Thoko Didiza and Annelie Lotriet are now speaker and deputy speak of the National Assembly.

Thoko Didiza and Annelie Lotriet. Images: Parliament of South Africa via X (Twitter)

DA’s Annelie Lotriet becomes Didiza’s number two as deputy speaker

Thoko Didiza and Annelie Lotriet have been elected to lead the National Assembly as speaker and deputy speaker respectively.

Thoko Didiza and Annelie Lotriet are now speaker and deputy speak of the National Assembly.

Thoko Didiza and Annelie Lotriet. Images: Parliament of South Africa via X (Twitter)

Thoko Didiza, the former minister of agriculture in the previous administration, has been elected as speaker of the National Assembly, while the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) Annelie Lotriet took the position of deputy speaker.

After a secret ballot vote by the newly sworn in members of Parliament (MPs), the ANC’s Didiza beat Veronica Mente of the Economic Freedom Fighters by 284 votes to 49 votes during the first sitting of Parliament. Nine votes were spoiled.

Lotriet, who previously served on the science and technology portfolio committee in Parliament, beat the African Transformation Movement’s Vuyo Zungula with 273 votes to 54 votes. Eleven votes were spoiled

Thoko Didiza expresses gratitude

In her acceptance speech, Didiza paid homage to the ANC and other parties that voted for her.

“I would like to thank all of you as members who have participated in the democratic process of electing the speaker of the National Assembly in the seventh Parliament of the Republic of South Africa.

“I would like to thank my organisation, the African National Congress, for having nominated me to represent them as a movement and also the people of South Africa,” she said to MPs.

Didiza later also congratulated her new deputy Lotriet, and then invited her to the podium to speak to MPs

“I undertake to work with care, commitment and humility. I would like to thank you for the trust you have placed in me. We will work in the interest of everyone in this country,” Lotriet said after her victory.

DA-ANC deal pays off

Victory for both positions was a certainty after the ANC and DA announced that they would be voting along the same lines, as part of a coalition.

“The DA has reached agreement on the statement of intent for the formation of a government of national unity,” DA leader John Steenhuisen said on Friday afternoon.

Follow the proceedings here