President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Gallo Images/ Brenton Geach)
Cyril Ramaphosa's first major test will be the announcement of a reduced Cabinet. He has said that the executive needs to be trimmed and his supporters will hold him to this promise, writes Adriaan Basson.
have spoken. They have handed President Cyril Ramaphosa one chance to save
South Africa and clean up the mess left by his predecessor, Jacob Zuma.
electoral victory has been the country's gift to Ramaphosa, a trade
unionist-turned-millionaire-businessman who played the long game and remained
in Zuma's slipstream during the "nine wasted years".
Ramaphosa not emerged victorious from the ANC's Nasrec conference in December
2017, the party may have been voted out of power this week. Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma, who has subsequently become one of Ramaphosa's closest allies,
was just too close to the Zupta's state capture fire.
has literally saved the party from extinction. Enough South Africans believe
him that he will lead the country out of the depths of state capture,
corruption and rent-seeking that was the hallmark of the Zuma era.
believed that he did not know about his son's dealings with Bosasa and has forgiven him for his role in the Marikana massacre, for which he
apologised. They accepted his apology for his own complicity in not standing up
firmly against state capture.
It is now up
to Ramaphosa to make or break their fragile trust.
major test will be the announcement of a reduced Cabinet. Ramaphosa has said
that the executive needs to be trimmed and his supporters will hold him to this
struggling country like South Africa simply cannot afford 33 ministries. He can
shave off at least ten of these ministries and merge departments that do not
deserve to be alone.
move will be the appointment of his new Cabinet. Ramaphosa inherited Zuma's
final executive and was bound by ANC loyalty to preserve the peace and not fire
all the Zuma-ites like Bathabile Dlamini, Nomvula Mokonyane and Michael
has to appoint the best the ANC has to offer to his new team. Be prepared to
see some new faces and names when Ramaphosa announces an executive for the next
been said about the need for Ramaphosa to ensure the state capturers in his
midst are arrested and prosecuted. He cannot do that.
The best he
can do is to ensure that our law enforcement agencies, chiefly the police and
the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), are led by the best, most competent
and squeaky-clean individuals who will do their jobs without fear or favour.
He has done
this, and it is now over to advocates Shamila Batohi, head of the NPA, and Godfrey
Lebeya, head of the Hawks, to make sure that justice is not only done, but also
seen to be done.
They have to
use every single legal instrument available to them to extradite the Guptas and
bring them back to face justice. They have to ensure that Zuma receives a fair
and speedy trial on the outstanding arms deal and Schabir Shaik matters. They
have to charge Bosasa kingpin Gavin Watson with his former colleagues and
address the perception that whistleblowers are being charged to protect the big
fish. They have to bring Markus Jooste and the Steinhoff mafia to court before
they leave our shores. They have to speedily investigate a decade of state
capture in the Free State under Ace Magashule and bring him to book if he
should be prosecuted.
should give them the space to do their jobs without fear and protect them from
He has shown
the ability to address the fears of both investors and workers and will need to
aggressively work with them to create sustainable jobs on a large scale.
address racism and not only preach non-racialism, but actively set an example
that embraces all South Africans.
has shown the ability and will to reignite the dream of a country that
unashamedly faces its unfinished business, but do so with our eyes firmly set
on a better life for all.
It is a
dream he dares not defer.
- Basson is editor-in-chief of News24.
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