To: Pamela Majodina
ANC Chief Whip
PER EMAIL: email@example.com
CC: Thandi Modise
Speaker of the National Assembly
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CC: Adv. Anthea Gordon
Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interest
Acting Registrar of Members’ Interests
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CC: President Cyril Ramaphosa
via Ms. Malebo Sibiya
Personal Assistant to the President
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Dear Chief Whip Majodina
RE: THE WITHDRAWAL OF NOMINATION OF ZUKISA FAKU TO CHAIR THE BASIC EDUCATION
1. The African National Congress (ANC) Parliamentary caucus’ recent nomination of Ms Zukisa
Cheryl Faku as Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education refers.
2. Equal Education (EE) is a membership-based democratic movement of learners, parents,
post-school youth and school-community members working towards achieving quality and
equality in the South African education system.
3. Because of our deep commitment to the urgent realisation of every learner in South Africa’s
right to access quality education, and South Africa’s widely acknowledged failure to realise
this right, we are deeply disappointed by Ms Faku’s nomination and the clear lack of
commitment to basic education that it reflects.
4. At the ANC’s 2019 election manifesto launch, President Cyril Ramaphosa stressed that the
ruling party would, “…show no tolerance in the fight against corruption and misconduct
within the ANC”1, and that accountability and consequence management would be
implemented. Yet, the party’s parliamentary caucus saw it fit to nominate someone with a
history of fraudulent conduct to chair this committee.
5. Ms Faku’s career has been riddled with controversy, from her days as Mayor of Buffalo City
Metro. In 2016 Ms Faku was sentenced to three years’ house arrest and community service
on nine counts of fraud2 when the East London Magistrate’s Court held that she had abused
her position as Mayor of Buffalo City Municipality in 2010, by misusing a municipal credit
card to purchase various luxury items during an overseas trip. Ms Faku was found to have
unlawfully spent approximately R15 000 to purchase these personal items.3 Former ANC
spokesperson, Mr Zizi Kodwa, publicly stated that Ms Faku would immediately cease being
an ANC Member of Parliament (MP) and that she would have to serve her sentence.
6. At the time, former ANC Chief Whip, Mr Jackson Mthembu, stated that the party agreed and
accepted the judgement regarding Faku’s fraudulent conduct. “We agree with the judge in
the case that the conduct of comrade Faku… was abusive of her position of trust,” Mthembu
said.4 In addition, Mr Kodwa welcomed the sentence and said it sent a strong message that
corruption would not be tolerated in the organisation.
7. In a separate matter, it was alleged that between 2009 and 2010, again while Ms Faku was
Mayor of Buffalo City Metro, R15.6 million went to a private firm, Ndodana Consulting
Engineers, which she had hired without following a competitive bidding process. It is claimed
that no actual work had been done by the firm, which had been appointed to “…provide technical and management support services to improve BCM infrastructure and service
delivery matters…”5 The matter landed in the East London Magistrate’s Court in 2017,
however charges against Ms Faku were dropped the following year.
8. Given the concerning events described above, and in light of the ANC’s public statements in
this regard, it is unclear how Ms Faku continued or resumed her duties as an MP.
9. Parliament’s own Code of Ethical Conduct6, which outlines the minimum standards of ethical
behaviour that South Africans may expect from public representatives, states that MPs must
exhibit selflessness, integrity, objectivity, openness and honesty. The Code also requires that
MPs place the public interest above their own, carry out public duties in accordance with
constitutional imperatives, and promote and support ethical conduct by leadership and
10. The South African Constitution also requires that individuals working in the public
administration adhere to high standards of ethical and professional behaviour. In particular,
section 195 states that the public administration must be governed by the democratic values
and principles enshrined in the Constitution, which include a high standard of professional
ethics and accountability.
11. One would expect that individuals nominated to lead MPs in their oversight duties, should
exemplify these values.
12. When MPs are shrouded with a record of fraud and corruption, it not only shakes the
public’s confidence in Parliament, but taints the very integrity of this institution. As such, we
are convinced that Ms Faku will not be able to exercise her mandate as a member of
Parliament, or as Chair of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, in a fit and proper
13. As a social movement, we have an obligation to our members, most of whom are high
school learners, to raise our concerns about Ms Faku’s nomination. In light of the concerns
we have laid out above, we are calling for the following:
13.1. We call on Chief Whip Majodina and the ANC Parliamentary caucus to withdraw Ms
Faku’s nomination and elect a capable public servant who has no previous record of
criminal activity and will be in a position to carry out the necessary legislative
oversight in the basic education sector.
13.2. Furthermore, we do not believe Ms Faku is fit to hold Parliamentary office. We call
on the ANC to honour its public commitment to combat corruption and to institute
the necessary processes to remove her as a representative of the ANC in Parliament.
The ANC and Parliament have a duty to protect the interests of the public, and in this regard, those
of learners across South Africa. It cannot be that an individual who has been found guilty of abusing
her position is deployed as a Member of Parliament, let alone nominated as chair of a committee
that oversees one of the most crucial sectors in the country. Given the importance of this issue, EE
members will continue to mobilise to ensure it is resolved.
We look forward to hearing back from you on this urgent matter and request that you respond to us
by no later than 5 July.
Ms Noncedo Madubedube
General Secretary, Equal Education