Ramaphosa has given country a mixed bag of cabinet ministers
Finally, SA has a new cabinet. The time it took for Cyril Ramaphosa to announce it is a measure of the depth of the mess in the ANC.
The preannouncement noise about who would be deputy president, and the drama of the kangaroo court called integrity commission, were a storm in a tea cup.
In government, a deputy president is the most useless position. Whoever occupies it is essentially a messenger of the president, with not even a budget to steal.
Typically, presidents give their deputies useless and meaningless tasks such as "moral regeneration". How can a philandering deputy president stop fornication in society?
The main thing about the noise surrounding DD Mabuza is that he is dodgy, and that, ensconced in the Union Buildings, he will smell power and work to topple Ramaphosa at the next ANC conference.
As for the new cabinet, it is a mixed bag. Its nominal reduction is a symbolic gesture by a good-intentioned president trapped in a party with a long queue of hungry lions waiting for their piece of steak.
Substantively, the cabinet should be assessed on three grounds: crime and corruption busting, revitalisation of the economy, and improving education.
With regard to the fight against crime and corruption, Bheki Cele is back. The man is no Mr Clean. He was once fired from the position of police commissioner for corruption. The best Cele can do would be to assist Ramaphosa to pursue his enemies in the ANC. It would be good if he succeeded - Ramaphosa's enemies are hardcore criminals hiding behind ANC politics.
A welcome addition to the criminal justice portfolio is Ronald Lamola. Under Jacob Zuma, Lamola led a march to Luthuli House as part of the #Zuma Must Fall. The combination of such political bravery and Lamola's legal qualifications are perhaps what we need to root out state capture. But, given his age and inexperience, Lamola will need serious technical support.
Nothing new was necessary in the economic cluster. Every sane person agrees Tito Mboweni is a safe pair of hands for SA's finances. Thieves like the Guptas must not even try.
Ramaphosa must be commended for returning Pravin Gordhan to take care of our public enterprises. Gordhan is a competent man of principle who has never stolen a cent from the public.
The noises made by the EFF are sinister. The EFF has been defending Tom Moyane, who used his position at Sars to shield Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu from the taxman.
Malema lived in a Johannesburg house owned by a cigarette smuggler, and has benefited from the looting at black bank VBS.
Shivambu and his brother were kingpins in collapsing the bank. The EFF even threw parties with stolen money. What did Moyane do?
The less said about Busisiwe Mkhwebane the better. This is a public protector whose two major reports have been thrown out of the window by our courts.
Mkhwebane's appointment was celebrated by so mad a man as Andile Mngxitama - a known mercenary of the Guptas and a trusted soldier of state capture.
Mkhwebane's early reports and recommendations have been bizarrely close to positions championed by Mngxitama and the Guptas - such as changing the mandate of the Reserve Bank. Thankfully, our courts have rejected such madness.
Only thieves and the EFF believe that Mkhwebane is a credible public protector. All sane people must set aside money to review every report by dodgy Mkhwebane. The best thing for that office would be to remove her.
With regard to improving education, there is nothing encouraging. Blade Nzimande and Angie Motshekga are as idealess as they are visibly tired. With such dinosaurs, we can rest assured that SA's education is going nowhere. What, then, must we expect from a mixed bag? Mixed results.