Former public protector Thuli Madonsela has lashed out at the appointment of Bathabile Dlamini as minister of women – a move by President Cyril Ramaphosa which, she says, does nothing for women.
Madonsela told Saturday Citizen she was “shocked and disappointed” upon hearing that Dlamini was retained by Ramaphosa during his Cabinet reshuffle this week. She was moved from social development.
“With Ms Dlamini … of all of the people that have been appointed, she is the only one that I say no to,” Madonsela said.
“I say no to her for two reasons: I was one of the people that campaigned tirelessly for the women’s ministry. I was tasked with drafting the framework for its operations. And just based on the things she says, fails to say and the way she ran social development, she is not competent. She is not suitable for this post.”
Dlamini was recently the face behind the non-payment of social grants due to contract issues with the pay provider.
As ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) president, she is also known to have defended the actions of former deputy higher education minister Mduduzi Manana, who had assaulted two women in a nightclub, and she is known to be one of former president Jacob Zuma’s strongest supporters.
This therefore gave the impression that Ramaphosa did not consider the women’s ministry “as important”, Madonsela said.
“If it was important or strategic [to him], it [the portfolio] would have been given to a person with a demonstrable history of competence, and one who chooses gender equality above party and personal allegiances. Ms Dlamini was the one who crucified me every day for things that had nothing to do with her portfolio, but she chose to do so,” Madonsela said.
“But it’s not personal for me … it’s just that she really has not done much. I don’t think she has the competency to run that ministry,” said Madonsela.
Dlamini’s agenda was apparent by the number of ANCWL press statements released in a year in defence of the “Guptas and the Zuma-Gupta aligned businesses”, Madonsela said.
On a question about Dlamini’s integrity in accepting the portfolio, Madonsela added that in South Africa “We don’t have a culture of self-censorship and ethically saying ‘I judge myself’.”
“I don’t believe she has the skills. I don’t believe she has the right values. I don’t believe she has the right track record,” Madonsela said.
Attempts by The Citizen to contact Dlamini for comment yesterday were unsuccessful.