Polly Boshielo was elected new Speaker of the Provincial Legislature during a sitting of the house on Tuesday following the vacancy created by the recent resignation of Merriam Ramadwa.
The sitting was presided over by Judge President of the Gauteng Division of the High Court, Dunstan Mlambo. Boshielo was the only nomination for the position and was duly elected.
Boshielo, in her maiden speech, said she hoped that MPLs would not belittle each other to score cheap political points in the Legislature as all members were chosen to be there “for the people”. She said she was humbled and grateful for the honour and thanked the African National Congress (ANC) for entrusting her with the position, as there were many capable people they could have chosen. She promised to do the job to the best of her ability.
Boshielo informed the house that she intends strengthening relations between the Legislature and the Office of the Premier and said she would visit often.
She further stated that it was a privilege and an honour to serve the ANC as Speaker of the legislature but that she could be redeployed at any time. “As a disciplined member of the ANC I will duly comply and then ask questions and the reasons later.”
Patrick Shikutsi, Provincial Leader of Congress of the People (Cope) wished her all the best in her new position but cautioned that should she did not rise above party politics, she would “earn the wrath of Cope.”
Jacques Smalle, Democratic Alliance (DA) Provincial Leader said the the DA believes one of the key requirements of a Speaker to be the ability to remain impartial and to have a high sense of integrity and fairness. He said Boshielo would, among other challenges face the responsibility of exhibiting consistent impartiality and integrity in the functioning of the Office of the Speaker and presiding over sittings in a manner that is beyond reproach and ensure that the decorum of the house is maintained by all MPLs. “Robust debate can be quite heated and a speaker fit for the purpose is expected to maintain order but most importantly apply the rules of the Legislature in an impartial and fair manner,” Smalle said.
Michael Mathebe, Economic Freedom Fighters Provincial Leader congratulated Boshielo and promised not to dance on the tables provided she adheres to the rules.
Chairperson of Committees, Dan Sebabi added his congratulations and said he was confident that business in the house would keep on running smoothly.
Falaza Mdaka, Chief Whip of the ANC Caucus in the Legislature said the party caucus wished Boshielo well in her new endeavours and was confident that under her tutelage the oversight function of the Legislature would be optimised. He said she has had a colourful professional and political career and was a seasoned cadre of the movement. “She literally grew up in the ANC,” he said.
Story: NELIE ERASMUS
Photo: Judge President of the Gauteng Division of the High Court, Dunstan Mlambo, far right, congratulates Polly Boshielo, newly elected and inaugurated Speaker of the Limpopo Legislature. In the background is Hasan Ngobeni, Head of Security at the Legislature.