliament. Unfortunately, that has not happened. The issue here is about improving and increasing the credibility of Parliament so that it’s not us against them.”

EFF Chief Whip, Floyd Shivambu says there are a lot of incompetent appointments.

“We think that there are a lot of extremely incompetent appointees of the ANC into committee chairpersons and Presiding Officers, including the Deputy Speaker, who is extremely incompetent and mediocre, but won elections to do whatever you want to do. We’ll meet in 2024. We’ll share our perspective to the electorate.”

ANC Deputy Chief Whip, Doris Dlakude says the majority of South Africans gave the ANC the mandate to lead the country.

“Yes, we understand that we are a multiparty parliament. Yes, we allow participation of all parties, but the fact of the matter is that, ‘go out there and win the elections.’ The majority of South Africans gave the ANC the mandate to lead this country.”


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