Ramaphosa's new cabinet will serve the ANC, not South Africa
26 February 2018
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of his new cabinet this evening illustrates 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. 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.
Tonight we saw the fatal compromise Cyril Ramaphosa made at Nasrec exposed for all to see, as 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.
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.
His appointment as Deputy President is a danger to our 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.
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.
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.
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.
We need real change, and this change will only come by removing the ANC from national government in 2019.
Issued by Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 27 February 2018