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‘She has more experience than you’: Sisulu defends Susan Shabangu’s appointment

DA MP Emma Powell questioned Susan Shabangu’s credentials as a water expert, prompting an angry response from Lindiwe Sisulu.

FILE: Minister of Human Settlements, Water & Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: @The_DHS/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Water, Sanitation and Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Tuesday defended her decision to appoint former African National Congress MP and Minister Susan Shabangu as an advisor.

Sisulu came under fire from the Democratic Alliance (DA), which claimed Shabangu was “the latest in a long line of incompetent and unqualified cadres” appointed to lucrative posts in Sisulu’s department, which was technically insolvent.

The matter came up when Sisulu and department officials appeared before Parliament’s watchdog over the public purse, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa).

DA MP Emma Powell questioned Shabangu’s credentials as a water expert, prompting an angry response from Sisulu.

“I want to say to honourable Powell, Susan Shabangu has more experience, more understanding of politics, more understanding of government than you could ever have,” Sisulu said.

“Susan Shabangu has been part of this government from 1994. She became a minister in 1998. Before that she was a secretary general of a national trade union movement… She’s a trade union activist by profession, she’s a woman gender activist by profession, and she has served this government in various capacities. She has the necessary experience and that’s why I took her,” she added.

Shabangu resigned as an MP after she failed to make the cut for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet after last year’s general elections.

Sisulu has come under opposition fire for previous appointments she had made, including appointing former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini as chairperson of the interim board of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority.