Cape Town – Parliament has revealed that the first sitting of the National Assembly after the elections was provincially set for May 22 following consultations between officials of the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) and Parliament.
"The Chief Justice (Mogoeng Mogoeng) will officially declare the date of the first sitting in due course," Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said on Thursday.
Mothapo said the law provided for the establishment of the two Houses of Parliament – National Assembly and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) – within 14 days after the Independent Electoral Commission declared the election results.
He said Mogoeng has the powers, under the Constitution, to determine the dates and times of the first sittings and presides over key aspects of Houses.
Mothapo also said at the first sitting of the National Assembly, Mogoeng would preside over the swearing-in of each MP.
Mogoeng will then preside over the election of the Speaker of the National Assembly, who will in turn preside over the election of the deputy Speaker.
Mothapo said Mogoeng would at the same sitting also preside over the election of the president-elect.
"The president, once elected, ceases to be a Member of Parliament and must take up office within five days of being elected.
"This happens when the president-elect, at the presidential inauguration, swears or affirms faithfulness to the Republic of South Africa and obedience to the Constitution and later announces the composition of the Cabinet."
Mothapo also said the first sitting of the NCOP would take place after the nine provincial legislatures held their first sittings and had their Members of the Provincial Legislatures (MPLs) sworn in.
"As is the case with the National Assembly, the first sitting of the provincial legislatures are provisionally scheduled for 22 May. The Chief Justice will, in accordance with his constitutional prerogative, announce the appropriate date in due course."
He said Mogoeng has designated the judges presidents of the divisions of the high court to preside over the first sitting of the provincial legislatures where premiers and Speakers would be elected and MPLs sworn in.
The legislatures will appoint their NCOP permanent delegates – four being special delegates and six others are permanent.
"Political parties are entitled to delegates in proportion of their representation. If a person who is a member of the provincial legislature is appointed as a permanent delegate, that person ceases to be a member of the legislature."
The sittings of provincial legislatures would be followed by the first sitting of the NCOP provisionally scheduled for May 23, when Mogoeng would preside over the swearing in of the permanent delegates and election of the council’s chairperson, who would preside over election of the deputy chairperson, House Chairpersons and the chief whip.
Mothapo said the president-elect was expected to deliver the State of the Nation Address to a joint sitting of the sixth democratic Parliament in June.