CAPE TOWN, May 22 — South African new Members of Parliament (MPs) were sworn in on Wednesday, setting in motion the 6th democratic National Assembly since 1994.
At proceedings presided over by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, the MPs were called to stand in front of the podium in groups, and with a raised right hand took the oath in the national language of their choice.
Following the swearing in, the MPs will elect a new Parliament Speaker and the president of the republic.
Deputy President David Mabuza, however, was absent from the swearing-in ceremony as an MP, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) said.
Mabuza requested postponement of his swearing in until allegations against him have been dealt with within the party’s Integrity Commission, the ANC said in a statement.
Mabuza was named in a report by the ANC’s Integrity Commission, in which he is alleged to have prejudiced the integrity of the party and brought the organization into disrepute.
Before becoming deputy president last year, Mabuza was premier of Mpumalanga Province which is allegedly one of the most corrupt provinces in the country.
According to the ANC statement, Mabuza wants an opportunity to clear his name.
Mabuza has indicated that he would like an opportunity to address the ANC Integrity Commission on the allegations, the statement said.
The ANC national officials received and agreed to the request by Mabuza to postpone his swearing in as a MP, said the statement.
As the swearing in took place, a group of protesters gathered outside Parliament, calling for a corruption-free Parliament.
The protesters urged the MPs to put their constitutional duties ahead of their party interest.
The ANC won the May 8 general elections, collecting 57.51 percent of the votes. It maintains its dominance in Parliament but with a reduced majority. – XINHUA