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Vavi: Reshuffle aimed at sewing up state

President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday morning announced a Cabinet reshuffle which included the sacking of Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande.

FILE: Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: EWN.

PARLIAMENT - General secretary of new trade union South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) Zwelinzima Vavi says President Jacob Zuma’s latest Cabinet reshuffle is aimed at “sewing up the state” and has nothing to do with the interests of the country or its people.

Vavi spoke to Eyewitness News at Parliament, where he attended a briefing by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) amid union concerns that the R1.8 trillion in assets managed by the PIC, including civil servants’ pension funds, will be used to bail out ailing state-owned entities.

Zuma on Tuesday morning announced he’d fired Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, while re-positioning ministers he appointed to new portfolios in his last Cabinet reshuffle just seven months ago.

Hlengiwe Mkhize replaces Nzimande, general secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP), which has been a vocal critic of state capture and Zuma.

Mkhize’s Home Affairs portfolio goes to Ayanda Dlodlo, while Mmamoloko Kubayi takes over from her as Communications Minister.

Kubayi’s energy portfolio goes to David Mahlobo, while African National Congress (ANC) MP Bongani Bongo, a relative unknown, becomes the country’s new State Security Minister.

Buti Manamela moves sideways from the Presidency to become Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training.

Nzimande has been shown the door, the same exit Zuma told former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, his deputy Mcebisi Jonas and Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom to take in his previous Cabinet reshuffle in March.

Vavi was scathing in his response: “It’s part and parcel of this thing… to sew up the state as part of the state capture project.

“This is directly from Saxonwold, there’s no doubt about it and the country is the last consideration on the part of the president.”

Vavi says Zuma’s working against the clock, uncertain about who’ll succeed him as ANC president in December and determined to get the megabillion-rand nuclear deal through before he leaves office as South Africa’s president.

Cabinet reshuffle

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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