Ramaphosa delays announcing Cabinet as more MPs appear before integrity committee
Johannesburg - All eyes are on President Cyril Ramaphosa this week as he is expected to announce his new Cabinet following his inauguration on Saturday.
The eagerly-awaited Cabinet announcement comes after the president undertook to exclude ANC leaders who were entangled in allegations of wrongdoing.
On Friday, ANC deputy president David Mabuza and the party’s national chairperson Gwede Mantashe appeared before the governing party’s integrity commission, which flagged them as being among problematic names on the its list of candidates for Parliament and the provincial legislatures.
On Wednesday, Mabuza had declined to be sworn in as a member of the National Assembly, indicating that he wanted to clear his name with the commission, a move which triggered speculation over who would be chosen by Ramaphosa to replace him.
Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor have been touted as the likely contenders for Mabuza’s post in the Union Buildings if he doesn’t take the position.
On Sunday, several other ANC MPs were scheduled to appear before the commission to answer allegations against them.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said the national executive committee (NEC), which was due to meet at the weekend, would look at the committee’s report and decide on the members.
“The members who have been flagged by the commission who have been called to appear before it will now be able to present their version on the allegations against them.
“The NEC will look at the recommendations of the integrity commission and then make a final decision,” Mabe added.
He said the party’s top brass, who had been flagged, had not had an opportunity to state their case.
“Now they will have explained themselves, and the NEC will be in a better position to make a determination in terms of the recommendations of the integrity commission,” he said.
Some of the flagged members, including Mantashe and ANC head of presidency Zizi Kodwa, had been poised for posts in Ramaphosa’s trimmed Cabinet.
It remained unclear whether Ramaphosa would also include some of the party’s powerful leaders who have been implicated in wrongdoing, including the ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini, who also served as minister of women in the Presidency in the outgoing Cabinet.
Ramaphosa was expected to announce his new Cabinet today, but his spokesperson Khusela Diko said the president was likely to reveal his national executive later in the week.
“President Ramaphosa is emphatic that the new executive must possess requisite skills, experience, representivity and a commitment to the public services that will take the work of the sixth administration forward,” Diko said in a statement.
An ANC NEC member, who spoke to Independent Media, said part of Ramaphosa’s decision to delay his Cabinet announcement was because he was awaiting the recommendations of the integrity commission.
Ramaphosa was also set to face a tough task of deciding whether to drop or reappoint Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, who was viewed as one of his key allies.
Gordhan was found guilty of improper conduct by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane over his 2010 approval of former SA Revenue Service deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay’s early retirement and payout.
However, he has indicated his intention to take the public protector’s report on judicial review.