Quote of the week

Regard must be had to the higher standard of conduct expected from public officials, and the number of falsehoods that have been put forward by the Public Protector in the course of the litigation.  This conduct included the numerous “misstatements”, like misrepresenting, under oath, her reliance on evidence of economic experts in drawing up the report, failing to provide a complete record, ordered and indexed, so that the contents thereof could be determined, failing to disclose material meetings and then obfuscating the reasons for them and the reasons why they had not been previously disclosed, and generally failing to provide the court with a frank and candid account of her conduct in preparing the report. The punitive aspect of the costs order therefore stands.

KHAMPEPE J and THERON J
Public Protector v South African Reserve Bank (CCT107/18) [2019] ZACC 29 (22 July 2019)
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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