Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom told Fin24 in an interview that former president Nelson Mandela would have been “disappointed” by corruption in South Africa but “happy that we are now dealing with corruption”.
He also said that he felt Madiba would have been “alarmed by the hate speech and polarisation” taking place in the country today, and by rampant materialism.
“Madiba would have appealed to the people of SA to stop being greedy and stop chasing money. He would have asked professional people – including in the private sector – to dedicate time to contribute to the country. He would have appealed for integrity and ethics,” Hanekom continued.
“He would have wanted us to focus our minds on the huge social problems in the country, to deal with the developmental challenges and make a massive effort to deal with poverty.”
Hanekom has been a vocal critic of former president Jacob Zuma, leading a motion of no confidence against the former president at an NEC meeting in 2016.
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The motion was defeated in the NEC and later, Zuma narrowly won a no-confidence vote in parliament, when it was clear members of his own party had voted in secret against him.
In 2018, Hanekom denied reports that he was preparing a second internal ANC motion of no confidence against Zuma.
Hanekom was the minister of tourism under Zuma, but was axed from the former president’s cabinet in April 2017.
He said that at the time he was not informed personally by Zuma, and saw a press release with the new minister’s name under his post. He remained an MP despite his vocal criticism of Zuma and was reappointed as minister of tourism under President Cyril Ramaphosa.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman. Background reporting, Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni and Bernice Maune)