Home South African Cabinet reshuffle: Ramaphosa will face scrutiny

Cabinet reshuffle: Ramaphosa will face scrutiny

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President Cyril Ramaphosa could face fresh pressure, if, as expected, he reshuffles his Cabinet in October, in line with recommendations in part six of Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s State Capture Inquiry report.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. File Picture: David Ritchie

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa could face fresh pressure, if, as expected, he reshuffles his Cabinet in October, in line with recommendations in part six of Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s State Capture Inquiry report.

Ramaphosa could at that stage very well be facing charges after former spy boss Arthur Fraser’s affidavit to police that alleges that the president did not report the theft of “large undisclosed sums of foreign currency in the form of US dollars concealed in his furniture at his Phala Phala residence”. Fraser has also alleged that Ramaphosa tried to cover up the February 2020 crime using state resources.

ANC insiders say any reshuffle would see scrutiny placed on how Ramaphosa deals with ANC chairperson and Mineral and Energy Affairs Minister Gwede Mantashe and Deputy Minister of State Security Zizi Kodwa.

Justice Zondo said evidence provided at the inquiry showed that Mantashe was seen by the leadership of Bosasa as a “brilliant connection” but he added that there was no evidence of the company seeking to influence a particular official through Mantashe. “There is a reasonable prospect that further investigation will uncover a prima facie case against Mr Mantashe in respect of the offence of corruption.”

Justice Zondo also recommended that Ramaphosa consider Kodwa’s position because of his tainted relationship with controversial businessman and former EOH boss Jehan Mackay.

The commission said it had not seen evidence to show impropriety on the part of Kodwa in relation to attempts by Mackay to induce him to interfere with procurement processes in the interest of EOH, but this was due to time constraints as it could not independently investigate further.

Mantashe and Kodwa have indicated they will challenge the findings.

This has irked supporters of those who have been suspended and have abided by the step-aside resolution, including former minister of health Zweli Mkhize.

Mkhize resigned as minister of health last August, when he was implicated in the irregular awarding of contracts to Digital Vibes, which was linked to people who worked with him at the Health Department, the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department and the ANC. Mkhize has gone to court to have the Special Investigating Unit report reviewed and set aside.

Political analyst Sipho Seepe said regardless of the Zondo inquiry’s findings and recommendations, Ramaphosa would tread very carefully. He said that Ramaphosa needed Mantashe to secure a second term and will be reluctant to take action against him.

“He brings a certain gravitas to the campaign and he enjoys support among workers. Mantashe is untouchable. It is more likely that Ramaphosa will get rid of those seen as a threat like Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.”

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