Compromise cabinet may be ditched

By Nsikan Ikpe

With the successful completion of the polls in South Africa, the stage may now be set for the easing out of the remaining vestiges of the Jacob Zuma era.

This is coming on the heels of the declared outcome of the polls, which gave the ruling African National Congress less than 58 percent of the vote tally. Instructively, though the party won the elections at the end of the day, the outcome is the poorest it has recorded since the institution of multi-party democracy in 1994.

According to analysts, the 2019 election results are in a sense the litmus for President Cyril Ramaphosa to proceed with widespread reform of the governing party and the cabinet that had long been requested by the ANC-loving people of South Africa.

Indeed, the widespread belief is that a sizeable number of voters may have voted for the promise of Ramaphosa rather than the party itself given the much dwindled public confidence that the iconic party of Nelson Mandela has suffered in most notably, the Jacob Zuma years.

This is further evidenced by the outcome from a slew of opinion polls that revealed that President Ramaphosa was far more popular than the ANC. And for good measure, the ruling party took advantage of it by emphasizing the “Ramaphosa for president” component on its campaign posters and billboards.

At the moment, the nation waits for the ANC’s top six who are expected to meet on Monday at a special national executive committee (NEC) meeting to begin to define the shape of the new cabinet.

Sources say the meeting would also be deciding on among other things, the size of the cabinet and the eight premiers for the provinces the party had managed to win again in the just concluded polls. A memo from the party’’s integrity committee asking for 22 ‘compromised individuals’ to be removed from the ANC’s parliamentary list is reportedly also on the cards.

Deputy President David Mabuza, Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe, head of the presidency Zizi Kodwa, Nomvula Mokonyane, Bathabile Dlamini, Zweli Mkhize, Malusi Gigaba, Mosebenzi Zwane are on the list.

Also on the potential chopping block is ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who had reportedly suggested that Ramaphosa had not been the central reason the ANC came out tops in the polls. There is also a torrent of corruption allegations against Magashule that some say was most damaging to the party in the polls in Gauteng which the ANC could only narrowly won with a 37-36 margin.

It is also being hinted that many Magashule and Zuma loyalists may be pressured to resign from parliament. In this case however, they may be permitted to “keep their large pensions”.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa

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