Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, for suppressing a forensic report that found that her adviser, Herbert Mkhize, had misappropriated more than R1m in public funds for his personal use while he was Nedlac executive director.
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Denying responsibility for the murder of arch-critic Boris Nemtsov is all very well, but trying to deflect responsibility to the opposition itself, or “provocation” by the West, is pushing credulity.
Public works director-general Mziwonke Dlabantu, for resisting the release of conveniently classified information to the Nkandla architect, who has been set up as the fall guy for this gross abuse of public funds.
State Security Minister David Mahlobo. Hot on the heels of the phone-jamming debacle, he’s now in the hot seat as the “spy cables” leaks from his State Security Agency begin to circle the globe.
City Power MD Sicelo Xulu. For taking the lead in introducing SA’s first time-of-use electricity tariff system. Giving incentives to households to shift their electricity consumption to off-peak periods is long overdue.
Nedbank CEO Mike Brown. The bank’s African growth strategy is starting to pay off, with headline earnings from the region compensating for lacklustre South African results and boosting the group’s bottom line.
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, for failing to resolve the saga of the 664 soldiers suspended on full pay for more than five years at a cost of R500m for participating in an illegal protest that turned violent.
Proteas skipper AB de Villiers. After an embarrassingly amateurish performance against India at the weekend, he has a mountain to climb to keep the team’s World Cup campaign on track.
Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis. The group received 17% more tip-offs last year than in 2013, which may mean corruption has increased but probably has more to do with gaining the public’s trust.
Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, for defying a Cabinet decision to opt for set-top boxes with conditional access when SA — eventually — migrates to digital television. What is the incentive, you have to wonder?
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, whose idea of the promised “review” of the controversial new immigration regulations appears to be more a case of “no concessions”. Hardly an open-minded approach.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, for making contradictory statements in court papers on the extent of her powers, which will be leapt upon by the ANC in its bid to undermine her office and protect its leader.
President Jacob Zuma was simultaneously the direct cause and a bit player in the chaos that overwhelmed his state of the nation address last week, but to make no reference to it at all was just weird. And that malevolent chuckle!
EFF MP Floyd Shivambu, for warning that next time the speaker tries to evict his party’s representatives from Parliament, “we will be armed”. Said in the heat of the moment, perhaps, but still completely unacceptable.
Durban mayor James Nxumalo, for having the courage to continue with the city’s bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games despite the current depressed economic environment. Rather that than the Olympics.
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Water Affairs and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, for hiring 34 Cuban engineers at R50m a year, when there are hundreds of qualified and unemployed South Africans who could do the job.
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, who made the best of a bad hand with a holding budget that may just do the trick if economic growth starts to pick up. That’s a very big “if”, of course, with many a slip twixt cup and lip.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose credibility on the issue of Iran’s nuclear ambitions has been badly undermined by Mossad spy cable leaks showing that he lied blatantly to the US Congress.
Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa. For her reprieve on new minimum-emissions standards. Under the circumstances, companies — even dirty ones — need all the help they can get.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura, for putting infrastructure development and economic growth at the forefront of his state of the province address. All the right noises, now let’s see how implementation goes.
South African-born producer Eric Abraham, co-founder of Cape Town’s Fugard Theatre, who was jailed, banned and exiled in the 1970s, has walked away with his second Oscar, for Ida, voted best foreign language film.
Gauteng Hawks head Shadrack Sibiya, whose suspension was set aside by the Pretoria High Court last week after it emerged that the independent police watchdog had cleared him of any wrongdoing.
National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete. Apologising for calling Julius Malema a cockroach is all very well, but how about begging the rest of SA’s forgiveness for inviting armed police into Parliament to assault MPs?
SARS commissioner Tom Moyane. It turns out the probe into a covert unit of the service, which he has used as the basis to suspend senior employees, came to no clear conclusion and called for further investigation.
DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane, the Mark Antony of SA’ s politics, for his eloquent roasting of President Jacob Zuma during the state of the nation debate. That is what Parliament is supposed to be for.
Now suspended EFF MP Andile Mngxitama, for finally seeing the light with respect to the true nature of the party and its leader. Unfortunately, he wants to act on principle, a concept that is entirely foreign to populists.
Big Bird, the middle-aged, bright-yellow leading character of Sesame Street, one of the longest-running television series in the world, who has finally registered a Twitter account. His first tweet? You guessed it: “Tweet”.
ANC chairwoman and National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete, whose handling of the debacle and subsequent “cockroach” comments prove what all right-thinking people already know: she should not hold public office.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, whose response to criticism of his sponsored visit to Huawei in China was that South Africans “don’t understand how a governing party works”. They do, they just don’t approve.