Mantashe fires broadside at axed ministers who quit Parliament
Babalo Ndeze And Bianca Capazorio | 2017-04-06 17:24:23.0
Mantashe lashed out at the now former MPs who quickly resigned in a clear attempt to preserve lucrative pension benefits‚ accumulated through their ministerial jobs‚ which were likely to plummet had they stayed on as ordinary legislators who earn less than members of the executive. File photo
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African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe has criticized former ministers who have resigned as MPs this week after they were dropped from President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet.
Mantashe said on Thursday that former Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Petterson‚ Transport Minister Dipuo Peters and Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas should have learned from SACP MPs who had previously stayed on in parliament when Zuma fired them in 2014.
The three resigned as MPs one after the other – after being sacked last Thursday by Zuma.
Mantashe lashed out at the now former MPs who quickly resigned in a clear attempt to preserve lucrative pension benefits‚ accumulated through their ministerial jobs‚ which were likely to plummet had they stayed on as ordinary legislators who earn less than members of the executive.
“The pension structure of Parliament as you know‚ people are removed as ministers‚ they resign to protect their pensions. When people get to the back benches they lose their pensions. Their pension will be calculated at the rate of a backbencher‚” said Mantashe.
“In the past when Derek [Hanekom] was removed as a minister [of agriculture]‚ Derek remained in parliament as a backbencher.
“He was reappointed as minister and therefore you can expect it from Derek that he will not resign. A communist minister like Ben Martins‚ didn’t resign when he was removed [in 2014]. A communist minister like Yunus Carrim didn’t resign when removed [also in 2014]. All the other ministers when removed they … go and try to protect their pensions‚” said Mantashe.
Hanekom confirmed on Thursday that he would not be resigning. “No I’m not [resigning]. My plan is to remain until the end of the term‚” he said. Peters and Jonas could be reached for comment.
Joemat-Pettersson said in a statement that Parliament was “not the only site of struggle for radical economic transformation.” She planned to “continue to make a small contribution” in the national executive committee of the ANC. But when contacted by The Times‚ for comment she said: “I’m sorry‚ I’m busy right now okay‚ bye.”
A technical glitch on the part of Parliament fuelled speculation that MPs such as former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan‚ Jonas‚ Peters‚ Joemat-Pettersson and former Public Service and Administration Minister Ngoako Ramathlodi would resign after their names were erroneously removed from Parliament’s website.
Mantashe said the ANC would fill its vacancies ahead of the debate on the motion of no confidence in Zuma on April 18 in terms of their MPs nomination list from the 2014 elections.
“People resign‚ we replace them. It won’t change the vote of no confidence. So what happens when there’s no vote of no confidence? You replace them still. That’s why we have a longer list that’s with the IEC. It goes according to the list. You amend the list once every twelve months. So there’s those three resignations‚ so there’ll be three vacancies‚” said Mantashe. – TMG Digital/The Times