Ramaphosa can't get rid of all pro-Zuma Cabinet members‚ says analyst

15 February 2018 - 12:27 By Naledi Shange
Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

With a possible Cabinet reshuffle on the cards‚ one political analyst says the incoming president Cyril Ramaphosa cannot entirely have his way with who goes and who stays.

Ralph Mathekga said as things were after President Jacob Zuma’s resignation speech on Wednesday night‚ the ANC was seemingly split with the decision to recall Zuma and Ramaphosa would need to somewhat redeem himself as a candidate who is pushing for unity within the party.

President Jacob Zuma resigned as leader of South Africa on Feburary 14 2018 during a televised address to the nation. Subscribe to TimesLIVE here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TimesLive

"He will therefore need a compromised Cabinet to accommodate all. He may want to get rid of [Finance Minister Malusi] Gigaba but he cannot for example hire [former Finance Minister Pravin] Gordhan. This is because Gordhan is on the far extreme of the anti-Zuma camp and Ramaphosa is trying to achieve unity. Unity is about not reinstating some of the extreme sides of the [divide]. If you want unity‚ you need to find moderates in between the camps – people who will be respected on either side‚" said Mathekga.

He stressed that Ramaphosa could however make a statement with one or two portfolios which would define his agenda‚ but he could not entirely root out the pro-Zuma camp.

Earlier this morning‚ Ramaphosa was photographed with former finance minister Trevor Manuel‚ fuelling speculation that Manuel could be making a comeback to politics.

Mathekga said this would not be a good idea. "You do not reinstate conflict by bringing in the same soldiers that fought a previous battle and besides‚ people like Manuel are doing well in civil society‚" he said.

Jacob Zuma is no longer the president of South Africa. TimesLIVE takes a look back at his tenure leading the country.

Mathekga would not reveal his views of which candidate would be suitable for which portfolio‚ saying "names did not matter".

"But a person like Naledi Pandor would make sense to keep. She worked well under Mbeki and under Zuma‚" adding that at no point did Pandor associate herself with an extreme pro- or anti-Zuma nor Mbeki camp.

"So it's about how many Naledi Pandors can he find in the Cabinet‚" said Mothekga.

Political analyst Thabani Khumalo offered differing views‚ saying he expected “big changes to happen now that the captain has been replaced”.

Should incoming President Cyril Ramaphosa decide to do a Cabinet restructure‚ Khumalo predicted that the following ministers would be given the boot:

  • Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba
  • Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini
  • Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane
  • Minister of Cooperative Affairs Des van Rooyen
  • Minister of Public Services Faith Muthambi
  • Minister of Energy David Mahlobo

“We definitely need new blood in the Cabinet. We need people who will be associated with the decisions which were taken in the last ANC conference‚” Khumalo said.

Khumalo said it was good for Ramaphosa to be seen mingling with the likes of Manuel. “I think strategically‚ it is a good move for Ramaphosa to seen in the same company as Manuel‚ people with reputable character‚” he said‚ adding that it bolstered confidence in Ramaphosa.

But could this signal a comeback for Manuel to the Cabinet?

Khumalo said it was possible that Manuel could make a return to politics but it was highly unlikely that he would return to the finance minister post.

According to Khumalo‚ people who would make good replacements for Gigaba are:

  • former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene
  • former finance minister Pravin Gordhan
  • former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas
  • former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni
  • former treasurer-general of the ANC Zweli Mkhize.