News Room

Who Is The Worst Minister Of Them All?

Author: Jason Snyman
Date: 2017-08-24
Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the worst Minister of them all? We have our say on Zuma’s captured cabinet.
With 35 overpaid, under-performing ministerial portfolios to choose from, even a magic mirror would be hard-pressed to answer who is the worst for sure. South Africa is fast becoming a lawless place, run by a Government with no respect for the Constitution. For most people, the Democratic Alliance releases an annual ‘report card’ evaluating the performance of government officials on a scale of A to F over the course of the year. This is a good place to start, but may also be subject to bias. Luckily, or very unluckily as it were, you don’t have to do too much digging on these people to find out just how bad they are. We finally narrowed it down to three candidates. But, we’ll have more on them later.

A Few (Dis)honourable Mentions…

When it comes to the Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, or Minister of Energy, Mmamoloko Kubayi – it would take a whole novel to detail the extent of their troubles and failings. Gigaba’s appointment as Minister of Finance almost immediately resulted in our country’s downgrade to junk status. He is also set to be roasted by Parliament for granting the Gupta’s early naturalization back when he was in charge of Home Affairs. The Gupta’s spun a web around Lynne Brown, with connections to her PA, her director general and even her romantic partner. Kubayi is yet to be held accountable for the shambolic management of her department and her political cover-up of the strategic fuel stock sale. PetroSA has posted the worst single loss yet by a state-owned entity and the directors of the Central Energy Fund were recently suspended. Yet, she’s somehow being let off the hook.
Read more about how junk status will impact car owners below

In Good Health?

In other news, we’re all approaching mandatory National Health Insurance at breakneck speed. The Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has also recently come under fire for the ongoing oncology crisis gripping Kwazulu-Natal. His only saving grace in the eyes of the public might be that he has repeatedly seconded a vote of no confidence against Jacob Zuma. Yet, one good deed won’t make up for a number of wrongs. On his watch, hundreds of cancer patients have died due to insufficient equipment and a shortage of specialists in the province. He’s gone ahead and passed the buck over to ground floor mismanagement. The DA has even attempted to lay charges of homicide against him, which were unsuccessful. The police have asked; ‘Where are the bodies?’

The Minister Of Twitter

Speaking of which, Minister Fikile Mbalula switched from tweeting about sports and recreation to law enforcement pretty much the same day he was shuffled over into the Police portfolio. In his new position as Minister of Police, he’s urged the public to use Twitter to report crimes to him. Since we seem to pay him R2 million a year to sit around and tweet all day in anyway, we may as well. Not that it will help you. He’s yet to answer for Grace Mugabe’s undeterred escape from South Africa after her recent assault spree at the Capital 20 West.

Wake Up, You’re Asleep At The Wheel

The way our diplomatic relations are being handled is a disgrace. In the hands of the woman ‘with a hole in her head’; it may seem like our country is in great peril. You may remember International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane from parliament last year. She was the one sleeping through a heated debate and finally roused by EFF’s incensed Mbutiseni Ndlozi. She recently made headlines this week for granting Grace Mugabe diplomatic immunity, after Zimbabwe’s first lady ran riot in a Sandton hotel. This rampage, not Mugabe’s first, involved her assaulting a model with an electrical extension cord. It also resulted in a pregnant waitress, pushed by Mugabe’s son as he attempted to flee from his mother, losing her baby. The decision to grant this immunity, widely viewed as downright disgusting, was deemed ‘warranted’ by the minister. She also signed the diplomatic immunity letter the day before it was drafted. Possibly in her sleep.
Read more about how much money is spent on luxury vehicles for Ministers here Read More.

1. Mosebenzi Zwane – The Minister Of Mineral Resources


What’s Wrong With Him?

The knives are out for this man. Last month saw OUTA (Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse) laying charges of high treason, corruption, extortion, fraud and theft against the Mineral Resources Minister. He’s been accused of close ties to the Gupta family, the community has turned on him and he recently had to flee from an angry Mpumalanga mob. He’s been involved in public sex scandals, was linked to the murder of Vusi Mlaba and facilitated the sale of Optimum Mine to the Gupta’s Tegeta Exploration. This last one was followed by coal supply contracts between the newly bought mine and Eskom. He has zero credibility, and of course, he denies all of it. Recently, Zwane was rebuked by Judge Ramarumo Monama for not following court procedure. He missed a deadline to file an answering affidavit to the Chamber of Mines. The Chamber has challenged his ‘amendment’ to the third version of the Mining Charter, which would see an increase in BEE ownership to 30%. The judge gave Zwane 14 days to submit an explanation for his ‘utmost disrespect’ for court procedures and the constitution by not filing an answering affidavit to the Chamber’s interdict application. When the moratorium was withdrawn, he announced it to the media, instead of informing the court. Zwane also has the poorest parliamentary attendance record of all Cabinet ministers, according to records from the People’s Assembly Service, which showed in December 2016 he’d bunked 31 committee meetings.


Zwane is hopelessly unqualified to hold the high office he lingers in. Lingers like a bad odour. He attained his secondary teacher’s diploma from the South African Teachers College in Pretoria. He also holds a certificate in Executive Leadership Municipal Development from the University of Pretoria. We let this guy run our mines, one of the most important sectors attracting international investments.

Splash Our Cash

Besides helping the Gupta’s loot the Estina Dairy Farm project and turning the whole thing into a corruption crime scene? A few months ago, the minister bought a Mercedes Benz S400 worth R1.35m with taxpayers’ money. His deputy, Godfrey Oliphant got a Porsche Cayenne worth an estimated R1.33m. All this frivolous spending is going on while Zwane has been facing massive criticism from mining unions for failing to adequately address the compensation of families affected by the Lily Mine accident in Barberton.

2. David Van Rooyen – The Minister Of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

What’s Wrong With Him?

Cellphone evidence has placed him being at the Guptas’ home the night before former Finance Minister Nhlanla Nene was handed his marching papers. The Sunday Times reported that Van Rooyen had visited the Gupta family seven times prior to his being temporarily installed as the country’s Finance Minister in 2015. This appointment plunged the market into turmoil and South Africa lost billions in the stock market. The ‘most qualified Finance Minister ever appointed by Jacob of Nkandla’ lasted only four days in this position before being swapped out with Pravin Gordhan. He probably had to return that scientific calculator he bought  for the position straight back to CNA. The ‘Minister of Weekend Specials’ can barely read – there’s little wonder how the rand nosedived against all major international currencies – hitting a record low. He made an absolute fool of himself in Parliament when he read out 237 thousand million rands’ and had the EFF in stitches. This sweaty, bumbling, Gupta-appointee has repeatedly attempted to interdict former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s state capture report. He’s called Zuma ‘the hero of the masses. Those voiceless citizens who do not have access to Twitter and Facebook.’ In the (paraphrased) words of Times columnist Justice Malala – Van Rooyen is amadel'ihlazo – so compromised he’s not even embarrassed to be seen defending a thief in public. Thuli Madonsela’s incompetent and dishonourable replacement as Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, has said she would not oppose President Zuma OR Van Rooyen’s interdict against the release of the state capture report. So much for protecting the public.


Van Rooyen’s most notable qualification is a Masters in Finance, specializing in Economic Policy from the University of London. He also has a Masters degree in Public Development & Management from Wits University (University of the Witwatersrand) and a certificate in Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management from UNISA.

Splash Our Cash

After his disastrous appointment as Minister of Finance back in 2015 – Des Van Rooyen spent 122 nights in hotels and two nights in a guesthouse while the department of Public Works were finding him a ministerial house. This took six months and cost the taxpayers R1 million.
Is all of your cash lining Governments pockets every month? Why don't you start saving on car insurance every month

3. Faith Muthambi – The Minister of Public Service and Administration


What’s Wrong With Her?

What isn’t wrong with her? The minister is widely regarded as a complete disgrace. As with the aforementioned Zwane, OUTA has laid charges of high treason and corruption against former Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi. OUTA said Muthambi, now the minister of Public Service and Administration, is involved in state capture and has been ‘captured’ by the Gupta syndicate. In 2015, the Western Cape High Court found that Muthambi had acted irrationally and unlawfully in her appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as Chief Operating Officer of the SABC. This was because of the Public Protector’s findings against him of abuses of power, fraud and maladministration. Muthambi’s total abuse of power led to the SABC’s current financial crisis, plunging it into billions of Rands in debt. The Gupta emails revealed that Faith Muthambi knowingly and deliberately shared three confidential Cabinet memoranda, through alarming emails with Tony Gupta, Duduzane Zuma and Sahara’s CEO Ashu Chawla. This vulgar conduct has the public calling for her to swing from the gallows, but she’s long had a reputation for avoiding accountability for her corrupt behaviour. An ad hoc Parliamentary committee found her ‘incompetent’ and guilty of misleading parliament, which is a criminal offence. She failed to attend a meeting where she was supposed to explain the hundreds of thousands of Rands she spent on transport costs for friends and family to watch her deliver a speech. She has also failed to attend a meeting in order to account for her personal staff of 27 (many of whom are the children of friends of hers), when the ministerial handbook limits this figure to 10.


According to the People’s Assembly website; ‘Among her string of qualifications, she obtained a BProc degree from the University of Venda in 1996 and completed her Attorney's Admission Examination in 2000. She is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa.’

Splash Our Cash

She reportedly spent nearly R500 000 in taxpayer funds on flying 30 friends and family to Cape Town to attend her budget vote speech in May. She was a no-show in Parliament last week where she was due to answer questions about these allegations. Cosatu has called on the allegations to be investigated and for Muthambi to repay taxpayers' money. She’s also been issued with a summons to appear at the next meeting.
Read more about the Minister's not-so-eloquent response to the outcry around Ministerial luxury car spending here

In Closing

Corruption runs deep in our Government, to the point that it may as well be the foundation itself. We have not even begun to talk about the departments of Transport, Education, Agriculture, Social Development, Water and Sanitation or their respective Ministers. All of which have failed the country and its people so shamefully. Zuma’s cabinet is a haven for the captured and unprincipled. The looting of our land is likely to continue under their management. As stated above, we were hard pressed to deliver the worst Minister of all. They are all, for the most part, inherently incompetent and destructive. Who do you believe is the worst Minister in the land?

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