Despite massive attack against his nomination as a member of the parliament, former Eskom CEO, Brian Molefe has finally been sworn in as new member of the house.
His swearing in early Thursday morning has ended speculation on the date for his swearing-in after Parliament confirmed last Friday he had been nominated as MP.
Molefe’s nomination sparked divisions in ANC structures in the North West as speculation intensified Molefe will succeed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, but the finance minister has refused to be drawn into the debate on his removal from the National Treasury.
Since his nomination last week, two grassroots ANC units have claimed that he is their member; while claims by a third branch, Bekkersdal, were referred to as a hoax. The party’s ward 29 branch in Madibeng, Brits in the North West insists Molefe is a member in “good standing”.
Despite the dispute, the ANC said on Wednesday that confusion in some of the party’s branches will not deter his rise to Parliament.
“It won’t at all, the issue about which branch you belong to is an administrative issue, maybe branches lapsed with regards to the transfer letter it doesn’t affect your movement as a person and your status of membership in the organisation,” the party said.
Speaking on the internal dispute concerning what branch the former CEO belong’s, spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said that one member cannot belong to multiple branches.
“You can only belong to one branch, if you move for whatever reason, from one branch to another, you need a letter of transfer from the original branch. That you are a member in good standing to another branch,” said Kodwa.
Molefe resigned as Eskom CEO after being implicated in the Public Protector’s State of Capture report that reports his link with the Gupta family, known to be close to President Jacob Zuma
His nomination has been backed by the Progressive Professionals Forum, which said this week he has an added value that would be beneficial to the Parliament and the Treasury, if he was eventually deployed there.
Meanwhile the Sunday Times reported last month that if Molefe becomes an MP, it could pave the way for a cabinet reshuffle.
The newspaper said President Jacob Zuma is expected to reshuffle his Cabinet to make way for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is seen as one of the front-runners to succeed the president at the elective conference
Moelefe’s swearing in as an MP would make him eligible to be appointed to Zuma’s Cabinet. Speculation is rife that Zuma’s backers want Molefe to replace Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
Such a move would have the support of the ANC Youth League‚ which on Friday called for Gordhan’s removal. The league accuses Gordhan of shielding “white monoply capital” at the expense of “radical economic transformation”.
“There must be restructuring of treasury administration and management starting with the re-deployment of comrade Pravin Gordhan‚” read the league’s national executive committee statement