Has this country’s government become so morally bankrupt that it is trawling Saxonwold shebeens for discredited former executives to fast-track into parliament to fill a potential Cabinet role?
It is a question all loyal South Africans should be asking after hearing Brian Molefe, who resigned as CEO of Eskom last year after being implicated in the public protector’s State of Capture report, is to be sworn in as a ANC member of parliament on Wednesday.
It is the day, ironically, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is due to deliver his budget speech to the House of Assembly.
The party, which made the announcement on Friday, has congratulated Molefe – who had served as a deputy director-general at the National Treasury and is widely tipped to be a strong contender for the position of finance minister should Gordhan be ousted – calling him a hard-working comrade with unquestionable credentials.
The ANC MP reported to be the loser in this potential debacle is Abram Mudau, who was allegedly pushed to resign by the party to allow Molefe to be his replacement.
And despite the ANC’s insistence that Molefe is a card-carrying member of the party’s Haartbeespoort branch, the words of Christina Mululu, the secretary of the Madibeng Ward 29 branch of the ANC, ring out a clarion signal that all is not entirely above board: “We don’t know him,” she said.
“He has never come to a meeting. We did not nominate him for parliament.”
There have been persistent indications from within the ANC’s powerful ruling elite that they would like to see Gordhan permanently sidelined and another face in his Cabinet seat.
Nowhere was this clearer than when three criminal charges – later withdrawn – were laid against Gordhan by the National Prosecuting Authority. Gordhan has remained publicly unfazed by the unfolding saga, yet he cannot remain untouched by the cynicism of his own party