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Ramaphosa's new cabinet will serve the ANC, not South Africa: Maimane

Feb 27, 2018
Ramaphosa's new cabinet will serve the ANC, not South Africa: Maimane

As expected, there have been contrasting feelings about President Cyril Ramaphosa new Cabinet, which he announced on Monday night, from the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA).

"[H]is new cabinetillustrates that the problem in our nation lies with the ANC itself. The ministers who make up Ramaphosa’s compromised and partially captured cabinet show what we’ve known all along – it’s about the ANC and connected cadres first, and the interests of South Africa second," said DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane.

"The cabinet remains filled with compromised ministers, Gupta loyalists, and corruption accused. The quicker we remove the ANC from government, the quicker our nation will reach its true potential.

"The decision to retain the bloated, oversized cabinet means Ramaphosa has failed to seize this first opportunity to cut the size of cabinet. We should not have to wait for a review study to cut the waste. If Ramaphosa cut the cabinet to 15 ministries, we could have saved billions of rands and avoided a VAT hike altogether."

Maimane said that Ramaphosa had a made a "fatal compromise", which was made at Nasrec.

"David Mabuza will be sworn in as the Deputy President of South Africa. Ramaphosa’s decision to side with scandal-ridden Mabuza undermines the integrity of his stated commitment  to fight corruption and rebuild from the tatters of the Zuma decade," he added.

"There is no doubt that David Mabuza is unfit to be the Deputy President of South Africa. During his two decades in office, he has been at the centre of a string of controversies - ranging from blatant corruption to violent thuggery.

"It is terrifying that Mabuza has been accused of creating his own personal fiefdom in Mpumalanga, where he ruled with terror and intimidation. He has been accused of having his own personal 'military' which have allegedly been responsible for numerous political killings in Mpumalanga.

"The victims of the killings have for the most part been those who have spoken out against the vast corruption in Mpumalanga, or have posed a threat to his business interests. Mabuza is a serious threat to the political stability of our country and seems to have very little tolerance for opposition."

Maimane said that his appointment as Deputy President is a danger to the country, and flies in the face of Ramaphosa’s commitment to “turn the tide of corruption in our public institutions”.

"It was expected that Ramaphosa would fire Zuma loyalists who fall within the opposing faction of the ANC. It would have been strange if he didn’t. These include Faith Muthambi, Mosebenzi Zwane, Des van Rooyen, David Mahlobo, Lynne Brown and Bongani Bongo. We welcome the decision to fire these ministers, who all lent a helping hand in selling our country to the Guptas," he added.

"The appointment of Malusi Gigaba as Home Affairs Minister means there remains a Gupta-friendly, captured Minister in the cabinet, who has been found to have lied under oath by a court of law. Cyril Ramphosa ought to have fired Gigaba, who back when he was Public Enterprises Minister, began the project of state capture at our SOEs.

"The retention of Bathabile Dlamini in cabinet as Minister of Women in the President is an insult to the 17 million South Africans whose livelihood was, and still is, at risk due to her bungling of the SASSA social grants crisis. It is also an insult to the women of South Africa.

"And lastly, the appointment of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as a Minister in the Presidency rewards an individual who was prepared to continue  and advance Jacob Zuma's state capture project if elected ANC President."

Maimane said that amid these concerning appointments, there are a few positive inclusions.

"The appointment of Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Public Enterprises is a sound one, and we do hope he will lead the charge in rooting out the rot within our State-Owned Entities (SOEs).

"Nhlanhla Nene’s return as Finance Minister must be welcomed. Nene’s first action as finance minister must be to reverse the increase in VAT and transport levies, and introduce a range of spending cuts to plug the deficit in our public finances.

"South Africans will quickly begin to see the wood from the trees, and that Cyril Ramaphosa is beholden to the very ANC factions that protected Jacob Zuma for a decade, and brought our country and the economy to its knees. Cyril Ramaphosa cannot bring total change and a new beginning to South Africa, as it is the ANC who he answers to, not the people," he described.

"In the ANC, it is not about who is best suited and qualified for the job. The primary criteria is always the   maintenance of patronage networks and power pacts. That is why our nation will never reach its full potential for as long as the ANC is in power."

Meanwhile, ANC National Spokesperson, Pule Mabe, said that the party has welcomed the new Cabinet.

"The African National Congress (ANC) notes and welcomes the changes to the National Executive of the Republic of South Africa announced today by the President, Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa," he said.

"President Ramaphosa, exercised his constitutional responsibilities, in line with Section 91 of the constitution to appoint the Deputy President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers. 

"As the ANC, we particularly commend the President for having exercised this prerogative in consultation with the National Officials of the ANC and our Alliance Partners.

"Undoubtedly, this act of giving due regard to the resolutions of the African National Congress, in the exercise of the prerogative bestowed upon the President, lays a strong foundation for greater alignment and cooperation between the ANC and its cadres deployed in government." 

Mabe said that the ANC congratulates Deputy President-elect Comrade David Mabuza as well as all comrades appointed and intended to be appointed Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

"We assure them of the organisation’s support in the execution of their duties. 

"We extend our gratitude to all comrades who served in the immediate past Cabinet and are confident that they and their skills are not lost to the ANC. The ANC is confident that, as disciplined members of the organization, they will continue to serve the movement and the people of South Africa in whatever capacity they are deployed," Mabe said.