Flagged ANC leaders hope to clear names before Cabinet announcement

As President Cyril Ramaphosa prepares to announce his new Cabinet later this week, several ANC leaders have appeared before the party’s integrity commission hoping to clear their names in time for Ramaphosa’s announcement.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza at an ANC NEC meeting in Irene on 1 April 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – As President Cyril Ramaphosa prepares to announce his new Cabinet later this week, several African National Congress (ANC) leaders have appeared before the party’s integrity commission hoping to clear their names in time for Ramaphosa’s announcement.

The commission has previously flagged several ANC leaders, including deputy president David Mabuza, chairperson Gwede Mantashe and others, as tainted and having brought the party into disrepute, recommending that they should not be on the party’s list to Parliament.

This led to Mabuza postponing his swearing in as an MP.

The committee has confirmed it has met with Mabuza and Mantashe on Friday and that it would meet other ANC members between Sunday and Tuesday.

As Ramaphosa signed his oath of office on Saturday, he ceased to be a member of Parliament, the fifth administration was dissolved and he is now the only member of the executive.

While it was anticipated the president would announce his new Cabinet not later than Monday, he has now delayed that to later this week as the ANC’s integrity commission meets with the party’s members who were red flagged.

This has fuelled speculation that Ramaphosa wants to allow the senior ANC members like Mabuza and Mantashe to clear their names so he can include them in his new Cabinet.

The integrity commission’s head George Mashamba told The Sunday Times the committee was likely to compile their report and send it to the ANC’s top six by tomorrow.

TOUGH CALL

In a statement released on Sunday, the Presidency dismissed media reports that the Cabinet announcement will be made on Monday, 27 May.

It did not give a certain date for the announcement.

"The Constitution of the Republic stipulates that the President must assume office within five days of being elected by the National Assembly – and thereafter appoint a Cabinet and assign its powers and functions," the statement said.

"President Cyril Ramaphosa is emphatic that the new executive must possess requisite skills, experience, representativity and a commitment to the public services that will take the work of the sixth administration forward."

There has been speculation over who will make the cut to Ramaphosa's first Cabinet as democratically elected president and whether he will reduce the number of departments which currently sits at 35.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader, Julius Malema, said on Saturday that if Ramaphosa appoints out-going Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, he will be a constitutional delinquent and that if he doesn't appoint David Mabuza as deputy president, he would be digging his own grave.

Trade union Cosatu has said the president consulted with it about the composition of his new Cabinet, adding that it urged him to appoint individuals who are competent and those who have performed well in the past.

Some days ago, Ramaphosa said he will pick men and women in his Cabinet who will help achieve his goal to grow the economy.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)