Zuma-era ministers elected to chair portfolio committees
Parliament - Parliament's portfolio committees on Tuesday elected a raft of Zuma-era ministers and MPs with perceived loyalties to the former president as chairperson.
Among these are former energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, who will head the portfolio committee on police, and former state security minister Bongani Bongo who was elected to chair the portfolio committee on Home Affairs.
Opposition MPs pledged to work with Joemat-Pettersonn, despite earlier raising grave concern about her nomination, but the Home Affairs committee took the better part of half an hour to elect Bongo after the Democratic Alliance (DA) fielded an alternative candidate in Angel Khanyile.
The standing committee on finance unanimously approved the nomination of former Zuma-era transport minister Joe Maswanganyi.
He said afterwards that he would steer through the policy turmoil on finance, in particular the debate ranging over the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank, by sticking to the provision of the constitution. There is pressure from within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to amend the mandate of the central bank, which in terms of the constitution has the task of protecting the local currency.
"We will be guided by the constitution. The people who serve on the committee are politicians, so there will always be robust debate. But we will play oversight in terms of the guiding sections of the constitution," he said.
Former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who has been implicated in the state capture scandal, was elected as the chairman of the portfolio committee on transport.
His nomination has been one of the most controversial as he stands accused of supporting the Gupta family's acquisition of the Optimum coal mine, which saw Tegeta, one of their firms, ink a contract with Eskom which contributed to the financial crippling of the power utility.
Former communications minister Faith Muthambi was elected chairwoman of the portfolio committee on co-operative governance and traditional affairs.
Muthambi's past record includes championing Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the former chief operations officer of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) who is widely seen as having run the broadcaster into the ground.
Muthambi rejected suggestions that the appointment of Zuma era ministers pointed to a backlash within the ANC to President Cyril Ramaphosa's political reform drive, telling reporters that as members of the ruling party they could not act against it.
African News Agency (ANA)