||The examples and perspective in this article may not include all significant viewpoints. (December 2013)|
||This article lends undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies. (December 2013)|
|Speaker of the National Assembly|
21 May 2014
|Preceded by||Max Sisulu|
23 April 2004 – 25 September 2008
|Preceded by||Frene Ginwala|
|Succeeded by||Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde|
|Deputy President of South Africa|
25 September 2008 – 9 May 2009
|Preceded by||Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka|
|Succeeded by||Kgalema Motlanthe|
|Born||24 September 1949
Transvaal, South Africa
|Political party||African National Congress|
Baleka Mbete (born 24 September 1949), also known as Baleka Mbete-Kgositsile, is a South African politician who has been Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa since 21 May 2014. Previously she was Speaker of the National Assembly from 2004 to 2008 and Deputy President of South Africa from 2008 to 2009 under Kgalema Motlanthe.
She was elected National Chairperson of the ANC in 2007 and reelected in 2012.
In 2007 Mbete became the ANC's national chairperson.
Mbete is a shareholder in Dyambu Holdings which is involved in building the massive Gautrain public transport project in the province Gauteng. Dyambu Holdings is reported to have had links with murdered magnate Brett Kebble.
In April 1997, Mbete was found to have received an improperly issued driver's license but not charged with any wrongdoing. This after investigators uncover widespread corruption in Mpumalanga regional driving license testing centers, where licenses are being issued in exchange for bribes. Mbete said that she had been "too busy" to stand in queues.
In 2007, Mbete suspended DA member Mike Waters after he attempted to ask what was being done about the Manto Tshabalala-Msimang scandal. Waters had asked about a reported conviction for theft of the Minister of Health, while the latter had been a nurse in Botswana.
Mbete was one of more than 200 South African parliamentarians found to have misused subsidised travel privileges in the Travelgate scandal. She is reported to have paid back all moneys due in the liquidation of the travel agency formerly providing services to parliament.
In 2006, Mbete chartered a jet at a cost of R471 900 (around US$60 000) to fly to Liberia for the inauguration of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as president. The only other passenger on the plane was a member of her staff. Then president Thabo Mbeki and foreign minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma also travelled to the inauguration – Mbeki in his private plane and Dlamini-Zuma by commercial flight.
She has been a staunch supporter of Tony Yengeni, a former ANC Chief Whip in parliament, who was convicted of defrauding parliament in 2004, even accompanying Yengeni to Pollsmoor Prison when he reported to serve his sentence.
She is currently[when?] being investigated for bribery, investigators from the securities exchange in the United States believe that the R25 million stake she received from the granting of a licence to Goldfields mining company constituted a bribe.
Before 22 September, Mbete was speculated to succeed Mbeki as President, which would have made her the first female head of state in South Africa's history; however, the ANC announced that Kgalema Motlanthe, the Deputy President of the ANC, would assume that position. On 23 September, Mbete was announced by the SABC to be the most likely candidate for Deputy President of South Africa following Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka's resignation from the position, even though other reports had stated that Lindiwe Sisulu would assume that position.
On 25 September 2008, she was appointed by Motlanthe as Deputy President. On 10 May 2009 she was replaced as Deputy President by incoming President Jacob Zuma, who elected to appoint Motlanthe as his deputy.
Speaker of the National Assembly
On 20 May 2014, Mbete was nominated for the position of Speaker of the National Assembly for a second time. She was elected unanimously on 21 May, beating her rival DA candidate and former Eastern Cape Premier Nosimo Balindlela. On 10 September 2014, five opposition parties, including the Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters, stated that they planned to submit a motion of no confidence in Mbete, and claimed that she could not simultaneously serve as chairwoman of the ANC and as Speaker of the National Assembly. A debate held in Parliament on 16 September resulted in the motion being rejected by 234 votes to none. This was a result of opposition parties collectively walking out of the house after the ANC tried to change the vote into one of confidence in Mbete instead.
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|Deputy President of South Africa
|Speaker of the National Assembly