South Africa elects Thoko Didiza as speaker of parliament

South Africa elects Thoko Didiza as speaker of parliament

South Africa has upheld a tradition established since the dawn of its democracy, continuing to elect female Speakers of Parliament. Over the years, the nation has seen six women serve as Speaker, with each completing at least one term, except for former Vice President and Speaker of Parliament, Madam Baleka Mbete.

Max Sisulu stands out as the only male politician to have served as Speaker of Parliament, holding the position from 2009 to 2014.

On June 14th, during the inauguration of the 7th Parliament, South Africa elected Hon. Thoko Didiza as the new Speaker of Parliament. She received 288 votes from Members of Parliament, defeating the EFF member Hon. Mente, who garnered only 49 votes.

Thoko Didiza is the second Speaker to serve in a Government of National Unity in South Africa, following Frene Ginwala, who took office in 1994 as the first democratically elected Speaker of Parliament.

Hon. Didiza has been serving in the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development since 2019. Her commitment to public service began during the apartheid era, where she was active in women’s organizations and Christian groups. From 1992 to 1994, she served as the inaugural Secretary of the Women’s National Coalition. In 1994, she was elected to the first post-apartheid parliament as a nominee of the ANC Youth League.

Throughout her career, Hon. Didiza has held several significant positions, including:

  • Minister of Public Works (2006-2008)
  • Minister of Agriculture and Lands (1999-2006)
  • Long-standing member of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation Board (source: MyANC)

With her extensive experience and dedication to public service, Thoko Didiza is poised to lead South Africa’s Parliament with distinction.

Tapiwa Rubaya

Tapiwa Rubaya is the current affairs, fashion and sports reporter at My Afrika Magazine.

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