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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

New speaker thanks DA, IFP for backing her election

ANC, DA, and IFP seal a historic political alliance with Thoko Didiza's election as National Assembly Speaker.

There is no turning back in the new agreement between the ANC, Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) after the opposition parties voted together to elect Thoko Didiza as the new National Assembly Speaker.

This made it a given that President Cyril Ramaphosa and the DA’s Dr Annelie Lotriet would be elected similarly as president and deputy speaker respectively through the unprecedented co-operation of the three parties.

WATCH: ANC’s Thoko Didiza elected Speaker of the National Assembly

The three agreed to co-operated throughout, including supporting one another in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, where the ANC lost its majority.

Working together

In the past, the DA opposed ANC nominees, including the presidential candidate, and instead fielded its own candidate to contest him – but not since the three parties decided to co-operate as part of the government of national unity (GNU).

This is the outcome of a deal made by the ANC, DA and the IFP to co-operate towards establishing GNU.

Not since 1994, had the ANC and the DA worked together to achieve the same objective as they did in the quest to establish the envisaged new government.

During a sitting of the National Assembly held at the Cape Town yesterday, and chaired by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Didiza defeated the Economic Freedom Fighters’ Veronica Mente who contested her after being nominated by African Transformation Movement leader Vuyolwethu Zungula.

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Didiza knew she was elected with the backing of the DA and the IFP, as she thanked those parties that might have participated in her election during her acceptance speech.

Immediately after being elected, Didiza took over from Zondo, who chaired the swearing-in of some of the members of 400-member Assembly.

The 58 MPs of the uMkhonto weSizwe party boycotted the sitting. The GNU process will culminate in a national indaba to be attended by all parties, experts and civil society bodies.

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