Pravin Gordhan, who was reappointed as minister of public enterprise by president Cyril Ramaphosa, did not trend on social media after the sixth cabinet announcement on Wednesday evening.
But Gordhan’s name is sure to trend in political and even judicial circles as early as next week, and for the better part of the sixth administration’s term of office – if he lasts that long.
Gordhan was dubbed a constitutional delinquent by the EFF after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found him guilty of improper conduct after her investigation into the Ivan Pillay retirement saga.
Gordhan has lodged a court battle to fight Mkhwebane’s findings, a decision that has become the subject of a new offensive by the EFF who, after successfully ousting Jacob Zuma, have never had a real target to focus their collective brawling on.
Gordhan who has for years been the subject of serious allegations in matters around state capture, troubles within SARS and ANC factional politics should expect the same rough treatment Zuma received at the hands of the red brigade during his tenure as president.
Just after Ramaphosa’s announcement the EFF issued a brawling statement lambasting the president for reappointing Gordhan into Cabinet. Why Ramaphosa stuck with a man mired in such controversy when he has an army of young and capable cadres to choose from remains a mystery.
But his decision clearly plays into the hands of the EFF who thrive on personality politics, focusing their energy and campaigns on a particular individual to grow their brand.
In Pravin and his troubles with the PP’s office, plus the perception that he is a racial bully, the EFF has found a new punching bag after Zuma’s departure.