/ 20 December 2007

Wanted: A job, any job

In the aftermath of Tuesday’s top six election, several senior Cabinet ministers and their aides are now getting their CVs together and are suddenly looking forward to the Mail & Guardian jobs section on Friday — they realise their future in a Zuma government and ANC is not looking very bright.

First on the list is, of course, Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota, who was Zuma’s most outspoken critic. Even after being reprimanded by other senior party members, Lekota still could not resist the temptation to accuse Zuma of lying and having corrupt moral values.

And his shenanigans with Provincial and Local Government Minister Sydney Mufamadi — they allegedly went around dishing out cash and jobs to ANC delegates in exchange for votes — will not endear either of them to the Zuma crowd.

The Pahad brothers, who have been enjoying the cosy life of single malts since day one of the Mbeki presidency, will also now have to look for greener pastures because others will occupy the leather couches at Mahlamba Ndlovu.

Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad will probably not be asked to stay on in his position. His brother, Aziz, will at least be able to use his oratory skills honed at the weekly media briefings to get a lecturer position in international relations, surely?

Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the driver of government’s skills and job creation strategy, will now get hands-on experience of what it is like to be a job seeker. Fortunately her husband, Bulelani Ngcuka, who left the public service three years ago, could set her up for a job in the private sector.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was offered the position of national chairperson in the Zuma camp’s top six — an offer she rejected. As she contemplates her choices during her last official overseas trips in the coming months, she could very well be regretting that move.

Things are not looking good for the Fraser-Moleketi family as a whole: Geraldine (Public Service and Administration) will now be wishing she gave in to the workers during the big public service strike. An extra couple of million rand from her budget, a warmer smile, or just a more reconciliatory tone when she spoke to them might have spared her the humiliation of now preparing her CV.

Husband Jabu Moleketi (Deputy Minister of Finance), on the other hand, forgot about his socialist roots and took the capitalist road to hopefully succeed Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel. Now that door seems to have closed.

Another family who will be in trouble is the Nqakulas, with both Minister of Safety and Security Charles, and Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe being strong and outspoken Mbeki supporters.

One government minister who managed to buy herself some time is Brigitte Mabandla, who has not yet approved the charging of either police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi or the new ANC president.

The list continues with ANC head of presidency, Smuts Ngonyama, who was in charge of communications for the party as well, probably collecting boxes already to pack up his office. His sidekick, former SABC journalist Tiyani Rikhotso, is also not holding his breath for an extension of his contract.

Minister of Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils, who also nailed his colours to the Mbeki mast, knows his treatment of former spy boss Billy Masetlha will now come back to haunt him.

And last, but not least, almost all the provincial premiers will have to start packing up and getting ready to leave their fancy mansions. Most don’t have job security, given they are either outspoken Mbeki supporters — such as Limpopo Premier Sello Moloto, Kwazulu-Natal Premier S’bu Ndebele and Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool —or beholden to Mbeki for their appointments.

Having undoubtedly the most sleepless nights is Free State Premier Beatrice Marshoff, who was not even nominated as a candidate for the national executive council.