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Disgraced Pule replaced by Booi on ANC's MP list

Sapa

Former minister Dina Pule - who Thuli Madonsela found guilty of unethical conduct - has been replaced by Mnyamezeli Booi on the ANC's list of new MPs.

Disgraced former communications minister Dina Pule. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

Mnyamezeli Booi has replaced disgraced former communications minister Dina Pule as number 70 on the ANC’s list of new MPs who will be sworn in on Wednesday, Parliament said on Monday.

Booi, who served as the chairperson of the portfolio committee on defence and military veterans in the last Parliament, was moved up after Pule withdrew her name. Tharina Abell, the secretary of Parliament’s rules committee, said outgoing Democratic Alliance (DA) parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko’s seat in the National Assembly would go to the party’s Thomas Hadebe. 

Hadebe was the caucus leader for the DA in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal. Tim Harris, the DA’s outgoing finance spokesperson, will be replaced in the legislature by Marian Shinn, a returning MP who was the party’s spokesperson on communications. Agang SA is sending Michael Tshishonga and Andries Tlouamma to Parliament after party leader Mamphela Ramphele decided not to take up her seat in the National Assembly. 

She announced last week that she was taking a break from politics after a fraught election effort by Agang SA, marred by her short-lived decision to stand as the DA’s presidential candidate. Wednesday will see the first sitting of the fifth democratic Parliament, with members of the National Assembly formally electing President Jacob Zuma for a second term after they are sworn in as MPs by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. 

Collin Mahlangu, the acting under-secretary to the National Assembly said parliamentary officials had spent the past few days verifying that the replacement MPs named by the parties after candidates withdrew were available to take up their seats. Under the Electoral Act, political parties have to replace those who withdraw with names further down on the list of candidates furnished to the Independent Electoral Commission before the polls. 

Stick to the list
These lists may not be changed for a full year after the elections, meaning that if a member resigned in that period, the party has to stick to the list when naming a replacement. The only permissible exception is if the list had been depleted. 

Mazibuko announced three days after the general elections that she would be taking a sabbatical to study at Harvard, but the decision was followed by reports that she had fallen out with DA leader Helen Zille and had been unlikely to hold onto the post. 

Harris acted as political advisor to Mazibuko, and is leaving the legislature to take up a post in the Cape Town mayor’s office to co-ordinate investment in the metropole. Pule fell from grace after Parliament’s ethics and members’ interests committee found her in breach of her oath for funnelling state resources to her boyfriend, and she was subsequently fined and rebuked by Speaker Max Sisulu. 

In December, public protector Thuli Madonsela found Pule guilty of unethical conduct after an investigation into similar charges also stemming from her handling of the ITC Indaba and said she should resign from Parliament. She did so, saying she wanted “to be allowed to live my life in peace”. – Sapa

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