Johannesburg - Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has joined calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint into his new Cabinet ethical leaders who will not betray South Africans.
Mogoeng on Wednesday received the final list of the 400 members of Parliament who are going to the National Assembly, handed to him by the Electoral Commission of SA following the general elections.
Pressure mounted on Ramaphosa to drop ANC leaders who are implicated in wrongdoing, including state capture, from his Cabinet.
The ANC Veterans, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference recently added their voice to calls for Ramaphosa not to appoint tainted ministers.
Some of those (tainted) leaders feature prominently on the ANC list of candidates to the National Assembly who will be sworn in by Mogoeng next Wednesday.
Mogoeng said he had been asked if he was not ashamed to be administering an oath to some of the MPs who had questionable characters.
“It is a very difficult question and I can only hope none of those to whom an oath of office will be administered will see that exercise as just one of those inconvenient processes one has to go through, itching to occupy public office, rather than determine to internalise the magnitude and enormity of the responsibility that she or he is publicly declaring to discharge,” Mogoeng said.
He said the country now needed a Parliament that held the executive accountable, something he said had failed previously.
“We also need an executive at all levels that carry out its constitutional and statutory responsibilities. We need institutions designed to strengthen our constitutional democracy that are neither threatened by the executive, Parliament or anybody,” he said.
Mogoeng said there remained consequences for those who espoused ethical leadership within the state.
“There are consequences for seeking to do it only in terms of the Constitution and the law. The challenge to all of us is to stop kowtowing to corrupt leadership wherever it is to be found,” he said.
Speaking on Wednesday at the Goldman Sachs investor conference in Joburg, Ramaphosa said he would be selective in who he appoints into his new Cabinet which he said he will trim first.
“What we are going to do is to come out with an institutional framework that is going to serve our country best, our economy well and ensure that we focus on economic growth. The key problem that we face as the country is low economic growth. The structure that we are going to have will speak to that,” he said.
Ramaphosa once again committed to his promise that he would appoint a cabinet that dd not include “rogue” members. “We will be seeking to get men and women who have great competency and capability to serve the needs of South Africa and ensure that the economy grows,” Ramaphosa said.
Mogoeng said land reform and economic transformation had to be urgently addressed.
“Political freedom, or political justice, we have, but what else? It is of cardinal importance that the unresolved issues that constitute an integral part of those injustices of the past that we must recognise at all times receive urgent attention.
“The challenges of this country have never been more pronounced and I can only plead with all those who are going to assume the responsibility as members of Parliament and provincial legislatures and those who are going to be members of the executive to never forget what we all undertake,” Mogoeng said.
* For the full candidates list, go to https://www.elections.org.za/ ieconline/2019-Candidate-Lists.