Since the first sitting of the 5th parliament two weeks ago, several ministers have decided to step down from their prestigious positions. Many of these resignations come just days after the ANC members concerned were left out of President Jacob Zuma’s new executive. Much speculation has since circulated and the resignations not only cause controversy but also leave one asking themselves about the reasons behind these former ministers quitting.
In probably the biggest case, the African National Congress decision against the reappointment of Max Sisulu as the speaker of the National Assembly resulted in him taking it it upon himself to file his resignation letter. While the resignation letter does not state his reasons for leaving, it has been put forward that Max Sisulu resigned in April, after he had set in motion the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee to investigate the security upgrades at Nkandla. As a consequence there has been bad blood between Sisulu and the Zuma faction of the ANC because he had chosen to support a request by the “opposition”. Baleka Mbete is the new speaker of parliament.
Sisulu’s resignation was then followed up by several other ministers throwing in their towels. The thin light of diversity within the ANC, former minister of tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk, who served the ANC for ten years has also handed in his resignation letter. He revealed that his failure to be appointed back into office was purely the reason behind his decision to step down. While a smooth and seamless handover takes place between Schalkwyk and his newly appointed successor, Minister Derek Hanekom, Marthinus van Schalkwyk now finds himself lingering in the cold as just a regular ANC member.
Former ANC Youth League spokesperson and ANC executive committee member Zizi Kodwa has also recently submitted his resignation letter. Although he still works for the ANC, he instead has taken up the role of being the African National Congress’ new full time spokesman as appointed by the party.
From the above stated it is clear that all those mentioned have moved on having fully capitalized on their membership in governance and since they’ve now found themselves on the wrong end of the new shuffle for varying reasons, dubious and otherwise, they no longer see reason to be part of parliament.
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