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Ramaphosa’s council of advisors a dubious bunch

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In your editorial, “Hasty decisions could endanger lives”, in the 29 May edition of the SA Jewish Report, you ask why President Cyril Ramaphosa ignored sensible advice from experts about reopening shuls, churches, and temples in spite of the real possibility of COVID-19 infections rocketing even higher.
by Brian Josselowitz, Cape Town | Jun 04, 2020

Ramaphosa has appointed a dubious cast of characters to the National Command Council, many of them leftovers from the Gupta days: Police Minister Bheki Cele, who was investigated by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela over leases with his pal Roux Shabangu; Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel, a high ranking member of the South African Communist Party, which isn’t a crime. However, the restrictions he imposed starting from level five border on the criminal, and in level three, the regulations as laid down in the Government Gazette are still incomprehensible. Google CoGTA (Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs), to see how bizarre they really are.

Then there’s former President Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (NDZ), the minister of cooperative government and traditional affairs. When she was in Thabo Mbeki’s cabinet, her Sarafina 2 debacle cost millions of rand; and she was the one who punted Virodene as the cure for HIV/AIDS – this from a medical doctor! Apparently she, like her ex-husband, doesn’t understand big figures. Which is why she thinks that 2 000 signatures upholding the cigarette ban is more than the 400 000 signatures on a petition asking for cigarette sales to be allowed.

To give her credit, the only decent thing she has done is to ban smoking in public places, along with her successor, Aaron Motsoaledi, under whose watch the Life Esidimeni tragedy occurred. Now he’s home affairs minister. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is still responsible for the many pit latrines at schools, and she can’t even deliver text books on time. So, how would she have ensured that every school was deep cleaned before the planned reopening on 1 June?

These are the people giving Ramaphosa advice.

In spite of his grave demeanour, which you can practise in front of a mirror, like all political leaders worldwide, Ramaphosa is floundering in the dark when it comes to fighting the pandemic.


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