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Dipuo, Tina to revive political careers

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Both former ministers have been quiet on the political front since resigning

Dipuo Peters

BOTH Dipuo Peters and Tina Joemat-Pettersson will be reviving their political careers when they make their return to Parliament.

They will be sworn in on May 22 alongside Sylvia Lucas and Alvin Botes.

Peters and Joemat-Pettersson resigned in 2017 as Members of Parliament after Joemat-Pettersson was axed as Minister of Energy Affairs and Peters was replaced as Minister of Transport as they did not form part of then president Jacob Zuma’s plans after his “cloak and dagger” reshuffle before he was ousted.

Both former ministers have been quiet on the political front since resigning.

Peters was first deployed to Parliament as an MP in 1994 until 1997 when she served in the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature. She became Northern Cape premier in 2004, before being appointed Minister of Energy in 2009.

At the time of her resignation, Peters told reporters that she was happy she was getting out while she could still walk and talk.

She also said at the time that the reason for her stepping down was due to ill health.

Joemat-Pettersson enjoyed a rather controversial career nationally.

She was hit with punitive costs while Minister of Energy Affairs in the nuclear power deal court case brought against her by Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute (SAFCEI).

She also lost her high court review application in respect of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s adverse findings against her for handing control of South Africa’s fisheries research and patrol fleet to the SA Navy at the end of March 2012 while she was still Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Meanwhile, some ministers and deputy ministers will not be returning to Parliament when the national legislature is officially reconstituted.

This comes after the ANC shed at least 19 seats, down from 249, following the general elections.

This emerged from the government gazette published by the Independent Electoral Commission on Wednesday.

Several ministers as well as several chairpersons of parliamentary portfolio committees, including finance committee chairperson Yunus Carrim, the small business development committee’s Ruth Bengu, home affairs portfolio chairperson Patrick Chauke, public works committee chairperson Humphrey Mmemezi and the police committee’s Francois Beukman were axed.

This year’s presidential inauguration will be something extraordinary.

With just a few days to go to the inauguration at Loftus Versfeld stadium, construction of the main stage and other facilities for the event has begun.

On Friday Loftus operations manager Hugo Kemp symbolically handed over the stadium keys to the presidential inauguration inter-ministerial committee.

From Friday, the area around Loftus will be in lockdown ahead of the first inauguration to be held at the stadium. Inaugurations since that of Nelson Mandela in 1994 were at the Union Buildings.

The stage where Cyril Ramaphosa will be sworn in as president of South Africa by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is planned for the northern side of the
50 000-seater stadium, according to those with inside knowledge.

High-profile guests will include heads of state from the Southern African Development Community and high-level representatives of BRICS countries.

The open stands on the eastern side of the stadium are available to close to 32 000 members of the public expected to take up the invitation to attend.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister in the Presidency responsible for planning, monitoring and evaluation, said the invitation to VIP guests to attend the event had been limited in line with the government’s cost-cutting initiatives.

She said that around 4 500 guests from various sectors had been invited.

What makes this inauguration unusual is the open invitation to the public to attend, and be seated within the stadium. In the past the public could watch an inauguration on big screens on the lawns of the Union Buildings, but this will give a more intimate experience.

Dlamini-Zuma said the move of the inauguration from the Union Buildings to the stadium was a cost-cutting measure, as well as to make it more accessible to ordinary South Africans. Whereas the 2014 inauguration of Zuma cost
R240 million, this one is expected to cost about R140m.

The event will be televised live.