Faith Muthambi, the former minister of public service and administration who was sent packing by Cyril Ramaphosa 18 months ago, may soon be back in the public eye as the new chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on justice.
City Press’ sister publication, Rapport, has learnt that the ANC’s parliamentary caucus nominated Muthambi as its preferred candidate for the important job of heading Parliament’s justice and correctional services committee, although the ANC’s top six will have the final say over whether she is deployed to this position.
The ANC’s caucus met on Thursday to finalise candidates for chairpersons of portfolio committees. Ace Magashule, as secretary-general of the ANC, also attended the meeting at the Old Assembly chamber in Parliament.
According to a reliable source, Muthambi, who is most well known for her role in paving the way for the destruction wreaked by former SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, was recommended as the preferred candidate to chair the committee.
Another independent ANC source confirmed this.
“The deputy chairperson of the portfolio will be Advocate Hisamodien Mohamed, a new MP from the Western Cape. Those were the recommendations of caucus,” said one of Rapport’s sources.
As secretary-general of the governing party, Magashule is the direct link between the ANC’s head office and its parliamentary caucus. He is responsible for ensuring that the political decisions of Luthuli House are implemented in Parliament. Muthambi’s eventual appointment will, however, depend on the balance of forces in the top echelons of the governing party.
All the caucus decisions for portfolio committee chairpersonships must be presented to the ANC’s top six officials for approval. In previous years, the top six have not shied away from changing these recommendations.
The chairpersonship of the influential standing committee on public accounts is likely to go to the IFP’s popular spokesperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa.
Since the inauguration of members of parliament last month, speculation has been rife about whether the ANC will maintain the tradition of giving the chairpersonship of the committee to a smaller party, to ensure its independence.