Politics Notebook | From MsimanGo to MsimanStay


Politics Notebook | From MsimanGo to MsimanStay

MAX DU PREEZ writes about Mavuso Msimang's resignation and subsequent unresignation, Fikile Mbalula's backstabbing and Carl Niehaus (and Jacob Zuma?) opting for a red beret.

EARLY December is usually the silly season, with little that's newsworthy as people prepare for the festive days. Not this year, though, because we are entering an election year. Lots of shenanigans about.

This is how the timeline goes:

Respected ANC veteran Mavuso Msimang resigns from the ANC with a harsh judgment on the nature of the party. “The ANC's own track record of corruption is a cause of great shame. The corruption we once decried is now part of our movement's DNA," he wrote.

ANC Youth League leader Collen Malatji says at a meeting that departing veterans were spies anyway.

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula says Msimang had been bribed to resign.

Lees hierdie artikel in Afrikaans:

Msimang says: “It’s really a pity the ANC has a person like Mbalula as its secretary-general, it’s an embarrassment. For an organisation that once boasted the likes of Sol Plaatje, Oliver Tambo, Duma Nokwe, to end up with Mbalula is a commentary on the state of the nation.”

Mbalula denies at a news conference that he said Msimang had been bribed and refuses to apologise.

The ANC Veterans League and other bigwigs put pressure on Msimang, and get him and Mbalula together in a closed office to talk things through.

Then, yesterday, Msimang announces that he is withdrawing his resignation. The ANC apologises on behalf of Mbalula for his nasty words to Msimang.

It's been a while since so many important people had to swallow so many of their own words in such a short time.

Will Msimang feel at home now that he's back in the fold?

Ai, it's cold outside the ANC once you've been in the inner circle.

Do red overalls help you dance?

But that's not where the fun stops.

On Thursday, Carl “Pep Stores Camo" Niehaus announces that he is joining the EFF and hopes all members of his own recently formed party will follow him.

But social media never forgets. We were reminded yesterday what Julius Malema really thinks of Carl:

The EFF has now become a trash can of ANC leftovers. Mzwanele Manyi and Busisiwe Mkhwebane are already there, and members of parliament to boot.

I predicted some time ago that most of the RET lot would eventually end up with the EFF. Birds of a feather and all that.

Is Ace Magashule, who also recently formed his own party, on his way to the EFF too? Looks like it.

Carl also asks the PAC, Azapo, the ATM (founder: the very same Manyi) and Themba Godi's African People's Convention to defect to the EFF, after which Godi shows him the middle finger.

Zuma's live-in daughter, Dudu “Ivanka” Zuma-Sambudla, could not contain her enthusiasm, and smooched Carl on X with the caption: “2024 is our 1994":

I know it's hard to keep up with all the drama but let's try to push through.

Last year, the ANC dissolved the Military Veterans Association, where Niehaus led the pack. But Zuma wants to revive it this weekend with a rally at Petrus Molefe Eco Park in Soweto.

Zuma's Sancho Panza, Niehaus, yesterday appealed to his mentor not to campaign for the ANC in the election campaign.

Last night I saw this message to the media, apparently from Manyi, who is still head of the Zuma Foundation:

“Pres. Zuma gives a big announcement on his political future. Come witness the beginning of a new chapter in politics as we craft the future of a new South Africa we all deserve, it is the beginning of a great future.”

I reckon if Msholozi was going to form his own party, Niehaus would have been part of it. So, it looks like the old guy is also going to join the EFF, the party whose main mission in its first years was to portray him as a thief and a state capturer.

Anything is possible now.

Come on, appoint your own cabinet

There's a new game in town: choose a cabinet for after next year's election.

Adriaan Basson of News24 says if the Multiparty Charter and partners win the election, the cabinet could look like this:

President: Thuli Madonsela
Deputy President: John Steenhuisen
Minister in the Presidency: Songezo Zibi
Finance: Roger Jardine
Justice: Glynnis Breytenbach
Health: Nomafrench Mbombo
International relations: Murphy Morobe
Water and electricity: Alan Winde
Police: JP Smith
Mineral resources and energy: Herman Mashaba
Defence: Pieter Groenewald
Cooperative governance: Funzi Ngobeni
Trade and industry: Mkhuleko Hlengwa
Social development: Bridget Masango
Education: Annelie Lotriet
Home affairs: Geordin Hill-Lewis
Public works: Patricia de Lille
Agriculture and land reform: Velenkosini Hlabisa
Technology and communications: Natasha Mazzone
Environment and global warming: Liezl van der Merwe
Labour: Corné Mulder
Human settlements: Kenneth Meshoe
Transport: Siviwe Gwarube
Public service: Ivan Meyer
Sports, arts and literature: Solly Malatsi
Tourism: Mmusi Maimane.

Madonsela has said she has no political ambitions and she is not a member of any of the parties in the charter. Basson probably realised the new president has to be black, and he couldn't get over his heart to suggest someone else.

I find it odd that he includes De Lille because she is also not part of the charter and her record as minister does not justify a new appointment.

Most of the older guard in the South African National Defence Force are veterans of Umkhonto we Sizwe and Apla, so I wonder how these comrades will accept Pieter Groenewald of the Freedom Front.

And how is it that Basson didn't make his cabinet a little smaller, maybe 15 people or so?

Daily Maverick jester Richard Poplak also came up with a list. All that's really funny about it is Helen Zille as ‘Minister of Steenhuisen'.

I wanted to propose my own ANC/EFF coalition cabinet but I only got as far as Malema as deputy president, Niehaus as minister of orphans and resurrections, Manyi as minister of foreign affairs and Mkhwebane as minister of justice (deputy: Dali Mpofu) before becoming too depressed to continue.

This reminded me of a cartoon  the original Vrye Weekblad published in 1990 when Winnie Mandela was appointed as the ANC's head of welfare:

Oh my Dali

My article last week about the unexpected growth of the EFF was met with great enthusiasm by the EFF's X/Twitter crowd. Thousands of them.

And then Dali came up with this, followed by my answer and his callous response — he's quite sensitive about his court record:


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