New Cabinet to be announced tonight, who will survive and who won’t?

President Cyril Ramaphosa . Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

President Cyril Ramaphosa . Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 6, 2023


Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to announce the new National Executive tonight.

This comes amid mounting pressure on the president to fill vacant positions, including introducing the new Electricity Minister and his deputy, after David Mabuza officially resigned last week.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula is also expected to vacate his position to go and concentrate on fulfilling the position of ANC secretary-general at Luthuli House for the next five years.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, made the announcement in a briefing at the Union Building on Sunday.

“Having exercised his constitutional prerogative, the president will announce a new national executive on Monday,” Magwenya said.

Widespread reports suggest that Paul Mashatile, who was sworn in as a member of Parliament last month, might replace Mabuza as the deputy president of the country.

That is yet to be seen, as there are some ANC members who are calling for Mashatile to step aside on fraud and perjury allegations. This comes after an ANC member in the North West laid criminal charges against Mashatile. The member claimed Mashatile submitted a falsified affidavit to the North West High Court in a case that sought to find the province’s ninth conference, held in August last year, null and void.

The ANC has since defended Mashatile, citing that he did not act in his personal capacity in the manner in which he proceeded to handle the submissions regarding the conference held last year.

Governance expert Dr Sam Koma, in an interview with one of the broadcasters, said Mashatile’s argument is to say that the ANC’s constitution states that the secretary-general communicates decisions of the National Executive Committee (NEC); the National Working Committee (NWC) to the lower structures, in this case the North West Provincial Executive Council.

So he was acting in the context of the mandate assigned to him as the acting secretary-general.

“It will depend on how the court handles this particular matter and arrives at a verdict. If Mashatile is found guilty of fraud and perjury by the High Court, then the step aside rule will kick in,” said Koma.

Weighing in on the new Cabinet Ramaphosa will announce today, political analyst Dr Ongama Mtimka said he can see that some of the ministers who may no longer have some representation at the NEC are not coming back.

“But I doubt it can be the same thing for Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, because of how important he is to the private survival of Ramaphosa as somebody who was key in terms of mobilising resources. There is a challenge in the portfolio in that link between political oversight over Eskom and energy security in the country, but we know that is the function of the roles of the Minister of Mining and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, and Public Enterprises, as well as Eskom itself,” Mtimka said.

He said he doubted that the president would feel emboldened to take any action that could be seen as demoting one of these ministers.

“If anything, he might just want to keep them, hoping to show to stakeholders that there’s going to be addressing issues around energy security through this minister in the presidency, rather than sacking any one of these ministers,” Mtimka said.

The Star