Godongwana resignation: no comment at lekgotla

2012-01-18 00:00

IT was a case of discretion being the better part of valour yesterday, when Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel dodged questions about the resignation of his deputy, Enoch Godongwana.

Patel, who is attending cabinet’s four-day lekgotla in Bela Bela with other ministers, their deputies and premiers, smiled politely and opted for silence, when asked by The Witness yesterday how he felt about Godon­gwana’s resignation, which became effective on Monday.

It came against the background of a liquidation inquiry into a company in which Godongwana and his wife held a 50% stake, amid claims of millions in workers’ pension funds going missing. It has also been reported that Godongwana, who was appointed in November 2010 in the newly-created deputy ministerial position for this portfolio, had a strained relationship with Patel.

Godongwana told the Daily Dispatch yesterday he had not been pushed, but had resigned because high stress levels were affecting his health.

Zuma, who entered the lekgotla venue with a cellphone glued to his ear, will together with his ministers and premiers mull over what they have achieved in the first half of their five-year term.

They will also decide on government’s priorities for the next year, which will be contained in Zuma’s State of the Nation Address in Parliament on February 9.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane told the media that the lekgotla “will assess the state of government services as they were in 2009 and identify what we have committed ourselves as government to do”.

Errant ministers would not be discussed at the lekgotla, he said.

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