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By Lunga Simelane


Calls for Ramaphosa to start working on Cabinet reshuffle

Tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu was possibly one of the many who might be removed.

With his re-election as president of the ANC and possibly president of the country in the 2024 national elections, President Cyril Ramaphosa should begin working on a Cabinet reshuffle as soon as possible, according to analysts.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said with tremendous political development and challenges, Ramaphosa being re-eleced had implications about re-alignment within Cabinet.

“This will prove and it will be clear the party is now well re-aligned with what is going on in government.”

He said while it was unknown who would be reshuffled, it would probably the same people being reshuffled in some interim and people who had fallen out certainly might have an exit. “Or it might not get to that point,” he said.

“We need to remember that we are talking about a lot of people who have been across three Cabinets so far.”

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As it remained to be seen how much leverage Ramaphosa has, a lot of changes were expected.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula who is now the ANC’s secretary-general, which is a full-time position at Luthuli House, would have to step down from his Cabinet position.

In an address, following the election, Mbalula said he would resign as transport minister as a result but did not give an indication of when this would be.

While Ramaphosa gave no indication of how he would go about a Cabinet reshuffle, his victory at the ANC conference could have given him give the confidence to axe ministers who vocally opposed his bid for a second term, and in cases, actively worked against him to collapse him politically.

Sisulu first in line

Tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu was possibly one of the many who might be removed.

Sisulu’s own political ambitions placed her at loggerheads with the Ramaphosa as far back as earlier this year, when she started speaking out against Ramaphosa and his leadership.

While Sisulu was not present for the voting and faced possible action with decisions now left to the incoming NEC to take further disciplinary action against members, another member who also in-line of disciplinary action was minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

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Dlamini-Zuma actively spoke out against the president, and was the first ANC member during the Phala Phala vote in parliament last week to adopt the report which would have led to Ramaphosa’s impeachment.

Dlamini-Zuma however defended her decision but still faced possible disciplinary action within the party for going against orders.

When asked if she would resign from her position as a Cabinet minister, Dlamini-Zuma said she would decide after the elective conference – but would not hold it against Ramaphosa if he fired her.

Political analyst Andre Duvenhage said it was long overdue that a Cabinet reshuffle was needed.

“In the past, Ramaphosa made necessary and cosmetic changes to his Cabinet and with what was happening in the ANC with leadership changes, Ramaphosa needs to find a place for newly appointed who are not in permanent positions in the ANC,” he said.

Cabinet reshuffle: Dlamini-Zuma another one

Duvenhage said there were several people who would see the end of their careers.

“I think Lindiwe Sisulu is one and Dlamini-Zuma is another one. I do not think he will take them further down the road with him,” he said.

Duvenhage added that there was a number of people who were problematic in Ramaphosa’s cabinet.

“The likes of Gwede Mantashe who is making a complete mess of energy affairs, another one is Mbalula who will have a permanent position as secretary general also needs to be replaced as well as the minister of police- Bheki Cele, whose portfolio is extremely problematic and dysfunctional,” he said.

“And with no KZN people in top positions, I think he will try to accommodate some people from that province.”

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