Derek Hanekom becomes latest MP to resign from parliament

Former minister of tourism Derek Hanekom has become the latest in a series of ANC MPs to resign from parliament.

Hanekom was minister of agriculture and land affairs in South Africa’s first democratic cabinet in 1994, and also served as a minister of science and technology before joining the tourism portfolio, as well as being a member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) since 1994.

Unlike ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) leader Bathabile Dlamini, who also served her resignation from parliament earlier on Tuesday, it seems Hanekom may be resigning ahead of a promotion rather than a demotion.

While it is believed Dlamini – who claimed in a scathing resignation letter that she had been made a “scapegoat” and lamented that troubling “behaviours” are “creeping into” the ANC – resigned after being excluded from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet, News24 reports that Hanekom may be resigning as an MP to take up a position at the Union Buildings.

The resignation was confirmed by ANC chief whip Pemmy Majondina, with Hanekom declining to comment thus far.

Dlamini and Hanekom’s resignations on Tuesday are the latest in a string of resignations by ANC MPs. Others have included Jeff Radebe and Siyabonga Cwele, Susan Shabangu, Nomaindia Mfeketo, Dipuo Letsatsi-Peters and Tokozile Gaza – who are believed to have resigned due so they could receive a ministerial pension rather than the lower pension that MPs receive. Some may have resigned due to their disappointment at their exclusion from Ramaphosa’s cabinet.

Hanekom’s exclusion from the cabinet was surprising to some, especially considering the perception that he is a supporter of the president and a vocal critic of the rival Zuma-loyalist camp.

While he indicated that he would not follow other ANC MPs in resigning to qualify for a ministerial pension, he has reportedly made himself available for a position in the presidency after a request to do so.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)

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