The ANC haemorrhaging continues — Cele, Modise, Zulu and Pandor won’t return as MPs

Illustrative image: A general view of the first National Assembly (Photo: Gallo Images/Jeffrey Abrahams) | Minister of Police Bheki Cele. (Photo: Shelley Christians) | Minister Naledi Pandor. (Photo: Leila Dougan) | Minister Lindiwe Zulu. (Photo: Leila Dougan) | Minister Thandi Modise. (Photo: Leila Dougan) | Minister Thulas Nxesi.(Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

The realities of the ANC’s 17 percentage points plummet to 40.1% national electoral support means many familiar and senior faces disappear from the parliamentary benches.

Police Minister Bheki Cele is out. International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor is out. Defence Minister Thandi Modise is out. As is Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu.

All are on the ANC’s national list after spot 73, the last to make it to Parliament on the national ballot, according to the seat allocations released by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC). The rest of the ANC’s 159 seats in the National Assembly are the 86 obtained through the regional ballot, determined on the strength of performance.

The implications of the ANC slaughter at the Hustings would have sunk properly when the ANC national working committee met on Tuesday.

Should the ANC get the opportunity to form government in the unfolding talks on coalitions, national unity governments or confidence and supply agreements, President Cyril Ramaphosa if re-elected will have headaches in appointing a cabinet. Only two ministers may be drafted from outside the National Assembly, according to the Constitution.

Because the ANC polled 40.1% in the 2024 elections, Cele at spot 79 didn’t make the cut. Pandor at spot 86 needed the ANC to get around 46% to be an MP, as did Modise who’s in spot 83. Repeat-appointed cooperative governance deputy minister Parks Tau, who served two stints, just missed the cut at 74.

Some long-standing ministers are among the ANC MPs disappearing from the parliamentary benches. South African Communist Party (SACP) leader Thulas Nxesi, the labour and employment minister, would have expected not to return, given his 109th spot on the ANC national lists. Ditto, deputy correctional services minister Patekile Holomisa (108) and Obed Bapela (96), a deputy minister of several portfolios over several administrations. Former ambassador to the US and ex-Western Cape premier, Ebrahim Rasool, didn’t make a parliamentary comeback given his spot at 75 on the national list. At 131 Zulu’s return to Parliament was a long shot.

Parliament will feel the loss of former justice and defence committee chairpersons Bulelani Magwanishe and Cyril Xaba, who despite their quality track record, will not return as ANC MPs. Neither will Jerome Maake, who last chaired the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI).

Perennial parliamentarians like Blade Nzimande make it once again. Dina Pule, ANC Women’s League deputy secretary-general, returns to the parliamentary benches from which she was suspended and rebuked in August 2013 for unethical behaviour that benefited her then partner in tenders and travels.

Several of those named by the Zondo Commission into State Capture are in the parliamentary benches, including deputy water minister David Mahlobo (13), ex-finance minister Malusi Gigaba (27) and ex-communications minister Faith Muthambi (38).

Ex-Arts, Culture and Sports Minister Zizi Kodwa, who at spot 25 is headed back to Parliament, on Wednesday was released on R30,000 bail after appearing in court on corruption charges related to what the Zondo Commission described as his “beholden” relationship with EOH boss Jehan Mackay.

Ministers Ebrahim Patel, Pravin Gordhan and Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma were never expected to return; they had announced their retirement before the 29 May elections.

Several ministers and deputies relied on the regional ballot to make it back to Parliament. As ANC support in KwaZulu-Natal tanked to 17% only seven will make it from there to Parliament, against 16 from Limpopo where the ANC scored 74% support.

With just 7 MPs from the KwaZulu-Natal regional list, ex-health minister Zweli Mkhize is headed back to Parliament, as is deputy minister Sibongiseni Dhlomo who was at 5th place.

From Gauteng’s 17 MPs off the regional list, Education Minister Angie Motshekga squeezes in at 11th spot. Former Ekurhuleni mayor Collen Masina heads to the parliamentary benches, as does President Cyril Ramaphosa’s one-time special advisor, Bejani Chauke.

All but two have made it from the 18-strong Limpopo regional list headed by ex-premier Stanley Mathabatha at first place, with Health Minister Joe Phaahla at 10th spot.

While the ANC got 62.4% support in the Eastern Cape it was not enough for former deputy public enterprises minister and one-time premier Phumulo Masualle to return. At 17 he was one past the 16th spot cut off.

But Small Business Development Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, very popular in the Eastern Cape, returns, as does Cedric Frolick, the National Assembly House Chairperson for Committees and an old parliamentary hand.

In the Western Cape ANC MPL Cameron Dugmore heads across the road to the national Parliament, although fellow Western Caper Richard Dyantyi — he charted the public protector impeachment inquiry — failed to make the cut, being too low on the national list.

The names of those who made the cut and those who didn’t are based on the ANC’s lists of election candidates submitted to IEC and the commission’s seat results declared on 2 June.

On Thursday the IEC hands over the official lists of designated MPs and MPLs to Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. In turn, the Chief Justice hands the lists for each of the provincial legislatures to the respective judges president — and the lists of MPs to Secretary to Parliament Xolile George.

It’s a key step in preparations towards the first sitting of the National Assembly by no later than 16 June, or Youth Day. These preparations are underway as political parties are talking cooperation, coalition, national unity government or confidence and supply agreements.

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