#CyrilRamaphosa under pressure to appoint untainted cabinet
Politics / 13 May 2019, 07:35am / LOYISO SIDIMBA, BALDWIN NDABA AND SIVIWE FEKETHA
Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa is under pressure to drop ministers implicated in wrongdoing when he assembles his new, trimmed-down cabinet.
On Sunday, the governing party’s alliance partner, Cosatu, and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation were among organisations that called on him to drop rogue ministers, some of whom were also outed by the ANC’s integrity committee.
This comes after it emerged that groupings in the ANC were embroiled in a debate over the deputy presidency of the country, with indications that Deputy President David Mabuza was no longer guaranteed his position.
Former AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu have been touted to replace Mabuza.
The president is expected to announce his new cabinet after his inauguration on May 25. Today, the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) were expected to meet to decide on the premiers of the eight provinces that the party will be governing.
Cosatu expected to be consulted by Ramaphosa before announcing his cabinet. Spokesperson Sizwe Pamla told Independent Media that the labour federation's last central executive committee meeting at the end of February was clear about the requirement for meaningful consultation.
Pamla said Cosatu had warned its ally against being legalistic about its senior leaders implicated in wrongdoing by stating they have not been found guilty by courts of law.
Several senior ANC leaders have been implicated in corruption and in evidence before the Zondo inquiry into state capture, including NEC members Nomvula Mokonyane, Nathi Mthethwa, Thabang Makwetla and secretary-general Ace Magashule.
Cosatu’s secretariat was scheduled to meet today to discuss the elections and the cabinet appointments.
Pamla said the federation could call its political commission, which included its affiliates’ sharpest political minds, to discuss the new cabinet and also extend it to include at least one national office-bearer from each affiliate.
According to Pamla, Cosatu would demand reasons for recycling long-serving ministers such as Jeff Radebe, who has been in the cabinet since 1994; former SA Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni; Dlamini Zuma; and Aaron Motsoaledi, who has been health minister since 2009.
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has urged Ramaphosa not to appoint any of the ANC officials and members linked to state capture and corruption.
Its executive director Neeshan Balton said they hoped he would appoint a “streamlined, competent and capable cabinet, devoid of disgraced politicians".
Balton said the same yardstick of ethical conduct and efficiency should apply to the appointment of premiers and MECs in provinces.
“The reduced political support for the ANC in this election is a clear indication that our people want politicians who are honest servant leaders, and who put the public interest nationally and provincially above that of the party,” he said.
Balton emphasised that what this election had shown was that South Africans were no longer willing to give political leaders and parties a blank slate to do as they wish.
Acting ANC spokesperson Dakota Legoete said Ramaphosa would announce his cabinet on May 26, a day after his inauguration.
Addressing the party’s “thank you” rally outside the party's Luthuli House headquarters in Joburg, Ramaphosa indicated his intention to remove tainted ministers.
He said South Africans had, through the elections, sent a clear message that they wanted an ANC that was responsive, humble and led by servant leadership who were competent, and not corrupt or arrogant.
“Through this election our people were saying they want an ANC that is going to run government properly.
"With this election they were saying state capture must be history. We must never ever go back to state capture. The things we hear about at the Zondo Commission must be things of the past,” Ramaphosa added.
He assured that he would “separate the wheat from the chaff” when making appointments.
“Once the appointment of the cabinet is done, you will see the ANC. It is going to grow. That will mean the ANC has begun working,” Ramaphosa said.
“We are going to appoint men and women who would have dedicated themselves, without fail, to work for the interest of our people. We are going to appoint men and women who are capable and who have great capability, who are visionaries and forward-looking. Men and women who know their story.”