Makhosazane Masilela has been elected as the speaker of the Mpumalanga provincial legislature and James Skhosana as her deputy. This came after speaker Busisiwe Shiba and her deputy Vusi Mkhatshwa were appointed MECs for cooperative governance and traditional affairs and finance, economic development and tourism respectively during premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane’s cabinet reshuffle last week.
Masilela and Skhosana were elected unopposed on Tuesday, the 2nd of March during the house’s first face-to-face sitting since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic last year. Opposition parties also supported Masilela and Skhosana’s election and also warned her to be impartial when dealing with the house.
Mtshweni-Tsipane’s reshuffle saw members of the ANC associated with former premier and now deputy president David Mabuza becoming bench warmers in the legislature. Regional convenor of Ehlanzeni, Gillion Mashego and Mabuza’s home boy Pat Ngomane were fired by the premier.
“We support the election of Masilela and her deputy, Skhosana, as long as they are going to be impartial when dealing with issues of the house. We are standing firm against any corruption from departments and when we raise that we don’t expect the speaker or the deputy to shield anyone based on their ANC affiliation,” said chairperson of the EFF Collen Sedibe.
The election of Masilela has put Mtshweni-Tsipane in total control of the provincial government.
“She’s fine now, like we said when she hired human settlements MEC Speedy Mashile she was trying to secure a political seat in the PEC of the province. She managed to win in that and now she has won in securing the legislature which is going to protect her friends,” said a source within the PEC of the ANC.
Masilela promised to work impartially and deal with issues at hand than shielding members of her party.