David Mabuza puts his hand up for deputy president post
PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa is set to meet the ANC’s Tripartite Alliance partners this week to brief them about his plans to overhaul his cabinet and appoint a deputy.
Today, the party’s officials are holding their ordinary meeting where Ramaphosa is expected to announce his plans.
This follows a one-day special sitting of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) yesterday, where its top brass appointed heads of subcommittees.
Former KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairman Senzo Mchunu, who narrowly lost out on the secretary-general post, has been appointed the ANC’s national organiser. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will head the subcommittee on education.
Former ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa has been deployed to the president’s office at Luthuli House.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule dismissed claims that Mchunu’s appointment as national organiser would result in Magashule’s powers being cut when he takes up the post full time.
“The SG’s powers are very clear in terms of the ANC constitution. There is no way Comrade Senzo will come and neutralise powers of the SG,” Magashule said.
While Ramaphosa was understood to be eyeing NEC member and Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor for the deputy president job ahead of NEC member and Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, ANC deputy president David Mabuza is also in strong contention.
Mabuza, who remains the premier of Mpumalanga, would vacate his post if Ramaphosa appoints him.
Magashule said that while Ramaphosa would discuss his decision with the officials and alliance partners, the party’s top brass would not be making a decision on the matter.
“The president will discuss with various structures and alliance partners, but it is not a matter for the NEC. There is no need for the president to brief the NEC on any reshuffle,” Magashule said.
Ramaphosa is under pressure from alliance partners the SACP, Cosatu and opposition parties to remove ministers linked to state capture allegations and corruption, which includes Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen and Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi.
The EFF boycotted this year’s Budget speech, calling for Ramaphosa to remove Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba due to his alleged proximity to the controversial Gupta family. The Guptas are accused of having used their proximity to former president Jacob Zuma to influence cabinet appointments and state procurements.
Ramaphosa has, however, been keeping his cards close to his chest about the pending cabinet shake-up.
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown is also one of the cabinet members facing the axe after state-owned companies, including Eskom, were allegedly looted by the Guptas and their associates under her watch.
According to Magashule, the NEC also deliberated on Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address and next year’s general elections, where the ANC is set to face its toughest electoral contest since 1994.
He said former presidents Zuma, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe would be asked to assist the party with campaigning for the 2019 general elections.