Sat. Jul 20th, 2019

Another one bites the dust: Why Derek Hanekom has quit as an MP

Derek HanekomIt seems that gaining a cabinet position was a real dealbreaker from some departing ANC officials. But Derek Hanekom is moving upwards.

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Former Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has now become the eighth MP to resign since the sixth term of Parliament began last month. He joins the likes of Bathabile Dlamini and Jeff Radebe in quitting their senior roles.

The outgoing MP is generally seen as one of Ramaphosa’s close allies, so his decision to walk away from his current position may come as a surprise. However, that soon becomes tempered when we learned that he’s destined to join Cyril’s administration, as an official in the presidency.

Who is Derek Hanekom?

He has served in three ANC cabinets during his political career, including a stint in Nelson Mandela’s government:

  • Minister of Tourism: 2016 – 2017.
  • Minister of Science and Technology: 2012 – 2014.
  • Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs: 1996 – 1999.

In March 2017, he was famously purged from the cabinet during Jacob Zuma’s “midnight reshuffle”. It’s understood his impending promotion will see him return to the inner ring of the presidency for the first time in two years.

Derek Hanekom’s new role

Hanekom is actually stepping aside for a move forward, rather than any sort of humiliating fall from grace. Bathabile Dlamini, who handed in her resignation earlier in the day, went out in a blaze of fury, hammering certain ANC members for their complicity in corruption.

The irony wasn’t lost on her, and she’s since been redeployed to Luthuli House This mass exodus has also been linked to the integrity committee’s report that was tabled in the last special NEC meeting, which was chaired by the party’s secretary-general, Ace Magashule.

Nothing sinister here…

In the report, 23 members were accused of bringing the ANC’s image into disrepute, and a chance was given to them to plead their case before the committee. Dlamini is thought to be on the list, but Hanekom is not, thus paving his way to serve as one of Ramaphosa’s right-hand officials.

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