Gigaba and Mbete withdraw from parliamentary list

Former finance minister Malusi Ggiaba and former National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete will not be sworn in as members of Parliament on Wednesday morning (22 May).

Speaking to News24, ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe confirmed their withdrawal from the parliamentary list and said that all formalities have been undertaken accordingly.

Gigaba stepped down as home affairs minister and resigned as a member of parliament in November 2018, following court rulings that he had lied under oath. He was also implicated in the dealings of the Gupta family and the state capture scandal.

Mbete had been criticised for not using her role as speaker to effectively hold former president Jacob Zuma to account.

New appointments

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa took his first step toward revamping his cabinet after 8 May elections on Monday, removing environment minister Nomvula Mokonyane, who’d been accused of taking bribes during a judicial probe.

Ramaphosa has made the fight against graft a top priority since taking office 15 months ago, replacing Jacob Zuma, whose nine-year tenure was marred by a litany of scandals.

Mokonyane will take a senior position in parliament, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule told reporters in Cape Town on Monday after a meeting of the party’s decision-making National Executive Committee. Mokonyane has denied any wrongdoing.

The ANC has also decided to appoint Thandi Modise as speaker of Parliament in place of Baleka Mbete and Pemmy Majodina as its chief whip, in place of Jackson Mthembu.

Mbete and Mthembu are both senior ANC members who backed Ramaphosa’s campaign to win control of the party in 2017, and could be in line for ministerial posts.

Ramaphosa is due to be sworn in on 25 May and name his cabinet a day or two later. He’s indicated he will trim his executive, which currently has 34 ministers and 35 deputies, to save costs.

Cabinet

Ramaphosa is expected to name his final cabinet later this week – with some possible surprises on the cards.

The Sunday Times reported that Ramaphosa’s restructured cabinet could see the surprise omission of deputy president David Mabuza and women’s minister, and ANC Women’s League president, Bathabile Dlamini.

It had already correctly called the removal of Moknoyane on Sunday.

“Those who are assured a spot in Ramaphosa’s cabinet include fresh faces such as David Masondo, Ronald Lamola and Zizi Kodwa.”

“ANC elections head Fikile Mbalula is also set for a return to the cabinet, this time as human settlements minister.”

Ronald Lamola, a member of the ANC’s top governing body, is being considered for rural development and land affairs, a position currently held by Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

Energy minister Jeff Radebe looks set for a return to the justice ministry, and Jackson Mthembu is likely to be deployed to communications, the Sunday Times said.

Masondo could take over one of the key ministries in the economic cluster, the paper reported.

Citing multiple sources in and outside of the government, the Sunday Times reported that Mabuza could move to Luthuli House, with Paul Mashatile taking his place in Parliament.


Read: Ramaphosa unveils first step in cabinet cleanup

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Gigaba and Mbete withdraw from parliamentary list