President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS.
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS.

Analyst: Image, reputation must be considered in Ramaphosa Cabinet selection

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published May 21, 2019

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Speculation has continued to grow ahead of the first sitting of Parliament and about who President Cyril Ramaphosa will pick to join his new Cabinet.

A number of South Africans have expressed disappointment that some of the ANC’s most controversial figures, Nomvula Mokonyane and Bathabile Dlamini, will make it back to Parliament as MPs.

Mokonyane has been appointed by the ANC NEC in a powerful position to head up Parliament’s committees.

Some South Africans have expressed their hope that Ramaphosa will make the “right” picks for his Cabinet.

Ramaphosa will be sworn in as president on Saturday and traditionally he will likely announce his cabinet after the ceremony.

Political analyst Mcebisi Ndletyana, from the University of Johannesburg, said Ramaphosa has a tough decision to make ahead of his inauguration on May 25.

Who he picks will determine whether he stays true to his election promises of growing the economy and cleaning house on corruption, Ndletyana said.

“His team will be determined by the kind of things that he has to do. The elections have added a sort of urgency, not only these elections but also the 2016 elections. There is a sense that there is a crisis and they have to change things and dramatic changes. Not only to stem the decline of the national support,” Ndletyana said.

“Hard workers, people who will cut through the bureaucracy and people who will have independence and be able to support him. Those are the main characteristics that determine the kind of personalities that you bring on board. The others would be gender representations,” said Ndletyana.

Controversial figures such as Dlamini should not be picked as the image and reputation matter, Ndletyana said. Ethical considerations were paramount.

“All the good performers in the current Cabinet, but the bad performers are definitely out. You do not only have consideration for hard work but also for image and reputation because his Presidency is premised on two things the improvement of the economy and ethics. So all those who are unethical and incompetent are out.

“On the ethical side, everyone who has been fingered in corruption, Bathabile Dlamini, Nomvula Mokonyane and Faith Muthambi and Malusi Gigaba should not go back,” he said.

Dlamini’s position has been seen as very powerful as the president of the ANC Women's League which places her in a position where she may be picked to take over a Cabinet post. But there is also a possibility that another ANC Women's League leader could be picked instead of Dlamini.

“The ANC image has got to be prioritised and there cannot be a special dispensation for the ANC Women’s League president. The ANC Women’s league can deliberate amongst themselves on who should be considered, but certainly not her,” said Ndletyana.

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