Chief Justice Zondo Urges Newly Sworn-In MPs to Enhance Democracy

Zondo emphasized the significance of this first sitting following last month's General Elections, labeling it an important milestone for the nation.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Pretoria | Updated: 14-06-2024 23:07 IST | Created: 14-06-2024 23:07 IST
Chief Justice Zondo Urges Newly Sworn-In MPs to Enhance Democracy
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  • Country:
  • South Africa

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has called on newly sworn-in Members of Parliament (MPs) to learn from past mistakes and work towards enhancing democracy in South Africa. This appeal was made during the swearing-in ceremony of MPs at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), marking the first sitting of the National Assembly of the seventh Parliament.

Zondo emphasized the significance of this first sitting following last month's General Elections, labeling it an important milestone for the nation. He urged MPs to reflect on their journey thus far, acknowledge mistakes, celebrate successes, and ensure that such mistakes are not repeated as South Africa progresses into the fourth decade of its democracy.

“We get an opportunity to look back on the road we have travelled and see where we have made mistakes, and see where we have done well and make sure that in the fourth decade of our democracy, we will not repeat those mistakes,” Zondo addressed the House.

The Chief Justice extended his congratulations to the MPs, underscoring the gravity of the roles they assume in the National Assembly. He reminded them of their crucial responsibility in law-making, which significantly influences the future of the country’s democracy.

“They make laws for our country and in that way, shape the future of our democracy. Therefore, as you take the oath or make the affirmation that you will make today, you will recall the responsibility that the people of South Africa have placed on your shoulders and the honour that you have been given, and the privilege to be part of this very important body in our country,” Zondo stated.

Zondo highlighted the importance of the oath taken by MPs, which commits them to be faithful to the Republic of South Africa, and to obey, respect, and uphold the Constitution and all other laws of the Republic. He reminded the MPs that the oath or affirmation is "binding... on their conscience."

Following the swearing-in, the process of electing the Speaker of the National Assembly commenced, with two nominations presented for the position. The newly elected Speaker will then oversee the election of the Deputy Speaker.

Additionally, the National Assembly will elect a President to lead the seventh administration of the country and form a government of national unity, as the ruling party did not secure an absolute majority in the recent elections.

The first sitting of the National Assembly is a pivotal moment, signaling the start of a new legislative term and a renewed commitment to democratic governance in South Africa.

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