As some of the chairs in the House of Assembly were vacated by previous occupants and filled by others yesterday, it appeared as though President Cyril Ramaphosa had kept his promise to act against the peddlers of graft within the ANC.
But it was the organisation’s integrity committee that made it easy for him to sideline those with corruption allegations hanging over their heads.
Deputy President David Mabuza, former speaker Baleka Mbete, and former ministers Malusi Gigaba and Nomvula Mokonyane are not coming to parliament, or into the Cabinet. Both former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini and her mineral resources counterpart, Mosebenzi Zwane, are facing life in the parliamentary back benches.
Although they were sworn in as ANC MPs yesterday by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, Dlamini and Zwane had been ruled out of Ramaphosa’s new Cabinet.
An ANC source close to the situation confirmed that Mbete, as former speaker and former deputy president, couldn’t take a lower parliamentary position, or even a Cabinet post, due to her seniority.
“Baleka has reached a ceiling. Therefore, if she opted for any lower position, she risks losing her privileges and perks as former deputy president. Her experience would be better used at Luthuli House [the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg], where she will also oversee the archives of the party,” the source said.
Although Mokonyane was initially nominated for the position of chair of chairs in parliament to succeed Cedrick Frolick, she had to withdraw. Mokonyane was not sworn in yesterday and, according to the source, also headed for Luthuli House, which had become a dumping ground for members whose fate has yet to be decided.
“As for Gigaba, he decided he must stay out to deal with the outcome of the commissions and to clear his name. Malusi is out, he won’t be redeployed at all,” the source said.
A replacement has to be found for Mabuza, who decided not to take up the deputy position until his name has been cleared after the ANC integrity commission asked all those facing allegations of corruption and other shenanigans to step aside.
Due to a demand by the ANC Women’s League for women to be elevated to higher positions in government, Ramaphosa was eyeing Lindiwe Sisulu, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Naledi Pandor as deputy options.
Another ANC source, who wanted to remain anonymous, said both former ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu and Mathole Motshekga may be new appointees in the Cabinet. They would hold the communications, and justice, constitutional and correctional services portfolios, respectively.
DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi said it was good that Mabuza, Mbete, Mokonyane, alongside Dlamini and Zwane, were not going to be part of the new Cabinet.
“This is good riddance, these people were corrupt.”