Manuel willing to advise any Ramaphosa-led government

Johannesburg - Former government minister Trevor Manuel would consider a request to join any Cyril Ramaphosa-led government in an advisory role should he be asked to.

Manuel was responding to City Press on the sidelines of the Ethics Institute’s annual conference held in Midrand this week.

“And it’s not about Mr Ramaphosa, it’s about a view that I served for 20 years in government and I opted to call it a day and move on in life. I am happy to mentor anybody who indicates [that they want me to], but I don’t think I should do it [make the offer] myself,” he said.

Asked to confirm if that meant he would definitely be willing to join Ramaphosa’s government in an advisory role, Manuel responded with: “Absolutely.”

Manuel recently endorsed Ramaphosa as his preferred candidate to take over from Jacob Zuma as state president.

Addressing the conference, Manuel lambasted Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown for allowing Brian Molefe to return as Eskom CEO.

Manuel said he shared a speaking platform with Brown during the recent World Economic Forum event in Durban where she publicly declared her support for the recommendation by the Public Protector that there should be a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.

“On that platform I said I support unequivocally the judicial commission into state capture and, to my surprise, the minister said: ‘I also support the establishment of the commission. In fact, I made the call earlier.’ As surprised as I was then, I can’t understand what happened to that public commitment she made on the 4th of May and now, the reappointment of Brian Molefe. What happened in a week?” Manuel said.

“I should declare that I know all three of the main protagonists in this piece. I have known each of them separately for a long time. It’s Brian Molefe, Lynne Brown and Ben Ngubane. When I look at their conduct in relation to this I am compelled to ask a psych 101 question. Whether they were nurtured or natured to conduct themselves outside the norms and ethics of society. What happened? What went wrong in their brains? Why do they not see that they act outside these things? Were they born this way or did something happen? And, in the case of Lynne Brown certainly, between the 4th of May and the 11th of May, what happened?” he added.

Manuel also said the country was in a position that compelled its citizens to ask: “Who guards the guardians?”

He warned that if the abuse of state power went unchecked, the private sector was bound to follow.

Manuel also pointed out that he was immensely impressed by Business Unity SA and Business Leadership SA’s recent views on what they think is wrongdoing by government.

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