Unsuccessful ministers reveal their retirement plans
Maphatsoe will go back to leading his church, Zokwana goes back to farming while Masutha will share his plans later
Farming, family time and church duties top the to-do lists of former ministers who will not be returning to parliament.
Those who did not make the list of candidates to the National Assembly included Senzeni Zokwana (agriculture, forestry & fisheries), Ebrahim Patel (economic development), Gugile Nkwinti (water & sanitation), Rob Davies (trade & industry) and Michael Masutha (justice).
They have thanked the ANC for deploying them to the fifth democratic parliament, saying they would explore other areas of interest.
However, the president can use his discretionary powers to appoint no more than two ministers who are not MPs .
Zokwana, who is the national chair of the SA Communist Party (SACP), said he would focus on livestock farming under a communal environment back home in the Eastern Cape. He was a small-scale farmer before his cabinet appointment by former president Jacob Zuma in May 2014. Zokwana hoped the programmes he implemented during his tenure, which included opening up the lucrative aquaculture sector to emerging farmers, would continue under the new administration.
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He said his small-scale fisheries programme benefited a lot of farming communities which could not have been allocated fishing rights considering the costs involved. Zokwana would continue in his role as SACP boss.
SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said: “The party will deploy him according to his line of function as chair of the party.”
Outgoing defence & military veterans deputy minister Kebby Maphatsoe, who fell out with his boss Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula in 2018, said he would focus on his church duties as bishop of the St John’s Apostolic Church of Prophecy.
“I’m still the president of Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association so I will play an oversight role of the people who are deployed in the government to ensure that the welfare of military veterans is dealt with,” said Maphatsoe, who was a staunch defender and supporter of Zuma.
In 2018, Mapisa-Nqakula stripped Maphatsoe of his delegate powers as the political head of the military veterans department, charging that the department had become too politicised under his watch.
Speaking to Business Day on Thursday, Maphatsoe thanked the ANC for having deployed him to the government. He said he would use his expertise and skills learnt “outside government”.
Trade & industry’s Rob Davies refused to comment on his future plans. Masutha was bidding his goodbyes to his colleagues, according to his spokesperson Max Mpunzana. He said Masutha would engage the media in the next few days about his plans .
On Wednesday, chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng received the lists of successful candidates to parliament and provincial legislatures. He said the first sitting of the National Assembly would be on May 22, where he would help MPs take their oaths and affirmations of office, followed by the election of the president.