Finally, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is officially an African National Congress MP again.
The ANC presidential hopeful was sworn in as an MP around 12:00 behind the closed doors of Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli.
Dlamini was sworn in along with North West politician Matthew Wolmarans, who was acquitted for masterminding the killing of Rustenburg councillor Moss Phakoe.
Her swearing-in comes amid speculation that it will be used as a springboard to propel her to a Cabinet position.
Before she left the building, Democratic Alliance released a statement, slamming her appointment.
“The ANC’s decision to deploy President Jacob Zuma’s preferred successor, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to Parliament does not bode well for the effective functioning of the Legislature,” said DA chief whip John Steenhuisen.
“It is no secret that Zuma is seeking to re-assert his influence over the ANC caucus at Parliament after dozens of his MPs voted in support of the 8 August motion of no confidence in him.”
Steenhuisen also sees the move as a precursor to a Cabinet reshuffle.
“Those members of Zuma’s Cabinet who were outspoken in the run-up to the vote, and those who belong to the rebellious SACP, are certain to be in the firing line,” he said.
“Dlamini-Zuma’s elevation to MP and likely Cabinet minister seems to be a carefully orchestrated move to buttress her presidential campaign. It amounts to nothing less than state resources being used to support a candidate for the ANC presidency.”
Parliament released a statement confirming Dlamini-Zuma’s swearing-in, together with that of Mathews Wolmarans.
Dlamini-Zuma replaces Pule Mabe, who resigned, and Wolmarans replaces the controversial Brian Molefe, who resigned after a short stint as MP to go back to Eskom as CEO, but this move was also short-lived.
“As it is common practice in Parliament, the new MPs will immediately undergo an induction programme and be provided with all necessary tools of the trade to assist them with carrying out their parliamentary duties without delay,” said Parliament’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo in the statement.