There was something eerie in the moment this week when finance minister Malusi Gigaba strode to the podium in parliament to present the country’s budget — widely seen as the most tricky budget to balance in years. It wasn’t quite like a dead man delivering his own eulogy. But, given that many believe this is likely to be both Gigaba’s maiden and his swansong budget, it wasn’t entirely dissimilar either. In an imminent cabinet overhaul, the first for new president Cyril Ramaphosa, Gigaba is expected to be torpedoed, along with other deadbeat relics of the kleptocracy that arose under Ramaphosa’s predecessor, Jacob Zuma. Social development minister Bathabile Dlamini and mining minister Mosebenzi Zwane are examples. If Gigaba is axed, it would be a stretch to call it a pity. After all, it was his tenure as minister of public enterprises from 2010 that laid the platform for the years of looting that followed. It was he who empowered hopelessly compromised boards at stateowned companies ...

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