Ramaphosa fires opponents in long awaited reshuffle

However, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma survives and moves to new post

Lindiwe Sisulu was booted out of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet in Monday night’s reshuffle. File image
Image: Morapedi Mashashe

Lindiwe Sisulu and Nathi Mthwetha were the most notable casualties of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s late night cabinet reshuffle on Monday.

Phumullo Masualle, the former deputy minister of public enterprises, also got the chop.

Sisulu and Masualle’s exclusion came as no surprise as the two attacked Ramaphosa before last year’s ANC national conference.

Sisulu was replaced as tourism minister by former public works minister Patricia de Lille, who was replaced as public works minister by former KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala.

Surprisingly, another Ramaphosa critic, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, was merely shifted from co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) to the ministry of women, children, youth and people with disabilities. Dlamini-Zuma replaced Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Dlamini-Zuma was replaced by her former deputy at Cogta Thembi Nkadimeng.

Another deputy minister promoted was Sindisiwe Chikunga, who replaced Fikile Mbalula as transport minister.

In what could be viewed as a demotion, minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele has been replaced with young blood Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.

Gungubele swapped roles with Ntshavheni who was responsible for communications and digital technologies.

Former deputy minister of state security Zizi Kodwa took over as minister of sports, arts and culture after Mthethwa failed to make it to the ANC national executive committee last year.

Deputy minister in the presidency Thembi Siweya will be replaced by Nomasonto Motaung and Kenneth Morolong.

Dlamini-Zuma’s deputy will be Sisisi Tolashe — a front-runner for the position of ANC Women’s League president.

Ramaphosa thanked his outgoing ministers and deputy minister for their service.

The reshuffle, which was expected to take place last Thursday was reportedly delayed after Ramaphosa picked up a cold. However, the presidency denied that an announcement was scheduled.

The changes come after the ANC’s national elective conference in December, which saw Paul Mashatile become the party’s deputy president after David Mabuza was not re-elected.

Other ministers who made the cut despite not returning to the ANC NEC include Naledi Pandor, Pravin Gordhan, Blade Nzimande and Thulas Nxesi.

Pandor is the minister of international relations and co-operation while Gordhan is the political head of public enterprises and Nzimande is at the helm of the department of higher education, science and innovation.

Nxesi is the minister of employment and labour while he has also been acting at public service and administration.

Many of Ramaphosa’s allies remained untouched.