Former South Africa’s defense minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has been elected as Speaker of the National Assembly.
The election was presided over by a high court judge president John Hlophe at the parliament.
President Cyril Ramaphosa had earlier this month replaced her on the Minister of Defense and Military Veterans’ seat with Thandi Modise saying Mapisa-Nqakula will be deployed to a new position.
Mapisa-Nqakula who is from the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) beat her only rival candidate Annelie Lotriet from the Democratic Alliance (DA) by 199 votes to 82 votes.
Shortly after the announcement of the result, Mapisa-Nqakula, in her first address as Speaker highlighted the importance of all three branches of the state to function in synergy while exercising their respective functions and roles without interference.
She also expressed her desire to see better collaboration between parties especially in advancing issues of national interests.
As the fifth female Speaker of the South African National Assembly since the first democratic general election in 1994, she stated that her election demonstrates the confidence South Africa has showed in women leadership and their abilities.
Born in 1956 in Eastern Cape Province, Mapisa-Nqakula has been serving as a member of the parliament since 1999.
Since 2002, she held various senior positions in the government, including Deputy Minister and Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Correctional Services before post of Minister of Defense and Military Veterans in 2012.
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