Ramaphosa’s new cabinet will serve the ANC, not South Africa

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.

Ramaphosa's new cabinet will serve the ANC, not South Africa

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.

Cabinet reshuffle: Axing Blade escalates ANC war

The DA is not surprised by President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle, the latest move in Zuma’s war against anyone who opposes his project of State Capture. The obvious target was SACP leader, Dr. Blade Nzimande, who follows Pravin Gordhan, Derek Hanekom, Mcebisi Jonas and others who have failed to toe the Zuma line and have found themselves out of office.
The SACP has been dealt an insulting blow, and they must now decide how long they will put up with this abuse, or if they will now do what they know is right, and begin to work outside the ANC.
Blade’s axing has also provided the pretext for yet another reshuffling of Zuma sycophants, none more pliant than new Minister of Energy, David Mahlobo. This smacks of an attempt to reignite the ANC’s efforts to chain our country to a multibillion rand nuclear deal with the Russians.
This reshuffle has nothing to do with effecting good governance, and ensuring the best people serve our country. On the contrary, Jacob Zuma appears to be firing his critics, and offering promotions in exchange for support ahead of the ANC’s elective conference in December this year.
This just reaffirms what the DA has said all along – the ANC exists solely an organisation committed to self-enrichment and self-advancement – all at the expense of the South African people.
Come 2019, South Africans must use their power to vote out this self-serving ANC government at the ballot box, and choose a new beginning for our country.
The future of South lies in a post-ANC South Africa, free from corruption and State Capture, and focused on our nation’s new struggle – the struggle for access to jobs. Our fight is to ensure that all South Africans can enter the economy, find meaningful work, and create a better life for themselves and their loved ones.

Zuma misses deadline to supply reasons for cabinet reshuffle

President Jacob Zuma has failed to comply with the ruling, handed down last week Thursday by Judge Vally of the North Gauteng High Court, to hand over his reasons and record of decision for his disastrous midnight cabinet reshuffle, by 4 pm today.
Given that President Zuma has only filed an application to appeal handing over his record of decision, he should still have provided his reasons by close of business today, for the cataclysmic axing Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, and Deputy Finance Minister, Mcebisi Jonas
There is a material difference between a record of decision and the reasons for the decision. The record pertains to any and all documentation upon which he relied to make the decision.
The reasons for the decision goes to the heart of what lead to the decision, essentially the key information which then informed his decision, not all the information.
Moreover, the President’s legal team admitted in open court that the DA and South Africa are entitled to the reasons, if not the record.
It is therefore very strange that President Zuma now elects to produce nothing, not even the reasons to which his legal team conceded.
Although we are of the view that he should have complied with the ruling by Judge Vally last week, the fact remains that we have seen these tactics used ad nauseam by President Zuma, first in the Spy Tapes saga and now in his latest desperate attempt to dodge accountability.
We have already been in touch with Judge Vally’s registrar to request an urgent date to argue the application for leave to appeal.  We hope as early as next week.
The undeniable fact is that President Zuma does not believe he should be held to the same standard all other citizens are. He believes he is above the law.
That is why the DA will continue to employ all mechanisms necessary to ensure that he is held accountable for his actions. South Africa deserves nothing less.

DA welcomes Vally’s ruling on Rule 53

Judge Vally has today, in line with many other decisions of the Supreme Court of Appeal and other courts, interpreted Rule 53 of the Unified Rules of Court to include executive decisions specifically in this case to include constituting a cabinet.
It is a great day for the transparency of government.
The dropping of Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, and Deputy Finance Minister, Mcebisi Jonas had a cataclysmic effect on the economy, the country and indeed, on the 9 million unemployed South Africans.
On the face of it, President Zuma’s decision was patently irrational and unreasonable with predictable consequences, based on a similar decision he took in 2015 to axe then Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene.
Thanks to this ruling, the DA and the country will now be furnished with the reasons and record of decision which are due on Thursday, 11 May 2017, by the end of the day.
The DA will then make a decision whether to proceed with our substantive motion to review the rationality of the President’s midnight reshuffle.
This decision is certainly controversial and has provoked strong feelings including the response by Mr Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi to lay criminal charges for corruption against Judge Vally.
Mr Manyi has proved himself to be one of Jacob Zuma’s most avid defenders and cheerleaders, but his latest move is simply absurd.
The DA trusts that President Zuma is readying himself to fully comply with the order, as South Africans deserve the answers that the record of decision should contain.
President Zuma has spent much of his presidency dodging accountability and using every opportunity to keep himself from answering to a court of law for very serious charges.
The President cannot hide forever and the DA will ensure, through every avenue available, that he accounts for his actions. Like any citizen, Jacob Zuma is not above the law.

IGI confirms investigation into ‘intelligence report’ leading to the firing of Pravin Gordhan

Note to Editors:  Please find copies of the correspondence between David Maynier MP, DA Shadow Minister of Finance, and Dr Sethlomamaru Dintwe, the Inspector-General of Intelligence, here and here.
The Inspector-General of Intelligence, Dr. Sethlomamaru Dintwe, has confirmed that the origins of the “intelligence report” that reportedly led to the firing of former Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, will be investigated.
On 31 March 2017 I wrote to the Inspector-General of Intelligence, Dr Dr. Sethlomamaru Dintwe, requesting him to:
…investigate inter alia whether the ‘intelligence report’ was produced, or disseminated, by any element within the national intelligence structure, or whether any element within the national intelligence structure played any role in the production, or the dissemination, of the ‘intelligence report’, and if so, whether same amounted to a violation of the Constitution, any law, any regulation and/or any policy applicable to the national intelligence structure in South Africa.”
The request followed reports suggesting that President Jacob Zuma acted on a bizarre “intelligence report”, claiming the former minister intended to use an international investor roadshow to mobilise people to overthrow the state, as a pretext to cancel the former minister’s international investor roadshow and to request his immediate return to South Africa.
On 05 April 2017 the Inspector-General of Intelligence, Dr. Sethlomamru Dintwe, replied as follows:
You are advised that the matter is under investigation and I will revert to you in due course.”
We welcome the investigation because we need to get to the bottom of whether any element within the national intelligence structure played any role in the production or dissemination of the bizarre “intelligence report” reportedly used as a pretext for the cabinet reshuffle which pulled the plug on the economy and triggered “junk status” in South Africa.

DA requests court to declare axing of Gordhan and Jonas irrational and unconstitutional

The DA has filed an urgent application with the North Gauteng High court to request that President Zuma’s decision to remove Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, and Deputy Finance Minister, Mcebisi Jonas, be set aside on the grounds that it was irrational, and therefore unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid.
The DA has further requested that all records of the decision to dismiss the Minister and the Deputy Minister be filed with the court within 5 days.
The consequences of Zuma’s unexplained midnight reshuffle has been plain for all to see: South Africa’s long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating was downgraded to junk status by ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s, and the rand went into free fall.
Zuma’s decision is likely to cost yet more jobs and will have a lasting and calamitous impact on ordinary South Africans.
At all times, the President should act in the best interests of South Africa. Yet President Zuma does not and has never acted in the best interest of our country.
It is well-established that the exercise of every public power is subject to the principle of legality.  The Constitution requires that the exercise of every public power must be rational, exercised for a legitimate governmental purpose and exercised on the correct facts.
Yet, Zuma allegedly made this decision based on an ‘intelligence report’, which has been dismissed with contempt by many, including high-ranking ANC officials.
For too long Zuma has been allowed to act with impunity and has become and one-man wrecking ball.
It is high time that he is held to account and his malignant influence is removed.
The DA will continue to pursue all possible avenues to ensure the Zuma is held to account for putting his own self-interest before the best interests of South Africa.

Malusi Gigaba is Des van Rooyen in a designer suit

The appointment of the new Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, has been a disaster for the economy of South Africa.
The minister’s first one hundred hours, in what he called the “hot seat”, has been a monumental shambles – the rand tanked, ten-year bond yields spiked and the country was downgraded to “junk status” by Standard & Poors.
This should not come as a surprise considering the minister’s weekend press conference, which was called to “restore confidence and restore calm”, but then proceeded to do exactly the opposite.
He suggested that:

  • policy changes could be expected when he committed himself to implementing “radical economic transformation”; and
  • that institutional changes could be expected at National Treasury, which he seemed to suggest was dominated by “orthodox economists, big business and international investors”.

And it got worse when the minister could not explain what “radical economic transformation” meant and was forced to concede there was still “a whole lot of clarification that we have to do.”
The minister then compounded the problem at today’s press conference,  which was called to do damage control following the downgrade to “junk status”, when he suggested that he was “committed to inclusive growth”, but had not abandoned “radical economic transformation”.
The minister’s damage control exercise was an own goal because it will give oxygen to the narrative that there is policy uncertainty and it will not go down well with the ratings agencies, which are concerned about possible “policy shifts” following the midnight cabinet reshuffle.
The fact is that the minister is just not up to the job and there is now a strong impression that: Malusi Gigaba is just Des Van Rooyen in a designer suit.

DA calls on all South Africans to join this Friday’s March for Change

Over the past 72 hours, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has been inundated with requests from a host of concerned citizens – from all backgrounds and walks of life – who want to take part in the growing movement calling for Jacob Zuma to be removed as President of South Africa.
As the DA, we are seeking to bring together all like-minded South Africans who want to see change, and who want to stop the corruption and state capture at the heart our government. This includes civil society, religious organisations, business groups, and political parties – including the honourable citizens inside the ANC that wish to help in restoring our Constitutional order.
This is not a party political matter. It is a matter of urgent national importance, which affects all of us as South Africans, and thus transcends party politics.
Therefore, in the interests of this ever-growing movement to remove Jacob Zuma, we have today taken a decision to lead a March for Change through the streets of Johannesburg this Friday, 7 April 2017. The march will finish at Beyers Naude Square in the Johannesburg CBD, where a rally will be held calling for Jacob Zuma to be removed. Further details, including times, will be communicated during the course of this week.
I would like to encourage every South African who cares for the future of our country, regardless of political affiliation, to join this March for Change. I would also like to invite all those citizens and civil society structures who are participating in Friday’s “national shutdown” to join this March for Change. Together, with one united voice, we are stronger and we will be heard.
Lastly, following public comments over the last few days by a number of senior ANC leader indicating broad dissatisfaction with Jacob Zuma, I will be extending an invitation to leaders in the ANC’s top 6, including Cyril Ramaphosa, Gwede Mantashe, and Zweli Mkhize, to join the thousands of South Africans who will be marching in a united call for Jacob Zuma to be removed as President of this country. We will create an opportunity for these senior ANC leaders to address the rally – which will be just one block away from Luthuli House – and to add their voice to the call to free our country from the reign of Jacob Zuma.
Our Constitution states that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity. Not to the connected few, but to all of us.
Therefore, in the spirit of our Constitution, let us all stand up against the Jacob Zuma and his lawless, corrupt ways, and sent a clear and united message: Zuma must go!

#ZumaMustFall: Opposition United Behind Putting SA First

Note to Editors: The following joint statement was delivered at a press conference, following a meeting of Opposition Parties in Johannesburg. The meeting was attended by the DA (Mmusi Maimane), EFF (Godrich Gardee and Dali Mpofu), UDM (Bantu Holomisa), COPE (Mosiuoa Lekota), IFP (Mangaqa Mncwango) and ACDP (Kenneth Meshoe).
Today, Monday, 03 April 2017, the Leadership of the DA, EFF, IFP, COPE, UDM, and ACDP met in Johannesburg following the hostile takeover of the Treasury, and selling of the country by Jacob Zuma to a grouping whose only interests are amassing wealth and weakening the State through the theft of the people’s money and the undermining of the country’s Constitution.
These are indeed irregular and trying times for South Africa and the people, which demands a united vision and programme of action from leaders of society, like Opposition Parties represented in the National Assembly. Opposition Parties agreed that the Constitution must come first, and the country must be protected from those who seek to undermine it.  We therefore deliberated and agreed upon a number of issues in this regard.
Opposition Programme of Action
This Programme of Action stems from already existing partnerships and other ad hoc co-operation arrangements which exist in the country’s metros and other municipalities, where the Opposition governs for all residents, regardless of their political affiliation. The opposition-led metros serve as important platforms to show what the Opposition can do for the people of South Africa, which present a tangible example of the work that we can do, when we united against corruption, state capture and other ills in society.
Furthermore, we agreed that there is a need for a Summit that brings together Political Parties and Civil Society to discuss the state of South Africa. Going forward, we will at times act collectively and at times as separate political parties, depending on the nature of the issue facing the coutry. Our Programme of Action will be to put the people first, with the vision to build a better South Africa.
National Day of Action to the Union Buildings
It was agreed that as Opposition Parties, we will start the process of mobilising their structures from across the country for a National Day of Action to the Union Buildings. We are planning to have this mass action event as soon as possible.
We will also be engaging Civil Society formations and other Political Parties to mobilise in order to support the people’s National Day of Action to the Union Buildings, so that we are united and not fractured in our call to save our country in the short-term.
We therefore call upon all South Africans and the whole of Civil Society to support this mass action, where will speak with one voice calling for Jacob Zuma to remove himself from the Union Buildings, failing which he will be pushed, using democratic processes. Zuma cannot hold an entire country hostage.
 Motion of No Confidence
 Opposition Parties are fully behind the Motion of No Confidence in Jacob Zuma and the call for the Speaker of the National Assembly to reconvene the House for a special sitting so that this matter of National Importance can be debated and voted on. The DA and EFF have already asked the Speaker to reconvene Parliament. The UDM have submitted a similar request today.
We expect an urgent answer from the Speaker about progress made in scheduling the Motion, should we not be satisfied with her response, court action, supported by Opposition Parties will be taken.
Given the crisis engulfing our society, we are confident that Members of Parliament will stay true the Constitution and their Oath of Office.
The Motion of No Confidence is not about the removal the ANC. The ANC was voted into government by the majority, through the democratic project, which we respect. In the short-term, we are working to remove Jacob Zuma, and elect someone from the ranks of the National Assembly who is committed to South Africa, the people and the Constitution.
Court Cases
 The Opposition support the two court cases which are currently before the Judiciary.
The DA will be submitting papers for a Review Application which seeks to test the legal rationality of Jacob Zuma’s disastrous Cabinet Reshuffle.
The EFF, UDM and COPE are currently before the Constitutional Court to probe the process and duty of Parliament to facilitate the impeachment of the President.
Conclusion
Opposition Party Leaders are united in their call for Zuma to go and our belief in the supremacy of the Constitution. The choice South Africans must make is: Zuma or South Africa. The two cannot co-exist.