In Godi Zuma trusts

The ANC has reappointed a friendly opponent, African People’s Convention president Themba Godi, as chair of the important public accounts committee (Scopa).

Godi commented after the elections that he did not go along with the DA’s knee-jerk opposition to the ANC. He is the only member of his party to make it to Parliament.

The ANC’s parliamentary committee appointments, announced on Thursday, introduced sweeping changes in committee chairpeople. Many of the appointments are relatively new to Parliament.

A surprise appointment was former Limpopo premier Ngoako Ramatlhodi as chair of the justice committee.
It was widely expected that he would be appointed minister, head a criminal justice department or become National Director of Public Prosecutions.

The appointment of Nyami Booi as chair of the defence and military veterans committee confirmed his demotion from the post of chief whip in the last Parliament.

Cosatu treasurer Alina Rantsoase was named chairperson, a position for which Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge was initially nominated.

Another gesture to Cosatu was the appointment of teachers’ union boss Thulas Nxesi as head of the international relations committee.

Patrick Chauke, the robust chair of the home affairs committee, where he locked horns with the minister and director general, has been removed from the post and replaced by Ben Martins.

Lumka Yengeni is labour committee head, while former water affairs minister Lindiwe Hendricks chairs the portfolio committee on public works.

The Mail & Guardian understands that President Jacob Zuma wants major changes in the government’s security cluster, currently president Thabo Mbeki’s allies.

A senior official unlikely to be retained is National Intelligence Agency Director General Manala Manzini whose contract expires in August.

Mbeki appointed Manzini in 2005 after the suspension of Billy Masetlha, following the botched surveillance of ANC businessman Saki Macozoma. He was among the securocrats who publicly backed the findings of Intelligence Inspector General Zolile Ngcakani in the hoax email saga.

The M&G has learned that Zuma wants a trusted aide to take over Manzini’s position. Among those in line is key Zuma ally Moe Shaik.

However, Shaik said this week he knew nothing about a possible appointment “No one has approached me. I’m doing what I do best this days—looking after my son.”

Shaik is also seen as a possible replacement for Foreign Affairs Director General Ayanda Ntsuluba, who is understood to be bound for home affairs.

Also heading for home affairs is former foreign affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa who confirmed his resignation this week.

Contrary to suggestions that Zuma will appoint Sandile Zungu as director general in the presidency, it has emerged that most ANC leaders prefer ANC NEC member Lindiwe Zulu for the position.

Matuma Letsoalo

Matuma Letsoalo

Matuma Letsoalo is the political editor of the Mail & Guardian. He joined the newspaper in 2003 and has won numerous awards since then, including the regional award for Vodacom Journalist of the Year in the economics and finance category in 2015, SA Journalist of the Year in 2011, the Mondi Shanduka SA Story of the Year award in 2008 and CNN African Journalist of the Year – MKO Abiola Print Journalism in 2004. Read more from Matuma Letsoalo

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