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Tsenoli appointed as acting speaker amid Mapisa-Nqakula’s corruption probe

Amidst swirling allegations of corruption against former defence minister Mapisa-Nqakula, her decision to take special leave from Parliament has prompted Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli to assume Speaker responsibilities as acting speaker.

Mapisa-Nqakula’s absence comes in the wake of accusations of receiving bribes from an army contractor during her tenure as defence minister, escalating into a full-blown corruption probe.

Parliament spokesperson affirms Mapisa-Nqakula’s absence protocol

“The Speaker’s leave of absence is provided for in the Rules of the Assembly, which state that if a member’s absence extends beyond 15 consecutive sittings of the House, a motion explaining the reason and duration of the absence must be introduced,” affirmed Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo, emphasising the procedural adherence to parliamentary rules.

The National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate’s recent raid on Mapisa-Nqakula’s residence in Johannesburg has heightened the gravity of the situation.

Furthermore, with legal proceedings looming, Mapisa-Nqakula’s leave from Parliament aims to address these allegations. She seeks to prevent potential arrest, as evidenced by her filing for a court interdict.

In light of these developments, Parliament has moved swiftly to maintain continuity in its operations.

Mothapo further reassured the public that despite Mapisa-Nqakula’s leave, the work of the National Assembly remains unaffected. With only three plenary sittings left before the Assembly adjourns for the upcoming national and provincial elections. Formal motion processes for extended absences are deemed unnecessary in this instance.

Furthermore, Parliament’s engagement in international parliamentary affairs persists unabated. Mothapo confirmed Parliament’s participation in the Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly, led by Deputy Chairperson Sylvia Lucas.

South Africa reaffirms global commitment

This reaffirms South Africa’s commitment to fulfilling its international obligations and maintaining its standing in the global parliamentary community.

As Tsenoli assumes Speaker responsibilities in the interim, South Africa faces a critical juncture in its governance. The outcome of Mapisa-Nqakula’s legal battle and the effectiveness of Parliament’s response will shape public perception of the country’s commitment to combatting corruption and upholding the rule of law.

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