It’s time to ring the changes, and we might finally see some of South Africa’s most inept and immoral politicians get the chop.
For far too long some Zuma yes men and women were allowed to avoid any culpability for their under-performing departments, but you get the impression that’s all about to change.
During yesterday’s SONA debate, which continues later today, certain ministers were mentioned repeatedly. Using those recommendations, as well as a few ministers who have time and time again come up short performance-wise, Times LIVE have put forward seven names that Cyril must boot out the back door.
In case you’re unsure as to why, each comes with a brief description.
1. Public Services and Administration – Faith Muthambi
Ever the one to dispense of patronage, Muthambi apparently flew more than 30 relatives, friends and neighbours from back home to Cape Town to listen to her budget speech – although she will deny any wrongdoing.
She was one of the first ministers to be exposed as beholden to the Gupta family…She is said to have sent a series of e-mails containing confidential information about executive policy and the scope of her ministerial powers to Tony Gupta.
Then there is Multichoice’s larger than normal payments to the Gupta-owned news channel ANN7 that happened under her watch.
2. Finance – Malusi Gigaba
A known fence-sitter when it comes to ANC contests, Gigaba’s silence in the face of numerous allegations in connection with state capture leave us with only one conclusion…
Gigaba is yet to fully explain his decision to restructure board sub-committees and their powers at Transnet and Eskom, giving more powers on large procurement that coincidentally assisted in the capture of these organisations…
At Home Affairs, Gigaba’s adviser Thamsanqa Msomi was the Guptas’ fixer, personally organising visas for family and employees.
3. Public Enterprises – Lynne Brown
The minister of inaction, Brown’s disastrous handling of state-owned enterprises alone should see her removed from this portfolio. Eskom, South Africa’s biggest employer and also the biggest liability to the country with its R367-billion debt, is currently sitting on the brink as it cannot even raise the R20-billion liquidity buffer…
Parliament’s current hearings into state capture at Eskom have laid bare the extent to which the family ran the organisation and Brown, whose own office has links to gratification from the family through her DG and personal assistant, has simply ignored and failed to act…
4. Mineral Resources – Mosebenzi Zwane
Zwane’s association with the Gupta family dates back to his tenure as MEC for agriculture in the Free State where the Guptas were able to siphon off at least R30-million from a government project approved by Zwane’s office. Some of this money ended up paying for a wedding the family hosted back in 2013.
For his role in this Zwane was then “promoted” to cabinet as Mineral Resources minister and he immediately set about earning his keep by using his position to benefit the family’s mining interests.
5. Social Development – Bathabile Dlamini
The minister of Social Development stands accused of ignoring a Constitutional Court directive that her department cuts loose social grants payment company CPS because the contract was unlawful. Instead, Dlamini continued and meddled in operational issues at the South African Social Services Agency by appointing costly work streams – filled with her cronies – that did not deliver by value.
Dlamini vociferously fought attempts by the national Treasury to bring her department to book – even launching scathing verbal attacks on her then cabinet colleague Pravin Gordhan during cabinet sittings.
Probably my least favourite woman in South Africa, that Bathabile, who refuses to admit even a shred of culpability with regards her department’s bungling of its most important job.
6. Water Affairs – Nomvula Mokonyane
Another ardent fan of former president Jacob Zuma, Mokonyane will be remembered for her colourful defence of Zuma, famously saying ANC members and cabinet members will use their “buttocks” to defend him…
Mokonyane has not covered herself in glory at the department, and she was involved in protracted battle with the national Treasury.
7. State Security – Bongani Bongo
Zuma’s latest addition to the cabinet and perhaps the most worrying is Bongani Bongo, State Security minister.
Perhaps most damning against him, was him being fingered for allegedly offering a bribe, reportedly on behalf of disgraced former Eskom board chairperson Zethembe Khoza, to state capture enquiry evidence leader Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara.
Bongo was also recently caught up in a yet another scandal, this time for getting the state to foot a R7,000-a-night bill all because he did not want to adhere to water restrictions currently imposed at state houses.
Just another Zuma crony taking the piss.
It remains to be seen how Ramaphosa intends to shape his cabinet, but fans of Pravin Gordhan are hopeful. This from Huff Post:
according to senior ANC national executive committee (NEC) members, Gordhan is the frontrunner to be public enterprises minister as part of Ramaphosa’s plan to clean up state-owned enterprises.
This is reportedly because of his reputation as a technocrat who led the turnaround of the South African Revenue Service (Sars)…
Gordhan addressed a seminar held by Werksmans Attorneys on Monday. According to Business Day, he said, “I would actually retire if I can but … if there is another year’s service which I can offer… well, let’s see if I have any uses.”
Perhaps we should be using his experience to start equipping the next generation of honest, accountable government officials with the skills necessary to run a department.
That, and a good lecture on ethics, might turn a few ships around.
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