Duarte pours water on expectations of Ramaphosa reshuffling his Cabinet

She told reporters earlier on Thursday that the matter had not been discussed during this week’s ANC top officials meeting or that of the national working committee which would ordinarily be consulted before such major decisions are made.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize celebrate the vaccine arrival on 1 February 2021. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte has poured water over expectations that President Cyril Ramaphosa will make changes to his Cabinet this week.

She told reporters earlier on Thursday that the matter had not been discussed during this week’s ANC top officials meeting or that of the national working committee, which would ordinarily be consulted before such major decisions were made.

Although the ANC prides itself on having consultative leaders in government, Duarte’s remarks suggested the contrary.

“You know, [the] reshuffle... I don’t know what is in the head of the president of the republic frankly speaking. We have not been called to come for the president to share his thoughts with us. We hear from you that there is a buzz around reshuffling and so on. If it happens. We’ll also know when you know.”

But it would also not be the first time that the party remains mum on planned changes to the Cabinet.

Ramaphosa is under increased pressure to effect the changes following a public fallout and failure to contain the recent anarchy by his security cluster ministers.

Duarte, who was reporting back on the decisions of this week’s ANC national working committee meeting, said even this structure did not discuss the matter: “Yes, the president does consult. No, he hasn’t called us as the top six for such a consultation as yet. When he does call us and indicates, we will go and hear what his plans are.”

Ramaphosa also has some vacancies to fill after placing corruption-tainted Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on special leave and also following the death of Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu and some deputy ministers.

The ANC also said it was formulating disciplinary charges against its members who had been identified as instigators or participants in last months’ deadly violence and looting in the country.

While Duarte said they could not divulge the names or any further details, she reassured the public that the party had its ear on the ground regarding the events.

“We are in the process of developing charges and as you all know, I never share what’s in a charge sheet. That’s not fair. People have rights and have the right to know what’s in the charge sheet in terms of the ANC’s internal processes and they also have two weeks from the date they receive the charge sheet to respond.”

Duarte also confirmed that the party has resolved that Limpopo ANC treasurer Danny Msiza must step aside for his alleged role in the VBS Bank corruption.

He is accused of having a hand in facilitating the transfer of funds from Limpopo municipalities into now defunct VBS Mutual Bank and the looting that followed.

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