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Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle rocks political fraternity

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande was fired and replaced by Ayanda Dlodlo.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Political analyst Daniel Silke has described President Jacob Zuma’s recent Cabinet reshuffle as a move to retain his supporters within Cabinet.

“There were two aspects to the reshuffle; one, clearly, was to show certain Cabinet ministers who are largely in support of Zuma and the end of Blade Nzimande, a very senior South African Communist Party (SACP) representative in the Cabinet.”

Moving Mmamaloko Kubayi to the Communications portfolio and former State Security Minister David Mahlobo to Energy Minister is a move Professor of Political Science at University of Johannesburg Mcebisi Ndletyana says is aimed at getting the nuclear deals back on track.

“Zuma is ticking all the last boxes on his bucket list. It has to do with energy. Kubayi hasn’t been a proxy for Zuma… she’s insisted on playing things by the rules.”

Minister Nzimande was fired and replaced by Ayanda Dlodlo, whose communications portfolio now goes to Kubayi.

RESOLVING PARTY ISSUES

Political analyst Zwelethu Jolobe says making changes to the Cabinet is President Zuma's way of resolving party political issues.

Jolobe says Cabinet reshuffles are Zuma's method to survive.

“This is not a cabinet reshuffle that is done trying to achieve certain deliverables. But more as a consequence of intraparty politics.”

Meanwhile UNISA's Policy and Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni adds Zuma is on a mission to eliminate his most vocal opponents.

“This has come to be the case with Blade Nzimande whom I think was the main target of the reshuffle. You also have the issue of the energy department and the possible nuclear deal.”

POLITICAL PARTIES REACT

The Freedom Front Plus’ Pieter Groenewald says he’s surprised that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was not elevated to a Cabinet position.

He says the choice of an inexperienced candidate to lead the State Security Department is concerning.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa has slammed the reshuffle.

“There should be no excitement about this reshuffling. This government has long collapsed. There’s no government in this country. They are just throwing our money away.”

National Freedom Party Chief Whip Nhlanhla Khubisa says the reshuffle is nothing more than a cosmetic change.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says the reshuffle is a sign of Zuma's war against anyone who opposes his project of state capture.

DA spokesperson Portia Adams says the reshuffle has nothing to do with effecting good governance.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says one of the objectives of the reshuffle is to secure a massive nuclear deal with Russia, which the red berets say Zuma has been working on for years now.

Malema has also hit out at the appointment of Bongani Bongo as state security minister describing him as a "nobody".

“He’s just a little young man who knows nothing. Bongo is put there because Bongo admires Mahlobo. Bongo cannot undermine Mahlobo. So we must not be fooled. They are chasing the energy deal.

Additional reporting by Gaye Davis, Gia Nicolaides and Clement Manyathela.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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