Former Public Service and Administration Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi has resigned as ANC MP.
His resignation from the national legislature was confirmed by the office of ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu on Wednesday morning.
The Office of the ANC Chief Whip confirms the resignation of former Minister and ANC MP Adv. Ngoako Ramathlodi as an MP effective 31 March.
— ANC Parliament (@ANCParliament) April 12, 2017
His resignation was backdated to March 31, 2017, in a clear bid to maintain his loss of office gratuity payout at a ministerial pay grade.
In a statement, Mthembu thanked former Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi for serving the ruling party in Parliament and the public at large. He also wished the former minister well in his future endeavors.
“On behalf of the ANC in Parliament, we thank comrade Ramatlhodi for his selfless service to the movement as a public representative. Comrade Ramatlhodi has served as Minister and MP with absolute distinction and dedication. We are confident that he will continue serving the movement in other capacities in future. We wish him well in his future endeavors‚” the ANC Chief Whip said.
Following his resignation, Ngoako has now joined the long line of former ministers who bowed out from the Zuma-led government last week. The former ministers are Dipuo Peters‚ Tina Joemat-Pettersson‚ and deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonah.
Peters, Joemat-Pettersson, and Jonah had lost their jobs following President Zuma’s recent cabinet reshuffle.
On Monday, Ngoako said he regrets helping President Jacob Zuma to power, saying those who supported Zuma, against former President Thabo Mbeki must now take responsibility for the crisis going on in the country – including himself.
“I went to Pietermaritzburg [to attend Zuma’s corruption trial every day with Comrade Kgalema [Motlanthe] … Look, I think we were angry at the time. My feeling was he was being unfairly treated. He was stopped from being president [and they were] using legal process. I was at the forefront of it … we have to accept what we did when we did it,” he said.
Despite being one of President Zuma’s most vocal supporters, Ramatlhodi Ngoako believes Zuma removed him because he desires to manipulate the forthcoming ANC headship election.
“I think what is happening is that the president is trying to influence the outcome of the next conference. And because he is the president he is allowed to play his card. We gave that card to him, now he is allowed to play it … I think it is the last card he had to play,” he said.
Former Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi had previously served as Limpopo premier and the minister for mineral resources before he was reshuffled by Zuma to public service and administration in 2015. He was replaced then by one of Zuma’s buddies and Free State economic development MEC Mosebenzi Zwane, as mining minister.
Like Ramatlhodi Ngoako, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema once issued an apology statement to former President Thabo Mbeki and South Africa, at large, for helping Zuma to power.
Cosatu former secretary-general, Zwelinzima Vavi also echoed the same sentiment, calling on Mbeki to forgive him for aiding his removal.
Vavi, former Zuma supporter, said he believed those who supported Zuma were under some spell.