EFF leader Julius Malema confronted President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday in parliament on why Minister of Environmental Affairs Nomvula Mokonyane still has a job. He was speaking at a parliamentary debate about last week’s state of the nation address.
Malema told the president that he needed to prove he was committed to fighting corruption by removing the minister, who was recently implicated in the scandal surrounding the hugely controversial facilities management company Bosasa. Allegations included that the minister was paid R50,000 a month by the company, and that they would also give her lavish “Chrismas packages” at the end of the year. He also questioned why Mokonyane had not taken a page out of Vincent Smith’s book.
The ANC MP recently stepped down from a number of committees voluntarily while the allegations against him that emerged at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture were being investigated. Malema said he couldn’t believe anything the president said as long as Mokonyane was still in office, saying the minister was “not supposed to be there” in the first place, and accused her of having “collapsed” an entire department (her previous portfolio, water affairs). He questioned why Ramaphosa had not yet fired Mokonyane, saying that this was possibly because Ramaphosa had received a “frozen chicken too” – a reference to the Christmas parcels Bosasa was believed to have sent Mokonyane.
READ MORE: Mokonyane’s complaint to Zondo ‘a futile exercise’ He added that Ramaphosa’s inaction regarding Mokonyane made him believe that she might “have something” on him. The minister reacted to being implicated at the Zondo inquiry by complaining that her rights had been severely violated and claiming there were officials in the commission hellbent on undermining its integrity. In a letter reportedly sent by her lawyers to the commission chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, she said she was never given a reason why the commission deviated from rules that implicated parties would first be informed about testimony incriminating them.
But Accountability Now director advocate Paul Hoffman told The Citizen the decision not to pre-warn implicated parties was taken due to safety concerns about former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi, because of the nature of evidence he was to give.