Lesufi wants DA deputy speaker Nt’sekhe to keep top position as he opens door for fresh negotiations

The DA's Refiloe Nt'sekhe should keep her deputy speaker position, says Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi. File photo.
The DA's Refiloe Nt'sekhe should keep her deputy speaker position, says Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi. File photo.
Image: Supplied by @RefiloeNtsekhe via Twitter

Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi wants DA legislature deputy speaker Refilwe Nt'sekhe to keep her top position despite the blue party wanting her to exit office after clashes between the two parties during power-sharing negotiations. 

The ANC and DA in Gauteng failed to mirror a political leadership similar to President Cyril Ramaphosa's government of national unity (GNU) cabinet, and as a result DA provincial leader Solly Msimanga said Nt'sekhe would have to resign from her position on Thursday when they take the opposition benches.

Despite clashes, Lesufi said he did not want Nt'sekhe to leave public offices after two weeks in the job.

“We are going to persuade the DA to remain, I honestly believe we can still find common ground. The withdrawal of the deputy speaker is unfortunate and regrettable, but it is something that can be reversed.

“There was no need for them to abruptly withdraw the deputy speaker while we were going to discuss this matter. It's unfortunate and regrettable, but we'll persuade them. The door is open. We can't close that door,” Lesufi said in an interview with eNCA on Thursday.

Lesufi announced his executive on Wednesday, consisting mainly of the ANC with seven MEC positions and one each to the PA, IFP and Rise Mzansi. The DA was not part of the executive as the two parties were not able to find common ground.

Though the negotiations did not end well, Lesufi was hopeful the DA would be open to more talks.

“We are ready to provide them with the six portfolio committees. We emphasised we are ready to give three MEC positions.

“It was unfortunate that we had to establish a government. We have been keeping the people of Gauteng waiting, and we were the only province without an executive council.

“We were at the doorstep of catastrophe where the budget was not approved, and many institutions could not be paid. This was going to create problems. That's the reason I had to establish a government. But the door is not closed.”



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