Quote of the week

The unhappy fact that it is journalists, investigating organs of state and officialdom and the political class and their involvement in corrupt practices to loot the State’s resources, who, by so doing, attract the attention of powerful and influential persons who are capable of suborning the apparatus of the State to smell out their adversaries, cannot be ignored. The examples of abuse of the system have been addressed elsewhere in this judgment. Moreover, the respondents’ perspectives assume that the designated judge is not lied to and is diligent… In my view, in the absence of a rebuttal, this example illustrates a grave vulnerability in RJCA that such an apparent abuse could occur. The common cause examples of blatant lies being told to the designated judge further exacerbates the vulnerability of the system.

Sutherland J
Amabhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism NPC and Another v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Others
23 September 2008

Eleven Ministers resign!

Just received the following press release from the Presidency:

Statement on the resignation of members of Cabinet and Deputy Ministers

President Thabo Mbeki has, to date, received letters of resignation from the following members of Cabinet which, regretfully, he has had to accept:

1. Deputy President

2. Minister of Defence

3. Minister of Finance

4. Minister in the Presidency, Dr. Essop Pahad

5. Minister of Intelligence

6. Minister of Correctional Services

7. Minister of Public Enterprises

8. Minister of Science and Technology

9. Minister of Public Works

10. Minister of Provincial and Local Government

11. Minister of Public Service and Administration

The following Deputy Ministers have also tendered their resignations:

1. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Aziz Pahad

2. Deputy Minister of Finance and

3. Deputy Minister of Correctional Services

The resignations will be effective from the day that the President’s resignation takes effect. All the Ministers have expressed their availability to assist the incoming administration in the hand-over process and any other assistance that might be sought from them. President Mbeki thanked the Deputy President, the Ministers and the Deputy Ministers for their dedicated service to the nation and wished them well in their future endeavours.

This means a third of the cabinet is gone. The new President will now have to appoint new ministers from among the members of the National Assembly and will have to do so sooner rather than later.

For me these resignation suggests that the new ANC leadership has some serious problems on its hands. While they specifically requested Ministers to stay on, elevn have now decided to resign. This suggests that the unity of which Gwede Mantashe spoke on Saturday is a long way off. I cannot but wonder whether this might not suggest that there are some truth to the rumours about discussions  among some cabinet Ministers to form a new political party.

Whatever happens, Gwede Mantashe and Jacob Zuma must be rather upset by these new developments as it creates the impression of an ANC leadership not in control of its members.

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