Thursday, 14 March 2019


ANC list 2019: Malusi Gigaba makes an unexpected comeback to parliament


ANC list 2019: Malusi Gigaba makes an unexpected comeback to parliament 

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has announced its parliamentary candidates ahead of the 2019 general elections.

According to the electoral code, political parties wishing to contest the upcoming elections had to meet the deadline of 17:00 on Wednesday. Requirements included the paying of registration fees and finalising candidates for members of parliament. The ANC, being the ruling party, was one of the first to announce its compliance and with it, release its list of MPs.

The inclusion of at least four dubious names on the list has garnered staunch criticism from both the general public and opposition parties. ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has, however, defended the party’s selection process, saying:

“Anybody who has not been found guilty by a court of law is on the list.”

Magashule reiterated that being guilty in the eyes of the media did not warrant censorship nor disqualification. Still, people aren’t impressed with selection – and for good reason.

ANC list 2019: Who made the cut instead of being cut?

While the list of National MPs starts off innocuously enough, it doesn’t take long to see the names which have brought about discontent.

Bathabile Dlamini is the first to appear, her inclusion not as surprising as those to follow, yet still unconvincing to the public considering her failures in governance. These failures relate directly to her time as the Minister of Social Development, whereby she plunged South Africa’s Social Security Agency (SASSA) into complete disarray. As a result, millions of beneficiaries’ livelihoods were left hanging in the balance – a point driven home by the Constitutional Court, which found Dlamini ‘unexplainably incompetent’.

Nomvula Mokonyane, the Minister of Environmental Affairs, has also found her way onto the parliamentary list, despite her political career being dogged by scandal and fierce allegations of corruption and incompetence. As Water Affairs and Sanitation Minister, Mokonyane oversaw exorbitant public works projects which turned to disaster – costing the country, and the taxpayer, billions of rands. More recently, former Bosasa chief operations officer, Angelo Agrizzi, testified before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture saying that Mokonyane had been bribed to protect the company from any legal troubles.

Former Mineral Resources Minister, Mosebenzi Zwane, also got the nod, despite being implicated in the Eskom crisis as a result of his political posturing with the infamous Gupta family. According to testimony before the Zondo commission, when the lights go out with load shedding, a fraction of responsibility rests solely with Zwane and the dubious deals made during his tenure.

Malusi Gigaba and the big comeback
After disastrous tenures as Minister of Public Enterprises and Minister of Finance, under the Zuma regime, which allegedly allowed the Gupta empire to propagate and plunder South Africa, Malusi Gigaba still held onto his comfortable parliamentary position.

His time at the helm of the Department of Home Affairs, was also embattled by scandala and fierce allegations of corruption. The final nail – thought to be, by the public, anyway – was when Gigaba lied in court during the Fireblade Aviation debacle. The court found that he had acted unconstitutionally and had, therefore, defied his oath of public service. The court recommended that Gigaba face punishment.

The fact that a few days prior, a self-satisfying ‘sex tape’, featuring Gigaba, made waves across the country, just added to the embarrassment. All the while, Gigaba remained defiant, claiming that his ‘bad luck’ was the result of a political plot aimed at halting his presidential ambitions.

Facing fierce political and public pressure, Gigaba resigned as Minister of Home Affairs in November 2018. Two days later he also resigned as a Member of Parliament, thereby effectively dodging any further inquiries into his misdeeds.

As a result, his inclusion in the list of ANC MPs, set to take to the National Assembly after the 8 May elections, leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of justice. Whether his reappoint as a Member of Parliament will lead to accountability, which he successfully dodged in 2018, is still to be seen.