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Cabinet, inaugurations & ministers: The ultimate wrap of top political stories

03 June 2019 - 10:05 By Unathi Nkanjeni
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

From the general elections to the announcement of President Cyril Ramaphosa's new cabinet, May was one helluva busy political month.

Here are some of the stories that dominated headlines.

ANC wins

The ANC won the May 8 general elections, but the results published by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) were the party's worst national showing since Nelson Mandela led it to victory in 1994.

Ramaphosa didn't save ANC - Magashule

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule hit back at transport minister Fikile Mbalula for saying the ANC would have scored less than 40% of the votes had Ramaphosa not been elected party leader in 2017.

Magashule said people were voting for the ANC, not individuals.

The rise of FF+

The success of the Afrikaans-speaking VF Plus party, also known as Freedom Front Plus or FF+, shocked many.

The party received more than 400,000 votes. Added to that, it doubled its 2014 support in the Western Cape, Northern Cape and Mpumalanga, while growing its support in North West.

EFF leading on Google

Julius Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters was the most searched-for political party on Google on election day.

The search engine released trending searches related to the general election. According to the statistics, more than 5,000 searches for the EFF were recorded.

Malema and his vosho

Malema showed his excitement when his party members were called to the front of the National Assembly to be sworn in as members of parliament.

His vosho left social media in stitches.

Thandi Modise, the speaker of the National Assembly

Modise was announced the new speaker of the National Assembly after the ANC finalised its candidates for parliament at a special National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Cape Town.

Malusi Gigaba and Baleka Mbete reject seats

Mbete and Gigaba withdrew their names from the list of candidates to be sworn in as MPs by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

Their decisions left Twitter buzzing.

Mabuza's postponement

ANC deputy president David Mabuza postponed his swearing-in until he had addressed the ANC's integrity commission, which had red-flagged him and other party figures.

"Collaboration" Ramphosa

Ramaphosa charmed and challenged his political opponents to work with him to improve the lives of all South Africans.

In his acceptance speech after being elected the fifth president of democratic South Africa, he said his second name was "Collaboration".

Ramaphosa for president

Ramaphosa was sworn in as president on May 25.

Thousands of people filled Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria for the event. This was the first time the presidential inauguration was held at a stadium.

'The Cat' is back

After Mabuza, nicknamed "The Cat", postponed his swearing-in on May 22 to clear his name with the ANC's integrity commission, he made his comeback on May 28.

Mabuza was officially sworn in by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng at the Presidential Guest House, Sefako Makgatho, in Pretoria.

Cabinet delay

Ramaphosa delayed the announcement of his cabinet. TimesLIVE reported that the presidency would not say whether the postponement was to allow for the swearing-in of ANC deputy president David Mabuza.

However, the presidency said Ramaphosa wanted to ensure that all members of his cabinet possessed the necessary skills and experience, as well as the commitment to serve the public.

Cabinet reduction

Ramaphosa reduced the size of his cabinet from 36 to 28 ministers in a move he said would tackle the country's "bloated" government and improve efficiency.


2019 cabinet - who's out and who's in

Ramaphosa's cabinet is a mixed bag of new faces, old faces in new jobs and ministers who have remained in their positions.

The president said his appointment of young people was part of his commitment to giving them responsibility.

Gender diversity

Half of the new ministers are women, making South Africa one of the world's few gender-balanced governments.

Patricia de Lille's new gig

Good party leader and former Cape Town mayor De Lille made headlines following her appointment as minister of public works and infrastructure.

For some, the appointment was a surprise.