Pressure is mounting on Ramaphosa to drop ministers implicated in wrongdoing with Cosatu saying it wants him to consult with the trade union before he puts pen to paper on the names of the Cabinet appointments.
The president is expected to announce his Cabinet after his inauguration on May 25. Today the ANC national executive committee is meeting to discuss who will be the premiers of the eight provinces the party is governing.
Several senior ANC leaders have been implicated in corruption and in evidence before the commission of inquiry into state capture, including national executive committee members Nomvula Mokonyane, Nathi Mthethwa, Thabang Makwetla and secretary-general Ace Magashule (although he is not on the list to Parliament).
Addressing the party’s “thank you” rally outside the organisation’s headquarters in Joburg yesterday, Ramaphosa indicated his intention to remove tainted ministers once he is officially inaugurated, saying he would “separate the wheat from the chaff” when making appointments.
Ahmed Kathrada Foundation’s executive director Neeshan Balton made the call for an untainted Cabinet after the ANC’s election victory.
Balton said the Kathrada Foundation hopes Ramaphosa would appoint a “streamlined, competent and capable Cabinet, devoid of disgraced politicians linked to state capture and corruption”.
He said the credibility of Parliament was severely compromised by the state capture project. He 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 people want politicians who are honest servant leaders, who put the public interest nationally and provincially above that of the party,” he said.
“Civil society must continue engaging government critically. It must support measures against corruption and hold government accountable where there are discernible failures or administrative excesses. Citizens should now become the vanguard of our democracy,” stressed Balton.
“It is critical that the new government takes urgent steps to stabilise the economy, secure investor confidence, create jobs, restores public faith in state institutions and entrenches the principles of non-racialism,” Balton emphasised.
Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the federation’s last central executive committee (CEC) meeting at the end of February was clear about the requirement for meaningful consultation. He said Cosatu has warned its ally against being legalistic about its senior leaders implicated in wrongdoing, corruption and state capture by saying they have not been found guilty by courts of law. ”If you say you are a leader of society, you can’t be legalistic about these matters. You must consider ethics and morality,” he said.
Cosatu’s secretariat is scheduled to meet today to discuss the elections and the looming Cabinet appointments.