Editorial

Dear Readers


Most wanted list

A  leaked list of likely cabinet appointments in a now-it’s-on, now-it’s-off Cyril Ramaphosa presidency reveals only one thing for certain: there are slim pickings for clean cadres left in the ANC.

The list was published online by Donwald Pressly, long-time parliamentary correspondent, now editor of the online news publication The Cape Messenger, who claims to have compiled it from information leaked to him by senior sources within the ANC.  A cursory check reveals that many of the 36 people named are weighed down by a load of smelly baggage. It is only thanks to the intervention of other crooked cadres that they have not been banished from Parliament or prosecuted.

While Ramaphosa is no ANC darling (see "Cyril for hire" in this issue), his proposed deputy, David Mabuza, has led one of the most corrupt provinces in South Africa – Mpumalanga – which remains rife with politically motivated killings.

Enoch Godongwana should be allowed nowhere near Economic Development, where he has already served as deputy minister. He resigned from the same department in 2012 during an inquiry into the disappearance of R130m from the SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) – in which he was embroiled. He offered a measly R1.3m in compensation.

Appointing David Mahlobo, who is being touted as Minister of Environmental Affairs, is akin to putting a lion in charge of a zebra enclosure. While State Security minister he was directly mentioned as a “friend” by Chinese rhino-horn smuggler Guan Jiang Guang during an Al Jazeera news investigation. Mahlobo claimed he only went for “pedicures” at Guang’s brothel in Mbombela. And then, somehow the country’s security services never got around to questioning the Chinese businessman, allowing him plenty of time to slip out of the country.

The Health Department under Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has witnessed two of the most shocking medical disasters in South African history – the Life Esidimeni crisis that killed 143 mentally handicapped patients, and the collapse of KZN’s oncology departments, leading to the untimely death of hundreds of cancer patients unable to afford treatment elsewhere. Both were the result of gross mismanagement and corruption.

Malusi Gigaba may look the part, but his last foray at Home Affairs crippled the South African tourism industry by introducing bizarre and restrictive visa regulations for foreign visitors.

Thandi Modise cannot manage her staff on her own farm, let alone the Department of Labour. Ebrahim Rasool – accused of paying journalists to write favourably about him when he was Western Cape Premier – is touted for Mineral Resources, a seat currently being kept warm by Mosebenzi Zwane (known for his mystery trips to Dubai).

For the Police ministry, Pressly names Jeff Radebe – the man who cannot control his own member when texting young women, let alone an entire police service.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is maybe a shoo-in for Social Development. This is not surprising as social grants provider Cash Paymaster was rumoured to be paying for Dlamini-Zuma’s presidential-bid campaign. Keeping them in business would be a top priority for the Zuma faction.

Fikile Mbalula might be moved back to Sport and Recreation where he will need to properly understand what it means to “crush a man’s balls”. One need only recall his penchant for divisiveness, name-calling and racial slurs and the fact that he was a direct beneficiary of Brett Kebble’s stolen largesse, to know that he should be kept as far away from government as possible.

The last time Bheki Cele got near security services was when he was the National Commissioner of Police. But he was fired after he signed an illegal R500m property rental deal with ANC backer Roux Shabangu. Giving him access to the State Security Agency’s slush funds is simply not prudent thinking.

But when you’re the newly elected head of a criminal syndicate, those are all you have to choose from.

The Assistant Editor
 

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