The ANC’s “usual suspects” are unlikely to find places in President Cyril Ramphosa’s trimmed-down Cabinet, according to a senior ANC source.
The source told Saturday Citizen that although the objectionable members such as Malusi Gigaba, Nomvula Mokonyane, Bathabile Dlamini, Mosebenzi Zwane and Faith Muthambi were enlisted as MPs and would be sworn in on Tuesday, he doubted if Gigaba and Mokonyane would make the cut.
“There is no criminal misconduct they had been charged with, but if Cyril decides to appoint any of these comrades into his Cabinet, he will be inviting trouble.
“You can’t say you don’t want corruption and still appoint these people into the executive.”
According to the ANC member, Ramaphosa planned to cut at least 10 ministerial portfolios.
“Most of those not returning are those facing serious allegations linked to state capture, corruption and unethical conduct.”
One of those who made a surprise comeback to prominence was Gigaba who, despite his many faults, fits all the characteristics of a young person who could climb the ANC political ladder. Those faults could hold him back from attaining the senior position of president of the ANC and state, his detractors believe.
But faulty leaders thrive in the faulty governing ANC, says political analyst Zamikhaya Maseti.
During his time as ANC Youth League president, Gigaba, along with Fikile Mbalula and his predecessor Julius Malema – all former youth league presidents in that order – were once touted as future ANC presidents.
Malema was fired, while Gigaba and Mbalula remained.
Unlike the others, though, Gigaba had hallmarks of a statesman – courteous manners, well-tailored official suits, serious-looking spectacles and political articulation.
The 47-year-old previously held Cabinet portfolios of home affairs, public enterprises and finance. But his good side was overshadowed by his involvement with the controversial Gupta family, being a lackey of president Jacob Zuma and regular unethical behaviour.
Last year, a court found that Gigaba lied about a Fireblade terminal issue at OR Tambo International Airport.
Also in the last year, he said he was stepping aside for the sake of South Africa and the ANC. He claimed he wanted “to relieve the president from undue pressure to enable him to focus on improving the lives and to save the country from ‘this economic meltdown’”.
Maseti said: “In the ANC, even a donkey can be a president, they don’t look at the individual’s readiness and his leadership skills as was the case during the eras of Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.”