Parliament, Thursday 12 August 2021 – The National Assembly Programme Committee (NAPC) at its regular weekly meeting this morning has provisionally scheduled Thursday, 19 August for election of a new NA Speaker.

This follows former Speaker Ms Thandi Modise’s appointment last week as Minister of Defence and Military Veterans.

The election is scheduled for the NA plenary sitting at 14.00 on Thursday, subject to confirmation with the Office of the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice or judge designated by him must preside over the election of the new Speaker

The NA Speaker is drawn from the 14 political parties of 400-member NA. If there is more than one nomination for the position of Speaker, NA members will vote by secret ballot and this will require physical presence of Members at Parliament. Appropriate measures have been put in place to ensure compliance with the Covid-19 protocols.

The NAPC meeting also confirmed its decision, taken last week, that the NA Rules Committee will meet tomorrow, Friday 13 August.

This meeting is scheduled to consider and provide direction for the work of the Section 194 Enquiry Committee. Section 194 in Chapter 9 of the Constitution deals with removal from office of heads of State Institutions Supporting Constitutional Democracy. The institutions include the Public Protector and the Auditor General.

The Section 194 Enquiry Committee met for the first time on 20 July and elected Mr Qubudile Dyantyi as Chairperson. This followed the NA sitting on 16 March, establishing the committee to conduct an enquiry into the fitness to hold office of Public Protector Advocate Mkhwebane.

On 28 July, the Western Cape High Court handed down judgment on Advocate Mkhwebane’s application challenging the constitutionality of NA Rules governing implementation of Section 194 of the Constitution.

The Court made two adverse findings. One was on the optional inclusion of a judge on a three-person independent panel to establish whether, indeed, there was prima facie merit to a motion calling for removal in terms of Section 194. The other adverse finding was about the right of Chapter 9 office holder to legal representation at the enquiry of the Section 194 Committee process.

The NA Rules Committee meeting scheduled for tomorrow will also consider existing rules for electing the Speaker, given the emergence of COVID-19.

Enquiries: Moloto Mothapo