Cyril watches Zuptoids take key parliamentary posts

The ANC internal chess game hasn’t lost any intensity if this week’s announcements of key posts in the new parliament are anything to go by. Former top Zuma allies, (aka Zuptoids), will chair the following influential committees, as announced by none-other than ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule; Finance, Transportation, Tourism, Budget Appropriation and Co-operative Governance. At least three of this crew were directly implicated in helping businessmen linked to former president Zuma loot billions of rands from the State coffers, while another faces criminal charges. All were at the centre of major controversies at one time or another. Of course, the “Ace” says the nominations were a collective decision. How long ‘the collective’ will hold together is anyone’s guess. Ramaphosa is probably relying on the inexorable grind of the accountability instruments he’s put in place, (and the revamped NPA), eventually doing the much-needed hatchet-job. In the mean-time there’s realpolitik at play. – Chris Bateman

Zuma allies get top South African posts in setback for Ramaphosa

By Paul Vecchiatto and Mike Cohen

(Bloomberg) – Former South African President Jacob Zuma’s allies secured several top posts in the nation’s parliament in a blow to his successor Cyril Ramaphosa’s efforts to clean up the government and cement his control over the ruling African National Congress.

Secretary-General Ace Magashule, who announced the names on Wednesday in Cape Town, is a Zuma ally who oversees the day-to-day running of the ANC. He called the nominations a collective decision. Ramaphosa, who won control of the ANC in December 2017 by a razor-thin margin, still has a tenuous hold over the party because his allies failed to secure other key posts.

With the ANC holding an outright majority in Parliament, the appointment of its picks is a formality.

Among those nominated are:
  • Zuma’s former transportation minister, Joe Maswanganyi, to chair the finance committee.
  • Ex-Deputy Finance Minister Sfiso Buthelezi to head the budget appropriations committee.
  • Faith Muthambi, an-ex communications minister who was proposed as chair of the co-operative governance committee.
  • Mosebenzi Zwane, a former mines minister, as head of the transportation committee.
  • Supra Mahumapelo, who quit as premier of the North West province last year after violent protests against his leadership, as chairman of the tourism committee.

Testimony given to a judicial panel that’s probing graft during Zuma’s rule has implicated Muthambi and Zwane in helping businessmen linked to the former president to loot billions of rand from state coffers – allegations they all deny.

The main opposition party has laid criminal charges against Buthelezi in connection with his role in concluding irregular contracts while he was chairman of the nation’s commuter rail service. He denies any wrongdoing.