Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: THE TIMES
Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: THE TIMES

One hundred and seventy-four days. That’s what it takes to be rehabilitated in Cyril Ramaphosa’s "new dawn" if the return of Bathabile Dlamini is anything to go by. A scant six months after slinking off in well-deserved disgrace after being dropped from cabinet, Dlamini is back — now as chair of the board of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority.

It’s an astounding endorsement of someone who apparently lied to court, was accused of misleading parliament (she was recently cleared by that paragon of virtue Busisiwe Mkhwebane) — and, most odious of all, was "reckless" and "grossly negligent" in overseeing a system designed to offer relief to SA’s poorest.

We’ve been assured she won’t have control over the R1bn purse the authority controls. But that’s simple deflection. That she’s there in the first place is an astounding lapse of judgment.

One can’t really blame Ramaphosa. The matter is, after all, apparently part of human settlements, water & sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s grand plan to position herself for higher office. But the fact that she’s got free hand to hire such deplorables speaks to his hand-waving inadequacy. If Sisulu is prepared to stoop so low to shore up her position, one can only fear for the country under her command. Such ruthlessly self-serving ambition should be checked. And soon.