Bhisho's Pemmy Majodina new chief whip in parliament

Thandi Modise named new speaker, Lechesa Tsenoli as deputy

Pemmy Majodina looks colourful ahead of the East Cape premier’s state of the province address earlier in 2019
Pemmy Majodina looks colourful ahead of the East Cape premier’s state of the province address earlier in 2019
Image: Nomazima Nkosi

Eastern Cape MEC Pemmy Majodina has been appointed ANC chief whip in the National Assembly when it convenes on Wednesday.

Majodina’s appointment came as the biggest surprise in a day of many.

Thandi Modise is set to become the new speaker of the National Assembly, with Lechesa Tsenoli as deputy.

The ANC’s national executive committee has also indicated that environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane will be demoted from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet to become the new National Assembly chair responsible for portfolio committees.

Majodina’s deputy is set to be Dorris Dlakude, who has been deputy to both Jackson Mthembu and his predecessor Stone Sizani.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule pleaded with journalists and the public not to judge the newly appointed members based on their past performances, but to give them a chance. Majodina was an NEC member “well experienced in governance issues”, he said. “She is part of that generation of young people.

“She has been with the youth league and we considered her on generational mix.

“You will argue that she is not that young any longer, but she comes from that generation,” Magashule said.

While Mokonyane’s new position is a demotion, it is still a powerful position in parliament as the “chair of chairs” oversees the work of the National Assembly’s committees, approves trips and presides over plenary sessions of the assembly. The party has also decided that Job Mokgoro should continue as the premier of the North West, to “stabilise” that province.

“At the right time, we will interact once more with the matter,” Magashule said.

He revealed that the ANC Women’s League had proposed women candidates for the position but the names they proposed were not on the list of candidates for the North West legislature.

Former Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo will become the new chair of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

David Mabuza, meanwhile, dismissed speculation that he might not return as the country’s deputy president when Ramaphosa announces his new executive in the coming days.

“Hayi, well, no, all the speculations are wrong,” Mabuza said.

He was responding to journalists who wanted to know whether it was true that he was leaving office and not going back to the Union Buildings.

Mabuza was speaking on the sidelines of the special meeting of the ANC’s NEC in Cape Town on Monday.

He would not elaborate on where he thought the rumours were coming from, only saying “they are speculating”.

The NEC meeting was also scheduled to receive a report from the KwaZulu-Natal and eThekwini structures on the matter around eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, who is out on R50,000 bail after appearing in court last week on corruption, fraud and racketeering charges.

She is accused of facilitating money laundering‚ fraud and corruption, allegedly to pay back cronies who helped her political ambitions.

“The region and the province is actually engaging that discussion,” Magashule said.

“They will be giving us a report.

“We are happy with the way they are handling the matter – it will be dealt with at some stage.”

He said they were expecting Ramaphosa to update the NEC about the process of reconfiguring the government.

But he was mum when asked for comment following the North Gauteng High Court decision to set aside public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s Vrede dairy farm project report early on Monday.

“I have no comment, I don’t have details,” he said.

Otherwise, Magashule said, the meeting had been analysing and getting a brief report on how the ANC had performed in the general elections held earlier in May.

“This campaign was about real issues . . . we have to improve quite a lot of things,” he said.