Former minister of labour Mildred Oliphant has joined the growing list of former ministers who have cut their losses and resigned from the National Assembly.
Oliphant’s resignation, which has been confirmed by the office of the ANC’s chief whip Pemmy Majodina, brings the number of MPs who have resigned from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s sixth administration to nine.
“The office of the ANC chief whip confirms having received the resignation letter of ... Oliphant, as an ANC member of Parliament,” read the tweet sent out by the ANC’s official parliamentary account.
Oliphant was one of 14 former ministers from the fifth administration who did not make it to the sixth Cabinet while other ANC members Nomvula Mokonyane and Malusi Gigaba, whose names appeared on the list for those earmarked for the National Assembly, declined the offer to be ordinary parliamentarians before being sworn in.
Her resignation comes after that other former ministers Bathabile Dlamini, Derek Hanekom, Jeff Radebe, Siyabonga Cwele, Susan Shabangu, Tokozile Xasa, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba and Nomaindia Mfeketo who all resigned after being overlooked for Cabinet positions.
It is understood that some of these senior party members resigned to secure lucrative ministerial pensions. Had they not resigned they would be have been backbenchers in the National Assembly and risked losing out on the perks awarded to former ministers.
Like Radebe, before her, Oliphant is one of the longest serving members of Parliament having served since 1994.
She was appointed labour minister in 2010 but has been replaced by Thulas Nxesi who was moved from the department of public works.