News / South Africa

Ngwako Modjadji
2 minute read
1 Mar 2017
5:41 am

Timing is perfect for Zuma to reshuffle Cabinet, says expert

Ngwako Modjadji

A political analyst says the public has been prepared for a reshuffle to avoid a backlash similar to Des van Rooyen's hasty appointment.

President Jacob Zuma attends a luncheon for world leaders during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York, New York, USA, 20 September 2016. EPA/PETER FOLEY / POOL

As the speculation continues that President Jacob Zuma will reshuffle his Cabinet, the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) remained tight-lipped on the matter – for now.

ANCYL president Collen Maine would only say “no comment” on Tuesday when asked about Cabinet ministers the league wants removed.

The ANC Women’s League have called on Zuma to axe Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said the moment was ripe for Zuma to reshuffle his Cabinet.

“The public has been prepared for a Cabinet reshuffle to avoid the backlash we saw when Zuma appointed Des van Rooyen as finance minister.”

Van Rooyen was sacked just days into his job and replaced with Gordhan in 2015.

While Zuma has a dilemma, Mathekga said, a Cabinet shake-up would help him.

“Zuma currently does not get along with Gordhan,” Mathekga said. “The current relationship between the two is not workable and a Cabinet reshuffle would help Zuma.”

Mathekga said there was no alignment between Zuma’s emphasis on radical economic transformation and Gordhan’s budget.

Zuma wants a finance minister who shares his priorities.

Mathekga said Zuma would discuss the matter with his allies before he made changes.

“He would consult with people who matter to him before he reshuffles the Cabinet,” Mathekga said.

The Congress of the People (Cope) said it was aware the Zuma faction wanted to get rid of Gordhan so that they could lay their hands on Treasury.

Spokesperson Dennis Bloem slammed Maine for reportedly saying Gordhan was a spy for “white monopoly capital”.

“This is a very serious allegation against a senior Cabinet minister,” Bloem said.

“It is disturbing that Maine made these allegations in the presence of the president – the same person who appointed Gordhan.

“But Zuma said nothing and Maine was not reprimanded for going too far labelling his minister a spy.”

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