South Africa: The Ministers President Ramaphosa Should Fire

Bathabile Dlamini, Faith Muthambi, Mosebenzi Zwane, Lynne Brown, Des Van Rooyen, Malusi Gigaba, David Mahlobo, Aaron Motsoaledi, Nomvula Makonyane
23 February 2018

Cape Town — President Cyril Ramaphosa will soon make an announcement of a Cabinet reshuffle, after asking the opposition to be patient and give him time to apply his mind.

Here are a few suggestions of heads that need to roll hopefully sooner, rather than later:

Bathabile Dlamini is the Social Development Minister at the forefront of ensuring that the most vulnerable are paid social grants. It was found that the company paying these grants acquired the tender by irregular means. The minister insists on using them and has made a half-hearted attempt at procuring the services of the SA Post Office. Rumours abound of kickbacks paid to government officials.

Faith Muthambi, as communications minister, allegedly  interfered  in the work done by journalists at the South African Broadcasting Corporation and was a staunch supporter of President Jacob Zuma. The public services and administration minister is also alleged to have provided the Gupta family, who were named in the State of Capture report by former public protector Thuli Madonsela, with confidential information about her position at the public broadcaster. Other scandals in her current portfolio as Minister of Public Service and Administration has also emerged.

Mosebenzi Zwane, minister of mines, was a former member of the executive council to the Free State Govt. He is alleged to have authorised the transfer of funds meant for struggling Free State dairy farmers, to the Gupta family. An investigation is underway by the current Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Zwane has also been implicated in coal deals for the Guptas whereby their companies obtained lucrative contracts to supply coal to energy giant Eskom.

Lynne Brown, public enterprises minister under whose watch Eskom in particular, was found to be mismanaged to the point where bailouts had to be obtained from government again and again to pay off their creditors. Brown has been found to have lied to parliament regarding her knowledge on Trillian, another Gupta-linked company and its links to Eskom.

Des Van Rooyen was appointed finance minister for a few hours by former president Jacob Zuma. After a huge public outcry and the markets taking a knock, he was replaced by former finance minister Pravin Gordhan. He first denied, and then admitted that he had made contact with the Gupta family whom he asked to assist him with the war veterans of the African National Congress. He is a staunch supporter of former president Jacob Zuma and has always denied that he misled parliament. He also joined President Zuma in going to court to try and stop the release of the State of Capture Report released by former public protector Thuli Madonsela.

Malusi Gigaba, the finance minister, has delivered the Budget speech amid calls for his axing, because of his alleged association with the Gupta family who are being investigated for their involvement in state capture. The minister was also instrumental in issuing the Gupta family citizenship while heading up the Home Affairs ministry.

David Mahlobo was appointed as energy minister at a time when former president Jacob Zuma needed an ally to procure the nuclear energy deal with Russia, despite evidence proving that the country could not afford the financial outlay and several protests against nuclear energy were held.

Aaron Motsoaledi is a very capable health minister but the Life Esidemeni tragedy is a complete violation of human rights. This travesty saw over 100 mentally and physically challenged patients die in horrendous conditions, many of them from malnutrition, at unlicensed NGOs after the health department decided to move them, against the wishes of their family members. Over 60 other patients have not yet been located. The minister only attended the hearings towards the end and no amount of the tears he spilled, or no amount of money can undo the damage. He should have resigned.

Nomvula Makonyane is the water and sanitation minister at the forefront of the water crisis that has hit the country. Finger pointing has begun and the minister finds herself in the unenviable position of having to answer why more dams were not built nationally, and why a proactive plan was not put in place years ago, when experts first warned about a water crisis in Cape Town and other parts of the country. The water crisis is having an enormous impact on the economy and tourism.

More names are bound to be added to the list before March 2...

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