Members of the National Assembly gathered in parliament to bid farewell to the first woman Serjeant-at-Arms, Regina Mohlomi, who will retire at the end of 2019.
Mohlomi served eight years in this position, which included being the official guardian of the mace, a decorated rod which is the Speaker of the National Assembly’s symbol of authority.
“She was also responsible for maintaining the attendance register of members in the House and order in the House,” parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said in a statement on Thursday.
Members of the National Assembly took turns to laud Mohlomi.
House chairperson Mmatlala Boroto, who was first in line, said: “The responsibility to carry the mace required a South African who understood and appreciated the symbols of our statehood.
“The responsibility required one with the utmost regard for the authority of the House, while protecting and promoting its decorum,” she added.
Boroto hailed Mohlomi for not only embodying the values and ideals represented by the House, but for living it and continuing to demonstrate them in her words and deeds.
The EFF remembered Mohlomi for the first day it was evicted from the House.
“You approached us gently and calmly asked us to leave. You treated us with kindness and handled us with professionalism,” EFF member Nazier Paulsen said.
Meanwhile, the IFP’s Narend Singh wished her well, noting she had managed to change hearts and minds and “history will remember that”.
The UDM’s Nqabayomzi Nkwankwa commended her for being able to show younger women that this job could be done.
The ACDP’s Steven Swart described Mohlomi as “a royal queen like her name means in Latin”.
Mohlomi joined parliament in 1996 after teaching English and commerce subjects at Khanya Lesedi High School in Ratanda, Ekurhuleni.
“Before joining the National Assembly table in 2003, she worked in the human resources department, was a shop steward and also chairperson of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union branch in parliament,” Mothapo said.
Mohlomi’s retirement will come into effect in January 2020.