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Zuma reshuffles Cabinet - AGAIN

Hlengiwe Mkhize has been announced as the Minister of Higher Education and Training, replacing Blade Nzimande.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma in Parliament in Cape Town. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma has reshuffled his Cabinet yet again.

Nzimande has been replaced by Home Affairs Minister Hlengwe Mkhize, with Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo now to take over from her.

Mmamoloko Kubayi, Energy Minister since Zuma's last reshuffle in March, takes over the Communications portfolio from Dlodlo.

In a surprise move, State Security Minister David Mahlobo has been given Kubayi’s energy portfolio.

And in another twist, ANC MP Bongani Bongo becomes the new Minister of State Security, while Buti Manamela moves sideways from the Presidency to become deputy Higher Education and Training Minister.

The elevation of Bongo to the powerful state security portfolio is the biggest surprise.

Bongo hails from Mpumalanga where he has a house in Nelspruit. He became an MP only at the start of the fifth Parliament in 2014.

He’s proved himself to be a stout defender of Zuma in debates in the House and where he’s served on committees, including those of defence and military veterans and justice and correctional services in the National Assembly.

Mahlobo’s move to energy is bound to spark renewed speculation about Zuma’s determination to see through ambitious plans to build a number of nuclear power stations.

But the biggest casualty is Nzimande, the only minister to have been fired in the latest reshuffle.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma remains a back-bench MP despite speculation that she’d get a Cabinet post.

Cabinet reshuffle