Susan Shabangu quits parliament
Former social development minister left out of new cabinet
Former social development minister Susan Shabangu has resigned as an MP, parliament’s spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo, said.
Shabangu was left out of the new cabinet appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week, having been a minister for the past decade.
Ramaphosa appointed her to the social development portfolio in February 2018 as that department was facing a crisis around distribution of social grants to millions of poor South Africans. Before then she served for almost four years as the minister in the presidency responsible for women.
Her first appointment as a cabinet minister was in May 2009, when then president Jacob Zuma appointed her mineral resources minister. She survived Zuma’s cabinet reshuffles for the full five years of the fourth administration.
She had previously served in the mineral resources portfolio as a deputy minister between April 1996 and April 2004.
She was made safety & security deputy minister between April 2004 and May 2009. During that period she courted controversy and was widely criticised for her “kill the bastards” call to the police, a comment seen as encouraging police to kill criminals.
Shabangu was mineral resources minister when the Marikana massacre occurred. She told the Marikana commission that while she and her department were aware of the unrest at Lonmin’s platinum mine they decided not get involved as they regarded what was happening as a labour matter.
She explained, however, that her department had asked the Chamber of Mines to intervene by getting all affected parties together for talks.
In a statement on Thursday, parliament said there were seven vacancies in the 400-seat National Assembly. Three vacancies are from seats which designated MPs did not fill. These arose because designated MPs — Nomvula Mokonyane, Makhosini Nkosi and Sylvia Lucas — were not sworn in as members. Lucas was elected deputy chair of the National Council of Provinces.
There are also four vacancies in the National Assembly arising from resignations after MPs were sworn in. “This is due to the recent resignations of Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, Susan Shabangu and Nomaindia Mfeketo from parliament. In addition, President Rampahosa ceased being an MP when the National Assembly elected him as president on May 22,” the statement said.