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Cabinet reshuffle about Zuma chasing nuclear deal: Malema

17 October 2017 - 16:04 By Penwell Dlamini
Leader of the EFF, Julius Malema talks to members of the media during a press conference at their offices in Braamfontein.
Leader of the EFF, Julius Malema talks to members of the media during a press conference at their offices in Braamfontein.
Image: Alaister Russell

The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters‚ Julius Malema‚ says the cabinet reshuffle announced by President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday is a tactical move to see the nuclear deal concluded.

“He is chasing the nuclear deal in the energy [department]….She [then minister of energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson] wanted minister Nene to sign some documents which were provided to her by the president. Nene said ‘I cannot sign the documents which have not been taken through the department. If you give me time to go through them‚ we can then sign.‘

“It took forever and [former finance minister Nhlanhla] Nene got removed because they thought he was reluctant on the thing. Peterson got removed because they thought she was not handling the nuclear deal properly‚” Malema charged at a media briefing on Tuesday.

“A confidante has been sent there [Department of Energy] to go and process the nuclear deal. [New minister of energy‚ David] Mahlobo will run the two departments. Both the intelligence and energy because [newly-appointed state security minister Bongani] Bongo is a nobody. He is just a young man who knows nothing. Bongo is put there because he admires Mahlobo. Bongo cannot undermine Mahlobo. He will listen to Mahlobo on what needs to happen.

“You must not be fooled. They are chasing the energy deal‚” Malema told reporters.

He was reacting to Zuma’s decision to remove Mmamoloko Kubayi as the minister of energy‚ replacing her with Mahlobo who was the minister of intelligence. The move‚ Malema said‚ was to have control on the energy department so that no one could block Zuma’s nuclear deal.

In April‚ the Western Cape High Court ruled that government's decision to call for proposals for the procurement of 9.6 gigawatts of nuclear energy was unlawful and unconstitutional.

Earthlife Africa‚ which brought the case‚ said the court vindicated its view which was that the process government had followed was unlawful because it failed to consult the public about its decision. The judgment also made all deals that government had pursued with Russia and the US invalid.

Malema added that the reason Zuma did not replace Buti Manamela as deputy minister in the presidency was meant to leave space for “the madam”‚ referring to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

“They will read the mood and when the time permits they will put madam into the Presidency. I think madam argued that it was too junior for her to be deputy minister. So either they let go of Jeff [Radebe] or give her a much more senior responsibility as the minister in the presidency.

“It is more of a PR exercise. If she becomes a minister in the presidency and she wins the ANC presidency in December‚ then going to 2019 they will say to you she is not new in the presidency. She has been there as a minister. It is a scenario planning.

“I don’t think it is the last one [cabinet reshuffle]. The real stuff will happen if not before the conference‚ soon after the conference depending on the outcome‚” he said.