NEWS

'So Help Me Gupta'. Brian Molefe Starts His New Job.

Anti-corruption campaigners are disgusted, but those political pundits on Twitter loved it.

23/02/2017 20:59 SAST | Updated 05/03/2017 16:50 SAST

Will anyone take him seriously?

Brian Molefe had his first day at work in his new job on Thursday, as a member of Parliament (MP) for the African National Congress (ANC).

When Speaker Baleka Mbete announced him, the heckling started, with a shout of "Where is that corrupt bastard?" from Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Moses Mbatha, reported News24.

And the speculation about his expected career path continued. Minister of Energy? Minister of Finance?

Or Minister of the Saxonwold Shebeen?

Molefe's last job was Eskom CEO, a job he left in disgrace after former public protector Thuli Madonsela's "State of Capture" report linked him to the President Jacob Zuma's controversial friends the Guptas. This is where the "Saxonwold Shebeen" emerged: Molefe claimed tearfully at an Eskom briefing in November that he hadn't been visiting the Guptas at their Saxonwold mansion, but commented that there was a shebeen in the area, which nobody has been able to find. He resigned from Eskom soon afterwards, but seems to miss the job as he still retweets Eskom's tweets.

His accession to Parliament was a little wobbly, because the ANC branch in the North West which supposedly nominated him for a hastily vacated seat flatly denied him, then another structure for apparently the same branch backed him. A membership form was flourished in public, and immediately lampooned.

His swearing in was announced, retracted, then done quietly in an office.

In Parliament, the opposition Democratic Alliance were thrilled.

Outside Parliament there was plenty of cynicism.

Whatever you think of him, everyone's talking about him.