Guest Column

Jump or be pushed: The wave of the new dawn

2018-11-18 06:00
Former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba answers questions during his appearance before the parliamentary hearing into state capture on March 12, 2018. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Esa Alexander)

Former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba answers questions during his appearance before the parliamentary hearing into state capture on March 12, 2018. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Esa Alexander)

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Ministers resigning of their own accord in the name of preserving the new dawn is a positive affirmation of what Ramaphosa is working hard to instil in government and in the ANC, writes Calvin Motlau.

On November 9, 2018, it was reported that Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba met with President Cyril Ramaphosa to air his side of the story following Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's finding that he had violated the Executive Ethics Code and lied under oath. 

I suspect that President Ramaphosa was not satisfied with the explanation provided by Gigaba and gave him an ultimatum to jump or be pushed.

Gigaba chose the former and on Tuesday he tendered his resignation as Minister of Home Affairs and member of the Cabinet. Shortly thereafter he also resigned as member of Parliament. 

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Is the president finally firming his grip on the running of the state and the ANC? It seems so. More people are starting to see the rays of sunshine following a new dawn and waking up to the fact that confidence is slowly waning in the ANC as a party and in government. That can only be good news for Ramaphosa as he is not likely to have people second guessing his decisions.

We all remember February 27, 2018 when Ramaphosa appeared on our television screens an hour over the scheduled time to deliver the news of his first Cabinet reshuffle. The man looked heavy and tired as he delivered the changes to Cabinet. Reports later emerged that he was forced into a compromise by the top 6 officials of the ANC to keep certain individuals such as Bathabile Dlamini and Nomvula Mokonyane in his cabinet. 

Questions abounded on the amount of influence Ramaphosa really had in the ANC and whether the close contest at the Nasrec conference in December 2017 would forever act as an albatross around his neck.

Since then, the president has embarked on a slow clean-up of both the government and the ANC. Eskom has a new board, Prasa has a new board, Transnet has a new board. These new boards are tasked with cleaning the rot that had set into our state-owned enterprises and ensuring that they put the right managers in place to put them back on a stable trajectory.

In the ANC, the North West provincial executive committee was dissolved and several regional executive committees in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal have either been dissolved or disbanded. Although the cry from those who have been disbanded is that Ramaphosa is embarking on a purge of those who did not support him at the at Nasrec, the overall sentiment is that those who were disbanded or dissolved deserved the fate that befell them.

Even though there is some resistance from certain quarters within the ruling party, over all Ramaphosa seems to be winning people over with his #ThumaMina and "new dawn" philosophies and this might augur well for the ruling party in the run-up to the general elections next year. 

Ministers resigning of their own accord in the name of preserving the new dawn is a positive affirmation of what Ramaphosa is working hard to instil, not only in government, but in the ANC as well.

In the meantime, we await the action the ANC will take regarding ANC leaders implicated in the VBS Mutual Bank saga and if they will also be swept away by the wave of the new dawn and jump without being pushed.

- Calvin Matlou is an advisor at Frontline Africa Advisory.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

Read more on:    malusi ­gigaba  |  cyril rama­phosa  |  new dawn
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