The uprising against Jacob Zuma has united some unlikely voices and shown that South Africa has a deep reservoir of good people with the nation’s best interests at heart.
The TMG team decided to take a (tongue-in-cheek) leaf from the Gupta playbook and pick a new cabinet. But we’re dreaming of state recovery rather than state capture.
Our dream team — effectively a government of national unity — includes people who have spoken and acted against state capture‚ those who have been its victims‚ and those who command wide respect for their expertise and integrity.
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Incumbent: Jacob Zuma
Replacement: Pravin Gordhan. One of only two cabinet members who survive the uprising‚ Gordhan has emerged as a man of unimpeachable integrity. He is greeted by standing ovations wherever he goes and is distinguished by his emergence as Zuma’s most intractable and principled nemesis.
Incumbent: Cyril Ramaphosa
Replacement: Thuli Madonsela. It is virtually impossible to find anyone outside the Nkandla kraal with a bad word to say about the former public protector. She is the ideal person to lead a campaign of national unity as South Africa moves swiftly to re-establish a respectable constitutional democracy.
Minister in the Presidency
Incumbent: Jeff Radebe
Replacement: Mcebisi Jonas. His courage in blowing the whistle on the Gupta attempt to put him in charge of the Treasury — and his loyalty to Gordhan — make him the perfect choice to run the rule over the extent of corruption at the top level of government.
Minister of Women in the Presidency
Incumbent: Susan Shabangu
Replacement: Barbara Hogan. A prominent ANC voice in the anti-Zuma movement‚ she was sacked as public enterprises minister in 2010. Vytjie Mentor says she was offered her the job at the Guptas’ home in Saxonwold‚ Johannesburg.
Minister of Agriculture‚ Forestry and Fisheries
Incumbent: Senzeni Zokwana
Replacement: Mavuso Msimang. Struggle record‚ government experience‚ outspoken opponent of Zuma. And his unimpeachable integrity is sorely needed in a ministry where so much corruption flourishes.
Minister of Arts and Culture
Incumbent: Nathi Mthethwa
Replacement: Pieter-Dirk Uys. The comedian and commentator would be a breath of fresh air in this moribund ministry. And he’d keep the mood light at lekgotlas.
Minister of Basic Education
Incumbent: Angie Motshekga
Replacement: Helen Zille. A former Western Cape education MEC‚ the premier of the Western Cape has a deep understanding of the sector and the ability and drive to get important things done quickly.
Minister of Communications
Incumbent: Faith Muthambi
Replacement: Mmusi Maimane. He needs to be in the cabinet‚ and if ever a portfolio needed a young and switched-on person it’s this one. And he would relish his first job: finally ridding the SABC of Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
Incumbent: David van Rooyen
Replacement: Bantu Holomisa. Expelled from the ANC in 1996‚ Holomisa’s roots in the Eastern Cape make him a natural choice for the portfolio.
Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
Incumbent: Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
Replacement: Andrew Feinstein. A counter-intuitive choice‚ perhaps‚ given the former ANC MP’s exposes of the arms deal and corruption in the global weapons trade. But defence badly needs a reordering of its priorities‚ and Feinstein’s dissident credentials stand him in good stead.
Minister of Economic Development
Incumbent: Ebrahim Patel
Replacement: Cheryl Carolus. The United Democratic Front founder has been an ANC national executive committee member‚ an ambassador‚ a chief executive and chairman of SAA. Now she’s successful in business.
Minister of Energy
Incumbent: Tina Joemat-Pettersson
Replacement: Trevor Manuel. One of the most successful ministers of the democratic era‚ and chief architect of the National Development Plan. With an unaffordable nuclear deal in the offing‚ this is a critical area that needs someone of his moral heft and government experience.
Minister of Environmental Affairs
Incumbent: Edna Molewa
Replacement: Julius Malema. Whatever you think of him‚ he has to be on the team. His unruly intellect and charisma are far better inside the tent than out.
Minister of Finance
Incumbent: Pravin Gordhan
Replacement: Nhlanhla Nene. Symbolically‚ there can be no other choice. Fired by Zuma so that the Gupta nominee could be installed‚ his return would send a deafening signal about South Africa’s new course.
Minister of Health
Incumbent: Aaron Motsoaledi
Replacement: Aaron Motsoaledi. If ever a man had found his calling‚ it is him. Quietly and efficiently‚ he has devoted himself to the wellbeing of the South African public.
Minister of Higher Education and Training
Incumbent: Blade Nzimande
Replacement: Jonathan Jansen. The former Free State University vice-chancellor’s wisdom‚ expertise and warmth will be sorely missed now that he has headed off to the US. Bring him home.
Minister of Home Affairs
Incumbent: Malusi Gigaba
Replacement: Max Sisulu. The ANC NEC member and former Speaker — son of party luminaries Walter and Albertina Sisulu — gets the nod after joining the #SaveSouthAfrica assembly in Pretoria on Wednesday.
Minister of Human Settlements
Incumbent: Lindiwe Sisulu
Replacement: Jackson Mthembu. The ANC chief whip secures a cabinet job with his courageous call for the entire ANC national executive committee to resign.
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
Incumbent: Maite Nkoana-Mashabane
Replacement: Tony Leon. He’s been an ambassador‚ so he knows the department‚ and his political experience‚ intelligence and love for South Africa will help to restore our sagging international reputation.
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services
Incumbent: Michael Masutha
Replacement: Zak Yakoob. The struggle hero and former Constitutional Court justice is 68 but still brimming with energy and righteousness‚ as we saw at the #SaveSouthAfrica assembly.
Minister of Labour
Incumbent: Mildred Oliphant
Replacement: Zwelinzima Vavi. The former general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions is a controversial choice‚ but this is a cabinet where differences will take a back seat in the national interest.
Minister of Mineral Resources
Incumbent: Mosebenzi Zwane
Replacement: Adrian Gore. The founder of Discovery has disrupted the medical aid and insurance sectors. It’s time for a similar approach to mining by a no-nonsense visionary with experience of thriving in the global village.
Minister of Police
Incumbent: Nkosinathi Nhleko
Replacement: Louisa Zondo. Her resignation as chief executive of the public protector’s office has not yet been fully explained. But her alliance with Madonsela and her experience as the first CEO of the Human Rights Commission appear to make an ideal candidate to rebuild the forces of law and order.
Minister of Public Enterprises
Incumbent: Lynne Brown
Replacement: Sipho Pityana. The AngloGold Ashanti chairman was one of the first heavyweight ANC-aligned businessmen to speak out against Zuma. And he has senior public service experience.
Minister of Public Service and Administration
Incumbent: Ngoako Ramatlhodi
Replacement: Vytjie Mentor. She gets the job as a reward for pointing the finger at Zuma and the Guptas. Anyone with an intolerance for corruption is likely to find a lot of work at this ministry.
Minister of Public Works
Incumbent: Thulas Nxesi
Replacement: Mosiuoa Lekota. He’s been premier of the Free State‚ defence minister‚ chairman of the ANC‚ breakaway political leader … South Africa’s inclusive emergency cabinet needs his authority and experience.
Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform
Incumbent: Gugile Nkwinti
Replacement: Jay Naidoo. His investment in a Free State farm‚ Rustlers Valley‚ with the aim of benefiting its workers‚ places him perfectly to drive this ministry. Plus his chairmanship of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and a plethora of political experience.
Minister of Science and Technology
Incumbent: Naledi Pandor
Replacement: Reuel Khoza. The former Nedbank chairman is the man with the skills and drive to reimagine South Africa as the continent’s tech powerhouse.
Minister of Small Business Development
Incumbent: Lindiwe Zulu
Replacement: Jabu Mabuza. The chairman of Telkom and leader of the CEO Initiative has also just been appointed to head Business Leadership South Africa. Let’s give him real power to make a difference.
Minister of Social Development
Incumbent: Bathabile Dlamini
Replacement: Mark Heywood. The boss of Section27‚ a public interest law centre promoting human rights‚ came to prominence as a founder of the Treatment Action Campaign in 1998. Here’s a man who always wears his heart on his sleeve when he fights for the poor and disadvantaged.
Minister of Sport and Recreation
Incumbent: Fikile Mbalula
Replacement: Lucas Radebe. Nelson Mandela described the former Bafana Bafana star and African Nations Cup winner as “my hero”. Many South Africans would say the same.
Minister of State Security
Incumbent: David Mahlobo
Replacement: Michael Katz‚ chairman of ENSAfrica; Donald Dinnie‚ managing director of Norton Rose Fullbright; or Robert Legh‚ chairman of Bowmans. They’re all part of the CEO Initiative and they all head legal firms. If ever a ministry needed legal expertise‚ it’s this one.
Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services
Incumbent: Siyabonga Cwele
Replacement: Paul Mashatile. The Gauteng ANC chairman gets the job after showing up at St Albans Cathedral in Pretoria on Wednesday under the #SaveSouthAfrica banner. Courage deserves reward.
Minister of Tourism
Incumbent: Derek Hanekom
Replacement: Yusuf Abramjee. Has South Africa ever had a noisier and more energetic ambassador? Unleash him on an unsuspecting world‚ sit back and enjoy the action.
Minister of Trade and Industry
Incumbent: Rob Davies
Replacement: Sim Tshabalala. From rural KwaZulu-Natal to the helm of Standard Bank‚ Tshabalala has emerged as one of South Africa’s business stars. We need people like him to drive economic growth.
Minister of Transport
Incumbent: Dipuo Peters
Replacement: Mbhazima Shilowa. The former Gauteng premier put the Gautrain on track and he needs to return from the political wilderness.
Minister of Water and Sanitation
Incumbent: Nomvula Mokonyane
Replacement: Thabo Makgoba. The Anglican archbishop has emerged as a powerful advocate for change. And it’s never a bad idea for governments to have a hotline to heaven.