There are increasing calls for Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to be sacked, with political parties and civil organisations accusing President Cyril Ramaphosa of downplaying blatant abuse of state resources.
Late on Saturday evening, the Presidency issued a statement announcing that Ramaphosa had issued Mapisa-Nqakula with a formal reprimand.
“The president has further sanctioned the minister by imposing a salary sacrifice on the minister’s salary for three months, starting from 1 November 2020.
The action already taken against the minister was not good enough, said DA MP Kobus Marais in a statement on Sunday.
“This reprimand does not illustrate how serious President Ramaphosa is about the minister’s dereliction of duty, it illustrates how weak he is in holding members of his party and his executive to account.”
FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald expressed a similar sentiment, saying Ramaphosa’s sanction is “simply a ruse to pacify the public”.
“The FF Plus says it is not a severe enough punishment for a very serious transgression. President Ramaphosa should have fired her immediately. That would have been the correct decision,” Groenewald said in a statement.
Mkhuleko Hlengwa, IFP MP and chairperson of the parliamentary financial watchdog committee, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, tweeted that Ramaphosa’s sanction is insufficient, unless the president releases the report he sought from the minister on the matter.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse’s Wayne Duvenage also weighed in on the matter.
“To slap her with a three months salary penalty and rebuke her is not enough. She should be removed from her position. It’s time for a Cabinet reshuffle and we believe she should not be allowed to sit in that position.”