Former minister Susan Shabangu tenders resignation as MP

Former Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu.
Former Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu.
Image: GCIS

Former social development minister Susan Shabangu has resigned as a member of National Assembly, parliament confirmed on Thursday.

Shabangu’s resignation follows that of two other former ministers who were also left out of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet.

NomaIndia Mfeketo and Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, who served as ministers of human settlement and state security respectively, also vacated their National Assembly seats on Wednesday.

Shabangu was mineral resources minister when the Marikana massacre occurred. She told the Marikana commission that while she and her department were aware of the unrest at Lonmin's platinum mine they decided not get involve as they regarded what was happening as a labour matter.

She explained‚ however‚ that her department had asked the Chamber of Mines to intervene by getting all affected parties together for talks.

Though it was not immediately clear why the trio had tendered their resignations, the ANC confirmed their departure.

"The office of the chief whip confirms the resignation of comrade Shabangu and Letsatsi-Duba," said the ANC caucus spokesperson Nonceba Mhlauli.

The three were sworn in as MPs last month by chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and would have been backbenchers had they stayed on in parliament. As it stands, there are seven vacancies in the National Assembly, bringing the total number of seats to 393.

Jeff Radebe, who has been in cabinet and parliament for 25-year, hinted at the possibility of resignation after being left out the sixth administration's executive when he said, in a statement, that he looked forward to enjoyinh "the routines of normal life".

Former environmental minister Nomvula Mokonyane decided to not take up her seat in parliament citing family responsibility following the death of her husband.

“In the 400-member seat National Assembly, there are three vacancies [seats which designated MPs did not fill]. These arose because designated MPs – Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, Mr Makhosini Nkosi and Ms Sylvia Lucas – were not sworn in to be members of the National Assembly on May 22,” said parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.

“In addition, president Rampahosa ceased being an MP when the National Assembly elected him president of the republic on May 22.”

The office of the ANC chief whip in a statement on Thursday evening confirmed the resignations, adding that "as it is normal with similar resignations, there were no reasons provided in their letters".

"The ANC has already concluded the process of effecting the necessary replacements and the following members will fill the existing vacancies in the National Assembly:

Fikile Masiko will replace Shabangu, Sfiso Buthelezi will replace Letsatsi-Duba, while Tshoganetso Tongwane will fill the shoes of Mfeketo.

"... Nombulelo Lillian Hermans will replace ... Silvia Lucas who withdrew from the list due to her deployment as deputy chairperson of the National Council of Provinces ... Emily Manketsi Thlape will replace President Cyril Ramaphosa who ceased to be an MP upon his election as president of the Republic of South Africa," said ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina.

Judy Hermans will replace Makhosini Nkosi who did not take up his seat  as a of the housing.

She said the swearing-in ceremony was scheduled for Monday at 3pm in Parliament.

- Additional reporting by Andisiwe Makinana

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