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Familiar faces of Ramaphosa’s ‘New Dawn’: The Cabinet merry-go-round

While many were relieved at the introduction of new faces and a trimmed Cabinet, there were some returning familiar faces who've been playing musical chairs. EWN takes a look when their Cabinet careers started.

FILE: Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his new Cabinet on Wednesday at the Union Buildings. He revealed that the number of Cabinet portfolios would be trimmed down from 36 to 28.

While many were relieved at the introduction of new faces and a leaner Cabinet, there were some familiar faces who have been playing musical chairs within Cabinet.

MAITE 'I'VE GOT A HOLE IN MY HEAD' NKOANA-MASHABANE

New position: Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.

Previous: Nkoane-Mashabane was the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation from 2009 until 2018. One of her most memorable interviews during that time was with Al Jazeera in 2016, when the minister kept referring to the hole in her head from carrying a water can.

Before occupying her current portfolio, Nkoana-Mashabane was appointed Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform in February 2018. During her tenure, the department was taken to court for its failure to issue a restitution plan for District Six residents in Cape Town.

FILE: Maite Nkoana-Mashabane was ordered to appear in court on a contempt of court charge after the government missed a deadline to come up with a proper restitution plan for District Six. Picture: Bertram Malgas

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in the Western Cape High Court on 17 May 2019 on a contempt of court charge after government missed a deadline to come up with a proper restitution plan for District Six. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

FIKILE ‘RAZZMATAZZ/FEARFOKKOL’ MBALULA

New position: Minister of Transport

Previous: Mbalula served as Deputy Minister of Police from May 2009 to Oct 2010. He then served as the Minister of Sport and Recreation from 1 November 2010 until 25 May 2014, which later led to controversy due to his close relationship with the Guptas.

Mbalula was then appointed Minister of Police on 31 March 2017 and, always one with an interesting turn of phrase, encouraged the police's tactical response team to "squeeze the balls" of criminals.

FILE: Police Minister Fikile Mbalula visited the Hout Bay Police Station following violent protests in the Imizamo Yethu area. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

FILE: Then Police Minister Fikile Mbalula at the Hout Bay Police Station following violent protests in the Imizamo Yethu area in July 2017. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

BLADE ‘STUDENTS MUST FALL’ NZIMANDE

New position: Returns as Minister of Higher Education (now merged with Science and Technology)

Previous: Nzimande served as Minister of Transport from 27 February 2018 to 25 May 2019. From 2009 until 17 October 2017, Nzimande was Minister of Higher Education and Training. In 2015 during the #FeesMustFall movement, he said “students must fall”.

Before moving back to Higher Education, Nzimande served as acting Minister of Home Affairs in 2018.

Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

FILE: Then Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande in 2014. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

NKOSAZANA DLAMINI-ZUMA

New position: Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Previous: One of the longest-serving ministers in South Africa, Dlamini-Zuma (also known as NDZ) occupied her first portfolio as Minister of Health from 1994 until 1999 and served as Minister of Foreign Ministries for a decade from 1999.

NDZ then served as the Minister of Home Affairs from 2009 until 2012 under the leadership of former President Jacob Zuma.

Last year, after running against Cyril Ramaphosa for the position of ANC president, Dlamini-Zuma was appointed as Minister in The Presidency: Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Cyril Rampaphosa embrace at the start of the ANC's 54th national conference on 16 December 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

FILE: Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Cyril Rampaphosa embrace at the start of the ANC's 54th national conference on 16 December 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

LINDIWE SISULU

New position: Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation.

Previous: Another long-serving minister whose Cabinet career began back in 1996 when she served as deputy Minister of Home Affairs until 2001. In 2001, Sisulu then moved to occupy the role of Minister of Intelligence until 2004. She then served as Minister of Housing until 2009, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans from 2009 to 2012 and Minister of Public Service and Administration from 2012 until 2014.

Before moving to Human Settlements, Sisulu was appointed as Minister of International Relations and Cooperation for a year during the fifth democratic administration.

Most recently, Sisulu made headlines for announcing plans to downgrade the Israeli embassy to a visa centre.

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu at the Heads of Mission Conference in Pretoria. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

FILE: Then Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu at the Heads of Mission Conference in Pretoria in October 2018. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

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