Ministers who seved under former president Jacob Zuma and were subsequently cut from Cabinet by President Cyril Ramaphosa after he first assumed office in 2018 have made it onto the ruling African National Congress’s preferred list of candidates to chair parliament’s all-important oversight committees.
Speaking following a meeting of the ANC in parliament, party secretary-general Ace Magashule named a list of MPs, some of whom were implicated in the state capture inquiry, as nominees for chairpersons of portfolio, select and standing committees in parliament.
Former communications minister Faith Muthambi was confirmed as the chairperson designate for the portfolio committee on cooperative governance and traditional affairs, while Mosebenzi Zwane, former mineral resources minister, will chair the transport portfolio committee.
Former energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson also makes a comeback in a senior position. She is set to chair the police portfolio committee.
Over the weekend, a report in the Sunday Times detailed how Ace Magashule allegedly travelled to Cape Town last Wednesday, and planned to announce new appointments to chair parliament’s portfolio committees the following day – despite this not being cleared by national leadership.
Magashule reportedly attempted to “capture parliament” through a caucus meeting while Ramaphosa and key cabinet members were attending a lekgotla in Pretoria.
The agenda of the caucus meeting included “deployment to portfolio committees and whippery”.
When Ramaphosa found out, he put the breaks on Magashule’s plans, sources told the publication.
The meeting was cancelled and the matter was set to be finalised at a special NEC meeting in Cape Town on Tuesday. It seems that Magashule has now succeeded in getting some of his proposed appointees approved.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman. Background reporting, African News Agency)