Johannesburg – Cele’s retention rewards loyalty over perfomance President Cyril Ramaphosa finally mustered enough courage to implement a cabinet reshuffle this week.
It was long overdue. Ramaphosa’s executive has for a long time been limping from one crisis to another as a result of glaring acts of incompetence by some members of his cabinet.
With a recent comedy of errors displayed by members of his security cluster following the rioting and looting in Kwa- Zulu-Natal and Gauteng, the continued presence of certain ministers in cabinet had become unbearable, to say the least.
That Ramaphosa finally wielded the axe, following an outcry in many quarters, is welcome and will hopefully breathe some fresh air into the executive. We are particularly pleased by the appointment of Enoch Godongwana to lead the Treasury as this former trade unionist has proved to be a capable and innovative financial person whose strengths are augmented by his strong anti-corruption stance within the governing party.
Although we are sad to see Tito Mboweni leave, we are, however, delighted that he has been replaced by one of the frontline campaigners against state capture and the looting of state resources.
The reshuffle has seen Ramaphosa, known for his tardiness when it comes to crucial and difficult decisions, employ some fancy footwork as he also dispatched Khumbudzo Ntshaveni to Communications and Digital Technologies where Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams seems to have been struggling in that important and crucial ministry.
Of particular importance was the appointment of feisty speaker of parliament Thandi Modise to the Defence Ministry, replacing Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who appeared to have been at sixes and sevens in that role. Known for her disciplined work ethic, Modise’s appointment truly inspires confidence.
Similarly, the appointment of Mondli Gungubele to The Presidency and Dr Joe Phaahla to health makes for shrewd political decisions.
Gungubele is known to be an efficient politician while Phaahla is expected to restore stability to the Health Ministry, which has for a long time been rocked by allegations of corruption.
Known to be one of the president’s henchmen, we are really not thrilled by the retention of Bheki Cele as police minister.
We are asking why he survived the chop when his colleagues were tossed out of the security cluster after they all bungled the handling of the recent unrest. Cele’s bitter stand-off with police commissioner Khehla Sitole has for a long time been a source of serious instability within the police service.
Cele’s knack for shooting from the hip is one of the characteristics detrimental to the integrity of his office. He seems to be a loose cannon.
Just on Friday, he called one of this newspaper’s reporters, accusing him of working for one of the ANC factions, as he raged and threatened him about the story he was preparing on the ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte.
It is worrying and unbecoming of a police minister to make such scurrilous allegations against a journalist without any evidence.
These are some of the examples that make us extremely uncomfortable with some of the president’s decisions.
Cele’s retention can only be seen to be rewarding loyalty and not performance.
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