'JZ destroying the Constitution'

THE DA has released a scathing indictment of President Jacob Zuma - saying "unless he is stopped, Jacob Zuma will be remembered in 10 years' time as the president who destroyed our Constitution".

Releasing her party's 2009 cabinet report card in parliament yesterday, DA leader Helen Zille accused Zuma of making empty promises to save the government money, with "R320million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure . and nearly R50million spent on luxury vehicles" on his watch.

"If we were to rate him on charm alone he would get 9 out of 10. If we were to assess him on his commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law, he would get 1 out of 10," Zille said.

The DA gave Zuma a mere 3 out of 10 overall, while Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was rated at 5,5.

Zille reserved the lowest scores for former Cosatu unionist Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, now Minister of Women, Children, and People with Disabilities; and Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana.

Giving them both a mere 2,5 out of 10, Zille lashed out at Mdladlana for his "assault on labour brokers".

"Minister Mdladlana is in his second term in this portfolio and has still recorded no accomplishments to speak of," she said.

She also gave former Sactwu general secretary Ebrahim Patel 3 out of 10, saying that the Economic Development Minister might have intended to perform but that the "rigour of a supposed intellect" was "certainly not" there.

"For a man vying for the job as head of macro policy direction, he has failed dismally at the biggest opportunity he might ever get," said Zille.

Predictably, the DA also awarded Higher Education Minister and SACP leader Blade Nzimande a low 3,5 out of 10. The DA's aversion to communism is no secret, emerging in its press releases that often reek of the language of "rooi gevaar".

Zille criticised Nzimande acquiring a new R1,1million BMW, and said "in his short stint in this portfolio (he) has not shown himself to be anything less than a menace to higher education".

There were a few high scorers - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan got 8,5 out of 10 for taking "over where his predecessor Trevor Manuel left off".

"For his commitment to curbing inflation, manage public debt and eliminate unnecessary expenditure (including opting for a modest ministerial vehicle himself) he receives the highest mark," Zille said.

They also awarded Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk 8 out of 10 for being "one of the most hands-on ministers in the cabinet".

Zille said that overall the cabinet's performance had improved - scoring an overall 4,9, up from 4,6 last year.