Why Zuma reshuf­fled his Cabi­net

Ac­cused of ne­far­i­ous in­tents, Zuma in­sists he could no longer work with Gord­han

CityPress - - News - RAPULE TABANE rapule.tabane@city­press.co.za

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma did not con­sult his fel­low ANC of­fi­cials ex­ten­sively about his reshuf­fle on Thurs­day as he felt be­trayed that they had leaked in­for­ma­tion he gave them at the ini­tial reshuf­fle meet­ing on Mon­day. City Press was briefed by a close Zuma con­fi­dante about his ac­tions this week, which have earned him the ire of many in the party.

This fol­lows crit­i­cism from ANC Sec­re­tary­Gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe and Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa that they were not con­sulted, but merely in­formed about the reshuf­fle. In an un­prece­dented move, the two se­nior party of­fi­cials dis­tanced them­selves from the Cabi­net reshuf­fle.

Man­tashe said: “The [Cabi­net] list was given to us com­plete. The list might have been de­vel­oped some­where for us [the ANC top six] to le­git­imise.”

ANC Trea­surer-Gen­eral Zweli Mkhize was also quoted as say­ing Zuma had con­ducted his con­sul­ta­tion dif­fer­ently and gave the im­pres­sion that the ANC was no longer the po­lit­i­cal cen­tre.

But Zuma was ap­par­ently peeved that ev­ery­thing he had told the of­fi­cials on Mon­day had found its way to the me­dia.

“He was deeply hurt by what hap­pened af­ter Mon­day. So, this time he did not want to read about what he said in the news­pa­pers the fol­low­ing day. Why should he take them into his con­fi­dence un­der these cir­cum­stances?

“An­other ex­am­ple: Im­me­di­ately af­ter the pres­i­dent called them [of­fi­cials] to the meet­ing on Thurs­day even­ing, jour­nal­ists were call­ing us about the meet­ing, even be­fore the meet­ing hap­pened. The trust had been bro­ken.”

He said Zuma had ef­fected the reshuf­fle be­cause he felt there were weak ar­eas that needed strength­en­ing and also wanted to leave a legacy of young lead­er­ship.

“He is hop­ing that the next pres­i­dent will also con­tinue with them and give them a chance.”

For ex­am­ple, he said Zuma be­lieved that for­mer sports min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula would add en­ergy to the police port­fo­lio, where he has been de­ployed.

The of­fi­cial dis­puted the no­tion that for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han was re­moved be­cause he was in­cor­rupt­ible and stood in the way of peo­ple who wanted to loot the Trea­sury.

“By the way, it is an in­sult to sug­gest that other min­is­ters are cor­rupt and Pravin is the only one who is not.”

Gord­han had been re­moved be­cause his re­la­tion­ship with the pres­i­dent had col­lapsed. “They could not stand each other. There was just bad blood.”

Zuma is also be­lieved to be con­vinced that Gord­han was run­ning a cam­paign against him.

“If he [Gord­han] had stayed, there would have been more paral­y­sis. Ev­ery day there was this or that is­sue con­cern­ing Gord­han, and peo­ple started ask­ing [Zuma]: ‘Why are you keep­ing him?’”

Did Zuma take into ac­count the likely neg­a­tive ef­fect on the rand?

The of­fi­cial said Zuma knew there would be anx­i­ety about who would take over, but once a name was an­nounced, ev­ery­one would get used to the per­son.

He said Zuma had ap­pointed Malusi Gi­gaba in this key port­fo­lio be­cause the for­mer ANC Youth League pres­i­dent was a ca­pa­ble min­is­ter who had per­formed in ev­ery port­fo­lio he had been given.

Gi­gaba started as a deputy min­is­ter of home af­fairs in 2004, af­ter he was ap­pointed to the post by then pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki.

“The pres­i­dent likes Malusi be­cause he works hard and has dis­tin­guished him­self in all the port­fo­lios he has been as­signed.”

He added that Zuma had never been for­given by the black lobby for re­mov­ing for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter Nh­lanhla Nene and re­plac­ing him with Gord­han in 2015.

“Peo­ple said to him, by do­ing that, he was giv­ing an im­pres­sion that there was no black African who can run fi­nance. So, he was de­ter­mined to make the right ap­point­ment.”

He said Zuma had ap­pointed Ayanda Dlodlo to re­place Faith Muthambi as com­mu­ni­ca­tions min­is­ter be­cause she was an ex­cel­lent com­mu­ni­ca­tor.

Muthambi has been crit­i­cised for her ab­sence in the port­fo­lio. Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Jeff Radebe ended up do­ing most of the work.

Last week, Zuma re­lieved Radebe of his com­mu­ni­ca­tion re­spon­si­bil­i­ties be­cause he wanted him to fo­cus more on his plan­ning, mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion du­ties, as well as on pro­mot­ing the work of the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Plan.

Asked why Muthambi had not been fired af­ter the Na­tional Assem­bly rec­om­mended that Zuma act against her for her mis­han­dling of the SABC, the of­fi­cial said Zuma be­lieved that with her le­gal qual­i­fi­ca­tions, Muthambi could still con­trib­ute to govern­ment.

Muthambi has taken over as min­is­ter of public ser­vice and ad­min­is­tra­tion. “She is a strict bu­reau­crat who pays at­ten­tion to pre­scripts and we think she will do well in the post,” said the of­fi­cial.

As to why dis­graced So­cial De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Batha­bile Dlamini had not been fired over the so­cial grants de­ba­cle, the of­fi­cial said she was not out of the woods yet. “The pres­i­dent is mon­i­tor­ing de­vel­op­ments in the de­part­ment and the process has not run its course.”


SOL­I­DAR­ITY Graça Machel greets Bar­bara Ho­gan, widow of strug­gle veteran Ahmed Kathrada, at his me­mo­rial ser­vice, which was held at Jo­han­nes­burg City Hall yes­ter­day. A stri­dent Ho­gan led the call to top­ple Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.