Home South African ‘Ramaphosa can appoint more members from IFP than DA’

‘Ramaphosa can appoint more members from IFP than DA’

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ANC Chief Whip Mdumiseni Ntuli said the Constitution makes its clear that it is the prerogative of the president to determine the composition of the Cabinet, and who serves in the Cabinet.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo at the Union Building on Wednesday. File Picture: Phando Jikelo / Parliament of SA

AS South Africans keenly await the appointment of Cabinet ministers who will make the seventh administration, ANC Chief Whip Mdumiseni Ntuli has reiterated that the allocation of ministerial posts remains a sole prerogative of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Following the May 29 general elections, the African National Congress received its worst election result since apartheid ended 30 years ago in South Africa. The ANC garnered 40% of the vote, losing its absolute majority in Parliament.

IOL reported on Wednesday that Ramaphosa has officially begun his second term after his party formulated a government of national unity incorporating its decades-old rival, the Democratic Alliance and other parties, including the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the Patriotic Alliance.

Ntuli was interviewed on Thursday by broadcaster Newzroom Afrika where he spoke on wide-ranging issues including the ongoing misunderstanding over the parties making up the GNU.

Asked if Cabinet posts will be proportional to percentages of parties in the GNU, he responded: “It’s a definite no”.

He went on: “It (the appointment of minsters) will be based on what the president has decided in exercising his prerogative”.

Ntuli said Ramaphosa even has the latitude to appoint more Cabinet ministers from, as an example, the IFP than representatives of the DA.

“Sure, he can. That is why it is not part of the Statement of Intent (on the GNU) because we understood that. You know when we said in the document we must respect the Constitution, we cannot be selective,” he said.

“Part of what the Constitution says is that the prerogative to determine not just the composition of the Cabinet, but the members that can be chosen to serve in the Cabinet, resides with the president of the Republic as the head of State … there is no way we are going to amend that because we are in the GNU.

“Of course, the president is very conscious about the imperative to consolidate the GNU and to ensure that it succeeds. I think he is going to reach out to all political parties, consistent with that appreciation,” Ntuli told the news channel.

On the issue of the deputy president of South Africa, Ntuli said it is “most logical and expected” for Ramaphosa to consider the deputy president of the ANC Paul Mashatile as the deputy president of the country in the seventh administration.

On Wednesday, IOL reported that DA leader John Steenhuisen said while it is premature to fixate on Cabinet appointments, including who will be deputy president, his party would like to make a meaningful contribution in the seventh administration.

Speculation has been rife that Steenhuisen or another DA senior official might take up the deputy president position, but the DA leader said it was too early to discuss the positions.

“I think it is far too premature to speak about those things. Once the president has been inaugurated today, we will start the discussions around the composition of the Cabinet and how that would look like,” Steenhuisen said at the Union Buildings in Pretoria where he is attending Ramaphosa’s inauguration.

“First, it is not really about positions but it is about being in areas where we can serve and deliver on our manifesto. We said in our manifesto how we would rescue South Africa. These are key things that have to be done, to get off this high unemployment, low growth, high debt trajectory onto one of hope, prosperity, opportunity, inclusiveness for more South Africans.”

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