Barbara Hogan really did not belong in former president Jacob Zuma's cabinet. There cannot be anyone who followed her testimony at the state capture inquiry this week who was surprised that she was fired a year-and-a-half into her term as public enterprises minister. It is shocking that she lasted that long.

Malusi Gigaba, on the other hand, was the perfect fit. He understood what was required of a minister in the Zuma administration and was appointed to several key portfolios, including finance. It is chilling to think that just a few months ago, Gigaba was charged with one of the most crucial positions in the government, and presented the national budget.

Gigaba was the type of political functionary essential to the Zuma-Gupta clique — unquestioning, unethical and grovelling to the higher power, irrespective of who that was.

As he marinated in shame and finally made an undignified exit from public office this week, he was still in denial about what caused his downfall. He attributes it to a conspiracy against him rather than the reality that midwifery for the Guptas has consequences.

The contrast in character and values between Hogan and Gigaba, and in their approach to governance, is stark.

Hogan is a morally upstanding person who is a stickler for the rules of governance and constitutionality. Zuma's expectations that she flout company law, surrender her executive authority and participate in unconstitutional activities did not wash with her. Hogan testified at the Zondo commission that Zuma, the ANC, the SACP and some of her cabinet colleagues tried to bully her into appointing Siyabonga Gama as CEO of Transnet when he was facing disciplinary charges. The Transnet board recommended the exemplary Sipho Maseko, now CEO of Telkom, for the position, but Hogan's comrades claimed Gama was being persecuted and a white candidate was favoured over him. Hogan held firm against political pressure and was therefore branded "ill-disciplined" by her comrades. This is due to a lack of understanding of the legal powers of presidents, ministers and boards of directors. It is a fundamental violation of the line between party and state for the ANC to interfere in appointments that have...

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