Parliament, Monday 24 May 2021 – National Assembly Speaker Ms Thandi Modise has called for unity and the rotation of the Presidency at the Pan African Parliament.

Speaker Modise was speaking at the opening of the 4th Ordinary Session of the Fifth Pan African Parliament meeting in Midrand under the African Union’s theme for 2021: “Year of the Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want.’’

“The PAP is a fundamental instrument for our continent. I believe it must continue to be the home of African democracy, and continue to represent the peoples of Africa. We must remember that the PAP was set up to ensure the full participation of African peoples in the economic development and integration of the continent. We must all live up to it. Our potential will only be harnessed through unity.

In calling for the rotation of the PAP presidency Speaker Modise urged all to consider the bigger picture of why the PAP was formed, which is the integration and working together of the MPs as the representatives of the people of the continent.

“It is time that we recognise that unity is not how we show might, unity will not come about on how we show wealth, unity is about slowing the pace to enable the slowest amongst us to keep up,” said Speaker Modise while also emphasising the “need to lobby for the outstanding counties to ratify the Malabo Protocol to enable the continental Parliament to deliver on its mandate more effectively.”

Also adding South Africa’s voice to the opening ceremony was Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, who reiterated the purpose of the PAP

“The raison d’etre of the PAP is a platform for people from all African States to be involved in discussions and decision making on the problems and challenges facing the Continent. It is therefore my hope that among others the PAP will exchange views on COVID-19 pandemic,” said Minister Pandor.

National Council of Provinces Chairperson Mr Amos Masondo is the leader of the Parliament of RSA delegation to the PAP. The delegation includes the Chief Whip of the Majority Party in the National Assembly, Ms Penny Majodina, Dr Mathole Motshekga, Mr Julius S Malema – leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, and Mr TR Majola, from the Democratic Alliance.

Speaker Modise is a former member of the PAP and was specially invited to do opening remarks, together with Dr Pandor, on behalf of SA as a host country. The keynote address was delivered by the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, deliver the keynote address as the Guest of Honour at the ceremony.

Among issues to be discussed during the session are various reports including, the Report by the Permanent Committees on the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa; the activity Report of the PAP; Report of the Ad hoc Committee on the election of the President of the Pan-African Parliament; Committee Meetings and Meeting of the Network of Women Parliamentarians.

Enquiries: Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930