Tomorrow Baleka Mbete could be Acting President of South Africa and Chuck Stephens has 10 things she needs to do right away.
If the vote today on the motion of no confidence goes against President Jacob Zuma, Baleka Mbete will wake up tomorrow Acting President of South Africa. Chuck Stephens has 10 things she needs to do right away.
1. Call Deputy Speaker Tsenoli. Inform him that as the House Speaker becomes Acting President, then the Deputy Speaker must become the Acting Deputy President.
2. Call ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and book an appointment to discuss cadre deployment for a new president. Ask him for a short list that can be tabled in Parliament for a secret vote.
3. Call the Director General of Home Affairs and ask him to snafu some passports: Gupta brothers, Brian Molefe, Hlaudi and Aguma, etc. They are not to leave the country. They are flight risks.
4. Call ex-president Zuma and ask for the keys to the presidential jet. He is grounded.
5. Call the National Director of Public Prosecutions and tell him to take the hand-brake off of prosecutions. Heads must roll, if they broke the law. No matter their rank or party affiliation.
6. Call the Police Commissioner and encourage him to use this “inter regnum” as an opportunity, not to see it as a lame-duck period. He has a job to do, so get on with fighting crime.
7. Call the Hawks Director and ask him to inform you immediately if there is any further attempts of political interference in his investigations. Tell him that commercial crimes are costing the fiscus an estimated R10 billion a year – twice as much as the bill for 16 million social grants to poor people. Tell him to put a stop to the rich getting richer while unemployment rates rise and the poor get poorer. Plug the leaks!
8. Call Chief Justice Mogoeng and book a tentative date for swearing in a new State President, once the party with the biggest caucus in Parliament has a short list to vote for.
9. Call the Public Protector and ask her to prepare a “snag list” of pending actions – like appointing a Judge to review the State of Capture report. Ask her to be ready to brief the new President about this as soon as s/he is elected by Parliament.
10. Call the Director General of Safety and Security and insist on scrupulous observation of the rights of citizens to privacy throughout this “inter-regnum” period.
* Chuck Stephens is the executive director of the Desmond Tutu Centre for Leadership. He writes in his personal capacity.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.