Tue. Oct 22nd, 2019

Baleka Mbete and Malusi Gigaba won’t take seats in parliament

Malusi Gigaba State Capture DenelOutgoing National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba have both withdrawn their names from the ANC’s parliamentary candidate list.

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ANC National spokesperson Pule Mabe confirmed to TimesLive that both Baleka Mbete and Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday 21 May declined the opportunity to return on Wednesday as Members of Parliament.

“Indeed Malusi and Ms Mbete have withdrawn from the list.”

No indication had been given as to what the future will hold for Mbete and Gigaba; both are unavailable for comment.

Baleka Mbete’s political career and controversies

Mbete served as Speaker of the National Assembly for nearly 15 years and was first appointed on 23 April 2004. From September 2008 until May 2009 she served as the Deputy President of South Africa.

She was nominated as Speaker of the National Assembly for a second time in 2014. In addition, she also served as the Chair of the African National Congress from 2007 until 2017.

She was a supporter of former ANC Chief Whip, Tony Yengeni, and has questionable business links to a Gautrain public transport project, as well as links to Brett Kebble, according to the Sunday Times.

In addition, Mbete was linked to a Gold Field bribe to the tune of R25m. The inducement was made as a guise of a 2010 BEE transaction from the mining house.

Malusi Gigaba’s political career and controversies

Gigaba, former Minister of Home Affairs, resigned as minister and Member of the National Assembly in November 2018, after mounting pressure for President Cyril Ramaphosa to dismiss him after several controversies.

These included a leaked sex tape scandal, as well as breaching the executive’s ethics code by lying under oath in court. He was succeeded by Blade Nzimande, who is currently serving as acting Minister of Home Affairs.

Apart from the sex tape, Gigaba was involved in an affair with stylist Buhle Mkhize, who wrote an open letter detailing their relationship. The affair made headlines when his wife and mistress started attacking each other on social media.

In addition, Gigaba was also said to have spent R7m on his wife and children, with the most significant expenditure amounting to R670 000 when his wife accompanied him to New York.

Who is the new speaker of the National Assembly?

As per the first ANC caucus meeting, the Speaker of the National assembly will be Thandi Modise, and the Deputy Speaker will be Lechesa Tsenoli.

Modise served as the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces from 2014 until 2019. She was also the fourth Premier of North West from 2001 until 2014.

Before that, she served as Deputy Secretary-General of the ANC from 2007 and 2012, a position currently held by Jessie Duarte.

The National Assembly will convene for the first time on Wednesday 22 May.

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