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Zuma’s overnight cabinet purge leaves the country in disarray

A new #ZumaMustFall petition has launched online after President Jacob Zuma announced a Cabinet reshuffle last night, axing five ministers, two deputies and announcing 10 new ministers and 10 new deputy ministers.

The president did not touch his loyal supporters such as Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, despite the party’s alliance partners arguing that he should be fired for poor performances.

Neither has he axed Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, Local Government Minister Des Van Rooyan and now Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi.

Speaking on SA FM, African National Congress Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said “we had a long discussion regarding the removal of the minister of finance. We were not consulted about other ministers we were just informed.”

The Chamber of Mines echoed the views of Mantashe, saying Zuma’s recall of Gordhan was “damaging to our country’s reputation.”

President Jacob Zuma fired finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, after he had recalled them earlier this week.

The president ordered the pair to return from what he expressed was an “unauthorised” trip; an investor roadshow in the UK and US‚ where they were planning to lead a delegation to meet investors and ratings agencies.

Here’s a list of shuffles that are relevant to the mining industry,

1) Minister of Energy, Ms Mmamoloko “Nkhensani” Kubayi, replacing Tina Joemat-Pettersson

2) Minister of Finance, Mr Malusi Gigaba, replacing Pravin Gordhan

Kubayi’s new portfolio, replacing Minister Joemat-Pettersson, will see her overseeing major decisions around the country’s energy arrangements, with the government’s planned mega-million nuclear build arguably the most controversial item in her in-tray.

Joemat-Pettersson has been active in her role for the past two years.

Zuma said in an official briefing just before midnight last night, “I have decided to make changes to the National Executive in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

“The changes bring some younger MPs and women into the National Executive in order to benefit from their energy, experience and expertise.”

The overall feeling on news across the country and on social media platforms is that Zuma is not only risking a broad-based backlash from civil society, it may unleash forces of opposition within the ANC that could ultimately prove to be his undoing.

There have been reports that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will resign along with 12 other ministers if Zuma fired Pravin, but they would continue to hold their seats in the national assembly so they can vote Zuma out.

After a long silence on the matter Ramaphosa eventually spoke out on SABC Africa News Channel 404 and said, “Firing of ministers over dubious intelligence reports is unacceptable.”

The full list of new ministers and deputies, fired and reshuffled includes,


Minister of Energy, Ms Mmamoloko “Nkhensani” Kubayi, replacing Tina Joemat-Pettersson

Minister of Transport, Mr Joe Maswanganyi, replacing Dipuo Peters

Minister of Finance, Mr Malusi Gigaba, replacing Pravin Gordhan

Minister of Police, Mr Fikile Mbalula, replacing Nathi Nhleko

Minister of Public Works, Mr Nathi Nhleko, replacing Thulas Nxesi

Minister of Sports and Recreation, Mr Thembelani “Thulas” Nxesi, replacing Fikile Mbalula

Minister of Tourism, Ms Tokozile Xasa, replacing Derek Hanekom

Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Faith Muthambi, replacing Ngoako Ramatlhodi

Minister of Home Affairs, Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize, replacing Malusi Gigaba

Minister of Communications, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, replacing Faith Muthambi

Half of the ministers affected have been fired, with the other half merely moved to new positions.



Tina Joemat-Pettersson

Dipuo Peters

Pravin Gordhan

Derek Hanekom

Ngoako Ramatlhodi



Malusi Gigaba

Nathi Nhleko

Thulas Nxesi

Fikile Mbalula

Faith Muthambi


Deputy Ministers

Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba

Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Sifiso Buthelezi

Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Ben Martins

Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms Maggie Sotyu

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Gratitude Magwanishe

Deputy Minister of Communications, Ms Thandi Mahambehlala,

Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe

Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Bongani Mkongi

Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Nomathemba November


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