Compromise is necessary in politics. But that does not mean every compromise is acceptable or necessary.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has made too many compromises in his first Cabinet reshuffle.
Opposition parties should be grateful. The combination of last week’s budget and Monday night’s Cabinet reshuffle will damage the ANC’s 2019 electoral prospects.
But what is good for opposition parties is not necessarily good for the country in the short term.
Of course, if we can get rid of the criminal-friendly, criminal-infested ANC, that will be a boon.
Pushing up VAT to pay for nine years of Zupta misrule is one thing. To saddle us with another compromised Cabinet is too much.
Dodgy appointments include David Mabuza, Malusi Gigaba, Bheki Cele, Bathabile Dlamini, Nomvula Mokonyane, Thulas Nxesi, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Their flaws have been publicised often, including in this column.
How can Ramaphosa possibly be serious about fighting corruption without fear or favour when he has Mabuza as deputy? Fear and favour swayed Ramaphosa’s decision-making.
As premier of Mpumalanga, Mabuza has ruled through terror and intimidation. He has been linked to political killings. Further allegations include tender fraud and the mysterious theft of R14 million from his farm.
Gigaba was the chief enabler within Cabinet for the Zupta criminal enterprise. At home affairs he bent over backwards to help the Guptas and their flunkies with documentation. When he was in charge of public enterprises, the boards of state-owned enterprises were rearranged to favour the Guptas.
Cele was removed as national commissioner in 2012, after being suspended over questionable leases for police buildings. In addition, many regarded his comments on tough policing as reckless. A hat maker’s delight, he is also a figure of ridicule. But for him to come back as minister of police is no joke.
Dlamini’s performance in the social grants fiasco should have been enough to remove her from Cabinet. It is small comfort that if Ramaphosa does eventually reduce the size of his Cabinet, Dlamini’s position should be one of the first casualties.
Mokonyane leaves a trail of financial mismanagement and incompetence at water affairs. By delaying the implementation of phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, she may have imperilled Gauteng’s long-term water supply.
Nxesi is accused of trying to cover up for former president Jacob Zuma in the Nkandla scandal. His attempt to keep a task team report “top secret” was thwarted by the Western Cape High Court in 2014.
Nkoana-Mashabane’s achievements include allowing violent criminal Grace Mugabe to leave SA under the cloak of fake diplomatic immunity. She also embarrassed this nation in a bizarre TV interview.
Dlamini-Zuma compromised herself in last year’s election campaign by being a willing front for the Zupta project, with the discredited, dishonest Carl Niehaus at her side.
Give and take is the essence of political compromise.
Ramaphosa has given too much.