Already, you ask? Yup.
Clearly Jacob Zuma’s favourite pastime, our dear Number One has once again reshuffled his cabinet of ministers – having already done so back in March.
Swapping around six of his ministers, the most notable move sees South African Communist Party secretary general Blade Nzimande axed as Minister of Higher Education and replaced by Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize‚ who was Minister of Home Affairs, reports Times LIVE.
Here’s what else went down:
Nzimande’s deputy‚ Mduduzi Manana‚ was replaced by Buti Manamela‚ former deputy minister for planning and monitoring in the Presidency.
Manana resigned earlier this year after he admitted to assaulting a woman.
Mkhize will be replaced at home affairs by Ayanda Dlodlo‚ whose position as minister of communications will be taken over by Mmamoloko Kubayi.
Kubayi was the minister of energy and will be replaced by former minister of state security David Mahlobo.
Mahlobo makes way for the only new addition to the cabinet‚ Adv Bongani Bongo.
Here’s a short video putting all of those names to faces, and where they sit on Zuma’s cabinet from now until the next shuffle:
So what is it this time?
Well, it’s heartbreaking, actually.
Fin24 quotes Lawson Naidoo of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution as saying:
This is all about the nuclear deal.
David Mahlobo has accompanied the president on visits to Russia, presumably to lay the ground for the Rosatom nuclear deal.
Told you it was heartbreaking – and Safcei [The Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute] spokesperson Liz McDaid agreed with Naidoo’s suggestion:
Since our court victory, there has been nothing happening regarding the outcome for the nuclear programme. We suspected something was happening behind closed doors. Last Friday’s nuclear site authorisation and now today’s Cabinet reshuffle has seen the intelligence minister become the energy minister. This is a desperate attempt to force through the nuclear deal.
Political analyst Daniel Silke told Fin24 that there are indeed two aspects to the latest Cabinet reshuffle:
“Firstly, Mahlobo is seen as close to Zuma and someone who can drive the nuclear deal, so I agree that it is relevant. The second part is the axing of Blade Ndzimande and the demise of SACP representation at a senior level in the Cabinet.
“While the nuclear deal might play a role on the one hand, Zuma is clearing out his political enemies with Ndzimande’s departure as well. The reshuffle is likely to stoke the strains in the Alliance although it is an indicator that Zuma now barely cares about the role of the SACP,” he said.
I wonder what The Daily Maverick will have to say about this.
Over on News24 editor Adriaan Basson spells it out rather simply:
It does not require rocket science to connect the dots: Zuma needs to push through the nuclear deal with Russia’s Rosatom before his term ends. If a candidate other than Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma wins the ANC’s presidential election, Zuma could be out as state president as early as January.
The reshuffle is a sign that Zuma is panicking. South Africa should be on high alert.
Any chance we can speed up Schabir’s appearance as state witness?
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